The 28th iteration of the Conference of Parties (COP28) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will take place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from Nov. 30–Dec. 12, 2023. The meeting brings together delegations from around the world to discuss global environmental issues and provide coordination on climate change initiatives. The international climate gathering, which is the latest in a series that began in 1995, is mostly known for its multinational stocktaking and negotiations on climate actions to curb climate change. These summits have resulted in major environmental agreements including the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement. This year will also include the first “global stocktake,” a check-in on progress made toward slowing climate change scheduled to happen every two years and first conceived at COP26.
The COP forums provide an excellent opportunity for private businesses from around the world to gather and discuss climate plans with stakeholders from government and industry. Attending COP can allow industry leaders the chance to announce and highlight innovative technologies and projects, learn about international policy changes and offer their input to help policymakers in their work.
COP28 will be holding a series of private sector days, which will be complemented by side events hosted by various NGOs, think tanks, industry groups and other organizations. Below, we will highlight a few of these gatherings and the opportunities they provide businesses in a variety of sectors.
Private Sector Days – Dec. 3–10
COP28 will play host to a series of thematic days designed to engage members of the international business community and work with them to find climate change solutions. The conference’s presidency, which is held this year by the government of the United Arab Emirates, recognizes the importance of engaging with all stakeholders in implementing the bold goals of the Paris Agreement and any policy decisions made in Dubai. This year’s themes include health, recovery and peace, finance, trade, accountability, gender equity, energy, industry, just energy transition, urbanization, transportation, youth, nature, land use, oceans, food, agriculture, water, and Indigenous peoples. Cross-cutting themes include technology and innovation, inclusion, frontline communities and finance.
Below are summaries of some of the general session details for COP28. See attached for a thematic overview of the program:
Dec. 1–2, Business & Philanthropy Climate Forum – Organized by the COP28 Presidency on the margins of the World Climate Action Summit, this CEO-level forum will leverage business and philanthropy to help address key climate priorities and deliver tangible results.
Dec. 3, Health/Relief, Recovery and Peace – Events this day will focus on how to strengthen health systems to respond to climate change, with a specific emphasize on finance mechanisms. It will also include programming on helping restore environments damaged by climate change, particularly in unstable regions or active conflict zones that might otherwise struggle to access funding.
Dec. 4, Finance/Trade/Gender Equality/Accountability – Discussions will focus on improving accountability in meeting climate finance commitments and ensuring women and girls are not left out of international climate initiatives. There will also be talk on climate finance reform and ways to use international trade as a mechanism for addressing climate change.
Dec. 5, Energy and Industry/Just Transition/Indigenous Peoples – This day will include events focused on renewable energy and the economic impact of the green energy transition; there will also be discussion about the role of fossil fuel companies in the energy transition. Discussion will also address how the energy transition affects jobs and workers. Additionally, there will be discussions on the role Indigenous communities play in addressing climate change and ways to improve their access to international financing.
Dec. 6, Multilevel Action, Urbanization and Built Environment/Transport – Events on this day will feature local government officials, community leaders and business representatives discussing ways to coordinate climate action through all levels of society. There will also be programming focusing on ways to improve sustainability in infrastructure and densely populated environments.
Dec. 8, Youth, Children, Education and Skills – This day will focus on the role young people play in climate action, looking at both how they are impacted by climate change and youth contributions to mitigation efforts. Specific actions to be discussed include investing in education for jobs in the green economy and ways to support youth climate initiatives.
Dec. 9, Nature, Land Use, and Oceans – Programming this day will be centered on nature conservation and assessing international efforts to preserve biodiversity. There will be discussion on sustainable land use and protecting land and marine ecosystems from threats.
Dec. 10, Food, Agriculture and Water – Water systems, sustainable agriculture and climate resilience will all be discussed this day, with events looking at the impact of human consumption and water use on the environment. There will also be events examining government policies for agriculture and water systems and mechanisms for financing innovations in this area.
Dec. 11–12, Final Negotiations – Events these days will focus on the government-to-government discussions on how to get to final agreement on COP deliverables.
Several private organizations, media outlets and think tanks are also planning side events to be held on the margins of COP28. Brownstein is working closely with many of these organizations to identify opportunities for clients to participate in panels and discussions as well as to showcase their products at several of the national pavilions.
For more information about COP and how Brownstein can help your company participate in the side events, please contact Samantha Carl-Yoder and Lauren Diekman.
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