COP28: Ambitious Action Needed as Controversy Looms

In the run up to COP28, taking place in Dubai this month, the 28th annual United Nations Conference of the Parties has been beleaguered by controversy. The event is certainly no stranger to scrutiny, particularly as key pledges become delayed or watered down. However, this year’s criticism has intensified due to the UAE’s role as the fifth-largest global oil producer. 


Marta Schaaf, Amnesty International’s Climate, Economic and Social Justice Director, comments: “Sultan al-Jaber, the chief executive of ADNOC, one of the world’s largest oil and gas producers, plans to increase the group’s production of fossil fuels - this is entirely incompatible with his role as president-designate of COP28.” As the conference kicks off, we are keeping a close eye on these key climate discussions, outlining a handful of pre-conference issues to follow. 

Cop28 host UAE ‘planned to promote oil deals during climate talks’


The Guardian reports that the UAE planned to use climate meetings to with other countries advocate for its national oil and gas interests, citing information garnered from leaked documents. Ahead of a conference already drawing widespread criticism, this report has further undermined the credibility of the host.  Kaisa Kosonen, a climate expert at Greenpeace International, commented: “This is exactly the kind of conflict of interest we feared. If the presidency wants to claw back credibility it can only do so by brokering a global agreement for a just and equitable phase out of all fossil fuels.”

Assessing progress of the Paris Agreement 


At the 2015 conference, COP21, a landmark agreement was reached. The main aim was to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, and ensure all nations agreed to undertake ambitious efforts to keep the global temperature rise well under 2 degrees Celsius. As of 2017, 125 nations have ratified the agreement. This year marks the first time a ‘global stocktake’ will be on the agenda to assess countries’ progress towards those goals.

‘Loss and damage’ and the distribution of responsibility 


Last year’s conference, COP27, took place in Egypt, and one of the most significant outcomes was an agreement to support low-income countries pay for increasing climate-related damages. While smaller contributions may be made to this fund, these are unlikely to be significant enough to move the needle. It’s also challenging to estimate accurate figures as to the true scale of loss and damage. One assessment puts the economic loss of 68 climate-vulnerable countries at $525 billion between 2000 and 2019.



Following the conclusion of COP28, we’ll be looking back at some of the key takeaways from the conference. For a sustainability focused business like Kavalan, staying updated on the world’s most prominent climate talks is crucial. While we are passionate advocates for businesses and individuals taking a stand and making meaningful switches that ease our impact on the planet, we need ambitious, substantial action from our leaders to ensure we’re leaving a happy, habitable Earth for our children. 

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