1. Introduction

Climate change is an urgent crisis requiring immediate and unified global action to address increasing carbon emissions and explore ways to transition towards a sustainable future. Global Carbon dioxide levels and temperatures continue rising, exceeding pre-industrial eras by 1.1 degrees Celsius. The past eight years have seen record-high temperatures with more frequent wildfires, floods, and droughts. Without reduced emissions, advanced climate models project an estimate of over 2.4 degrees Celsius of warming by 2100. As climate change accelerates worldwide, the upcoming UN climate summit COP28 lets world leaders address this emergency and prevent disastrous impacts.

The Conference of the Parties (COP) is an annual conference attended by global leaders, government representatives, and various stakeholders unite to advance climate change initiatives. Since the Paris Agreement 2015, COP conferences have focused on three objectives:

  • Limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius
  • Strengthening societal resilience against climate change impacts
  • Redirecting financial investments towards environmentally sustainable projects

The upcoming COP28, scheduled to take place in Dubai from November 30 to December 12, 2023, will play a role in addressing the pressing climate crisis, shaping climate policies and actions, and going beyond discussions and prioritizing the implementation of solutions.

Past COP summits have laid a foundation for progress in global climate action. The Paris Agreement at COP21 established a framework for countries to outline their national plans for reducing carbon emissions and adapting to the impacts of climate change. The COP22 held in Morroco advanced the implementation guidelines for the Paris Agreement, while COP23 in Bonn, Germany, focused on developing rules for its functioning. At COP24 in Katowice, Poland, stakeholders finalized the rules and outlined how countries should report their emissions and efforts transparently. Building on this momentum, COP26 in Glasgow, UK, emphasized the urgency of limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius by strengthening commitments to emission reductions and climate finance.

The COP28 summit presents a chance for global leaders to unite, encourage cooperation, and coordinate strategies for sustainable climate goals. The success of this significant event hinges on inspiring nations to adopt targets and sustainable practices through a response. It represents a milestone in our efforts to address climate change globally, as the decisions and actions taken will have long-lasting consequences for the future of our planet.

  1. What to Expect at COP28

The COP28 agenda discusses several pivotal issues with significant implications for global climate action. Essential agenda items for meetings and negotiations in Dubai include:

  • Concluding the first GST: A core focus will be completing and assessing the inaugural GST, which will identify progress and gaps to accelerate climate efforts by 2030.
  • Operationalizing the Loss and Damage Fund: After the landmark COP27 decision to establish this fund for severely impacted nations, COP28 must address eligibility, governance, and funding to enable effective implementation.
  • Finalizing the Global Goal on Adaptation: Significant effort is needed at COP28 to develop a framework for the Paris Agreement’s adaptation goal, including targets, indicators, and financing guidance.
  • Strengthening Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs): Current NDCs need revision to meet Paris Agreement objectives. A major priority will be for countries to update and enhance their 2030 emissions pledges in new NDCs submitted before COP28.
  • Climate Finance Commitments: Developed countries face pressure to meet their $100 billion annual climate finance pledge to developing nations, shifting from loans to grants and boosting adaptation funding. Innovative approaches like debt-for-climate swaps are emerging to help meet projected 2030 adaptation costs of $300 billion annually.
  • Phasing Down Fossil Fuels: Momentum grows to expand the COP26 commitment to phase down coal, oil, and gas to limit warming. Discussions will likely address halting new fossil fuel exploration and funding developing country energy transitions.
  • Other Focus Areas: The COP28 agenda will also emphasize reforming agriculture, which produces over 20% of emissions, and stress the importance of investing in local climate resilience and adaptations for vulnerable communities.
  1. What a Successful Outcome Would Look Like

Comprehensive mitigation, adaptation, and finance agreements characterize a successful outcome at COP28. Key elements include limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius through ambitious emissions reductions, especially by developed countries, and fulfilling the $100 billion annual climate financing pledge to aid vulnerable regions. Establishing a “Global Goal on Adaptation,” with clear targets and funding, is crucial. Additionally, making operational the Loss and Damage Fund agreed upon at COP27, phasing down fossil fuel use, and enhancing global adaptation planning and early warning systems are vital. Such outcomes would mark a significant step towards inclusive, transformative global climate action.

  1. The Road to COP29

COP28 aims to establish groundwork shaping the path for subsequent meetings, especially COP29 in 2024, to continue addressing issues like strengthening NDCs, securing adaptation finance, moving away from fossil fuels, and making the loss and damage fund operational. With the next Global Stocktake cycle approaching, improving NDCs will be a COP29 focus.

Importantly, COP28 does not stand alone but signals the start of a critical 5-year period where public and private sectors must significantly scale up efforts to achieve breakthroughs. The journey to a safe climate future continues past COP28, needing unwavering momentum into COP29 and beyond to capitalize on COP28 opportunities.

  1. Conclusion

The window for emissions reductions and resilience-building is closing quickly. The coming decade represents our opportunity to curb catastrophic warming. COP28 offers a pivotal chance to accelerate climate progress by tackling pressing issues and charting a sustainable course. World leaders must fully grasp its significance and engage in pressing decisive action. COP28’s decisions will shape global climate efforts, underscoring the need for collaboration, innovation, and robust measures across sectors, including energy, industry, food systems, adaptation, and loss/damage funding. The choices made now will have lasting global consequences, directly impacting lives and livelihoods. Given the stakes, COP28 represents a defining moment to address climate change.

To learn more about the implications of COP28 developments on your Growth Journey and to speak to Frost & Sullivan Growth Experts, contact Nimisha Iyer at nimisha.iyer@frost.com



Swagath Navin Manohar

Senior Industry Analyst, Energy & Environment Growth Opportunity Analytics, Frost & Sullivan

Your Transformational Growth Journey Starts Here

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