COP28’s Effort in Tackling Climate Crisis in The Future, Will It Work?

Following up on the decision of the Paris Agreement, the landmark climate treaty in 2015, COP28 UAE will be held from 30 November to 12 December 2023 at Expo City, Dubai. Initially, discussions about the urgency and legal framework for international cooperation to combat climate change emerged at the United Nations Earth Summit, which was held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and resulted in the formation of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The abbreviation for COP itself is “Conference of Parties” which is a high-level conference in order to gather states, national organizations and non-state actors. According to the official website of COP28, the summit will consist of 198 official Parties, consisting of 197 countries, plus the European Union. In previous COPs, only small groups and government negotiators could attend. Bearing in mind that the climate crisis is increasingly worrying and has affected many parts of the world, at COP28 this time, the conference will be held globally inviting participation from thousands of political leaders, businesspeople, sectoral experts, climate activists and public members. This event will be one of the first mega-events with a focus on discussing prevention and handling of the climate crisis. COP28 will be an important platform for the government and non-government sectors to discuss various efforts to overcome the climate crisis and expand networks between various stakeholders.

Regarded as the most inclusive COP ever, this event will be divided into 2 zones, which are Blue and Green that intangible working side by side to discuss further details on how actionable solutions will tackle climate crisis in the future. It is believed that COP28 will create constructive talks, spread knowledge, and drive a positive entrepreneurial spirit that leads to innovative and change-making potential. By involving all participants in engaging discussions will embrace the power of partnership and collaboration that can solve many impossible hurdles regarding climate crisis.

According to COP28 Overview, this conference will be focused on 4 main keys agenda:

1. Fast-tracking a just and orderly transition

2. Fixing the financial climate

3. Focusing on nature, lives and livelihoods

4. Fostering inclusivity for all

With these main keys’ agenda, COP28 optimistically believes they must reduce 22 gigaton of emissions before 2030. This action agenda has one goal, which is to keep 1.5C within reach.

How Countries react to COP28

As the largest gas emissions producers that emitted 27% of the world’s greenhouse gases in 2019, followed by The US at 11% and India at 6,6% according to think thank group, Rhodium, China has put its basic position on upcoming COP28. President Xi said that before this conference happens, developed countries should fulfill their commitment in providing US$100 billion in climate finance to help developing countries every year, as what the previous roadmap stated in past conferences. President Xi believes it will reach a strong decision in adapting global goals, completing the constructions and damage financial mechanism that fully respond to the long-term appeals of developing countries for funding technology regarding combating climate crisis.

Countries that are members of the PSIDS (Pacific Small Islands States) have stated their participation in upcoming COP28. More than 70.000 delegates will join this summit that marks the first Global Stocktake (GST) as the form of implementation of Paris Agreement. The leaders of these nations will continue to advocate for much stronger global ambitions to keep 1.5C alive and the phasing out of fossil fuels and for financial mechanisms to respond better regarding the needs of Pacific communities. With lack of technology and innovation, these small countries believe in working hand-in-hand through this conference while facing development challenges as well.

Reuters reported that the EU’s 27 member states has agreed to call at COP28 for a phase-out of “unabated” fossil fuels. If these resources keep being used unwisely, it’ll create a window for countries to keep burning gas and oil that will results in emitting more emissions. European countries has agreed to push for a world-first deal that will tackle the climate crisis and this is regarded as one of the most ambitious negotiation that will involve 200 countries negotiate efforts to fight global warming, both developing and developed nations. Spain’s Climate Minister Teresa Ribera said that they will be at the forefront of the negotiations to show the EU’s strong commitment to the green transition and encourage their partners to follow the lead.

Will it work?

In the previous COP26 and COP27 and also other previous summits, it was being held in small groups which wasn’t involving many stakeholders from all around the world. In this COP28, it will be held globally and considered as mega-event that will have more than 70.000 participants and 140 heads of states. This shows the drastic increase in the involvement of many parties in combating climate crisis. The world has now shifting towards the urgency of global warming that has been experienced by most of the countries. The common issue and urgency will unite all countries in tackling common challenges, so it’s either we benefit from the solutions or suffer from the failures of finding those solutions. The UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Simon Stiell said: “The world wants to know exactly how fast we are going and in exactly which direction. If climate ambition is our north star, we need a clear path charted north, not a few degrees Northwest, with a vague suggestion that there are gaps and more has to be done…or else we’ll end up in the Greenland Sea.”

By realizing the importance of this issue to be solved immediately and with COP28 being the biggest platform ever existed to discuss about various solutions and policies needed to be make, it will create a more conducive dynamics to those countries experiencing the same problems and discuss about the way out as one voice, which then will be executed into actions in the future. This kind of summit is very urgently needed to be held, to allow better communication in tackling global warming that will drastically reduce the lifespan of the earth. Small actions and big actions are both equally needed, starting from simple things to big things that involve individuals, stakeholders, businesses-people, scholars, and every layers of governmental sectors. Let’s hope that there will be a life-changing outcome from COP28.

Sekarsari Sugihartono
Sekarsari Sugihartono
I am an international relations master's student at Gadjah Mada University. My interests are SDGs and International Trade Dispute.