COP28 What is it all about?

What is COP28?


The United Nations have been meeting regularly for decades to address climate change but them and the scientist have largely been ignored until recently.


At COP21 in 2015 (Paris), the world agreed to limit global warming to 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial levels by 2050. To remain on target, science tells us that emissions must be halved by 2030. We only have another seven years to meet that goal. COP28 UAE is a prime opportunity to rethink, reboot, and refocus the climate agenda.


What: COP28 is the 28th annual United Nations (UN) climate meeting where governments, academics and businesses will discuss how to limit and prepare for future climate change.

Where: The summit is being held in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), from 30 November until 12 December 2023.

COP stands for “Conference of the Parties”, where the “parties” are the countries that signed up to the original UN climate agreement in 1992.


It is hoped COP28 will help keep alive the goal of limiting long-term global temperature rises to 1.5C. This was agreed by nearly 200 countries in Paris in 2015.

The 1.5C target is crucial to avoid the most damaging impacts of climate change, according to the UN’s climate body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).


Long-term warming currently stands at about 1.2C compared with pre-industrial times – the period before humans started burning fossil fuels at scale. However, the world is on track for about 2.5C of warming by 2100 even with current pledges to tackle emissions. The window for keeping the 1.5C limit in reach “rapidly narrowing”, the UN says.


COP28 is focused on fast-tracking our global transition to clean energy and decarbonize the energy industry12It is also focused on helping the most vulnerable communities adapt to and recover from the effects of climate change1.


The COP28 themes are designed to unite a diverse range of stakeholders around specific solutions that must be scaled up this decade to limit warming to 1.5 degrees, build resilience, and mobilize finance at scale.

The four themes of COP28 are:


  • Technology and Innovation
  • Inclusion
  • Frontline Communities
  • Finance


The UK picture


The UK has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. Net zero means a country takes as much of these planet-warming gases – such as carbon dioxide – out of the atmosphere as it puts in.


In March 2023, the government released a new net zero strategy, after a court ruled its previous plan did not contain enough detail about how its climate targets would be met.

But the government’s independent advisers, the Climate Change Committee (CCC), have called the UK’s efforts “worryingly slow”.

The cost of delivering net zero – and who pays for it – has sparked a political debate. The CCC estimates it will require an extra £50bn of investment per year, by 2030.


The UK has been successful in cutting carbon emission from electricity generation so far. These have fallen by around three-quarters since 1990, due to a declining use of fossil fuels.


The proportion of electricity generated from renewables – like solar and wind has grown to around 40% in the last few years, up from just over 10% a decade ago.




A global perspective


We have all seen more intense weather events from flooding, heatwaves, storms, wildfires and droughts which are having a devastating effect on both humans and businesses.


Investment will be needed whether this comes from businesses, taxes or grants is yet to be decided but the sooner we reduce our carbon emissions and are prepared the better.


Visit to get started or boost and get support on your current sustainability journey.

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