COP28: Turning Intentions into Impact

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by KnowESG
KnowESG_COP28: Turning Intentions into Impact
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In the annals of history, July 2023 etches itself as the Earth's hottest month ever recorded—at least for the time being. As extreme weather events afflict communities across the globe, a pressing alarm emerges, transcending the confines of local activism or youthful advocacy.

Between Paris and 2030

Seven years have elapsed since the signing of the Paris Agreement, a pivotal milestone in global climate action. With seven years remaining until the year 2030, we now stand at the midpoint of the crucial goals outlined to safeguard our planet: curbing global warming to 1.5°C and slashing emissions by 45%, among others.

The time has come to assess the progress we've made thus far and reckon with the substantial work that remains. The upcoming COP28 UN Climate Summit, slated to convene in the United Arab Emirates from November 30 to December 12, 2023, offers this opportunity. It will culminate in the inaugural Global Stocktake, an evaluation of the collective advancement towards the "nationally determined contributions" (NDCs) pledged by governments in Paris.

COP28 also serves as a pivotal occasion for businesses to contribute to a more sustainable future.

A Worldwide Nexus for Climate Action

The United Arab Emirates is no stranger to global prominence, having carved out its identity as a bustling commercial nexus that bridges the East, West, and Africa through a diverse, open, and strategically positioned economy. Over the past five decades, the nation's GDP has skyrocketed by over 247 times, climbing from AED 6.5 billion to AED 1.6 trillion.

Nevertheless, the UN Climate Summit presents a unique challenge. For the UAE, it involves confronting the proverbial elephant in the room head-on. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, the President-Designate of COP28, has charted an ambitious four-pronged plan of action: expediting the transition to a low-carbon world, resolving climate financing issues, prioritising people, their lives, and livelihoods, and fostering complete inclusivity.

Blue or Green Zone: Engaging with COP28

COP28 is organised into two primary zones: the Blue Zone and the Green Zone. The UNFCCC is in charge of managing the Blue Zone, which is where formal negotiations and high-level events take place and are only open to UNFCCC-accredited participants, including representatives from 198 parties (including negotiators from 197 states and the EU), world leaders, observers (such as NGOs, IGOs, and UN agencies), and the media.

For most, the costs of sponsorship may prove to be a considerable barrier to securing a coveted place in the Blue Zone. As a point of reference, speaking opportunities commence at USD 250,000. Additionally, organisations must already be participants in the UNFCCC Race to Zero campaign or demonstrate credible net-zero transition plans according to the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to become sponsors.

Concurrently, the Green Zone welcomes attendees and guests from diverse backgrounds, including the public sector, private enterprises, NGOs, and community engagement initiatives, in an open, public setting.

This zone will house multiple hubs for sponsors and stakeholders, such as the Decarbonisation Hub, Technology and Innovation Hub, and Knowledge Hub. The agenda will encompass specialised events like technical conferences, roundtable discussions, and exhibitions, complemented by community engagement efforts, with a focus on youth and Emirati culture.

In a pioneering move, the Blue and Green Zones will be in close proximity at Expo City Dubai, rendering COP28 remarkably accessible.

Elevated Expectations

COP28 UAE stands as a pivotal juncture for businesses, where pivotal decisions concerning fossil fuel reduction, stringent net-zero transition requisites, and the shaping of regulatory and investment frameworks are anticipated. This summit extends an invitation to all stakeholders in the climate arena, including oil companies, encouraging them to actively partake in shaping the solutions rather than deciding for them.

In the words of Bob Ward, Policy Director at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change, London School of Economics, "If COP28 materialises its lofty ambitions, it will be recorded as one of the most momentous summits in history."

Leaving Your Mark

For businesses eager to engage without bearing the financial burden of sponsorship, several alternatives are available, such as participating in peripheral events or aligning with embassy delegations. Climate Week NYC and the UN's inaugural Climate Ambition Summit, both held in September, provide additional avenues for forging partnerships and advocating for the cause of achieving net-zero emissions.

With a decade of regional expertise, SEC Newgate Middle East serves as a central point of contact for organisations within and outside the UAE looking to be part of COP28. Reach out to SEC Newgate to explore how you can engage and secure your position at COP28 UAE.

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Source: SEC Newgate

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