COP28: What to expect from the United Nations Climate Change Conference

30 November 2023

Today, COP28 kicks off in Dubai, with members of the G20 nations gathering to discuss how to further act on the terms of the Paris Agreement. The built environment plays a pivotal part in determining our future carbon footprint and the state we leave the planet in for future generations. That’s why for us, sustainability is central to our philosophy.

The Conference of the Parties, known as COP, is the governing body for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. All participating countries that are Parties to the Convention are represented each year at the annual COP conference, with states able to attend as observers.

The 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) was held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt in 2022. It was seen as the implementation phase of the Paris agreement. The conference saw successes in confirming funds for climate adaptation, as well as loss and damage. The funding required to increase climate resilience by building flood defences and preserving wetlands has been in place since 2001 but was under threat of being pulled. In contrast, some of the most vulnerable countries have been asking for support to rebuild infrastructure, following extreme weather, for nearly three decades. This agreed commitment is an important first step intended to support those most affected by the impacts of climate change. Notable commitments were also made to the food system, rivers, and other nature-based solutions.

The conference, starting today will run 12 December 2023. The main goal of this conference is to unite a diverse range of stakeholders to:

  • Limit global warming to 1.5 degrees
  • Build resilience to climate change
  • Mobilise finance at scale

Each day of the conference will focus on different areas, such as health, just transition and nature, with the final negotiations between members taking place over the last two days. One of the main aspects to conclude at COP28 is the first-ever global stocktake, which will give countries and stakeholder an opportunity to highlight collective progress towards meeting the Paris Agreement goals, as well as any shortcomings.

Last year at COP27, negotiations closed with a breakthrough agreement detailing funding to vulnerable countries affected by natural hazards related to climate change. This year, we believe a successful outcome will be the global stocktake. It will focus minds and could bring about another new agreement or set of ambitions, which can help our fight against climate change and improve resiliency across the planet.