Newsletter Signup

Site Search
Dubai UAE

COP28 News Recap: United Nations Climate Conference, Everything You Need to Know

December 14, 2023 by Joe Panettieri

COP28, the 28th United Nations climate change conference, concluded on December 12 with a long-debated fossil fuels transition agreement. Moreover, numerous IT services, software, hardware and cloud companies attended the conference to build and strengthen various sustainability partnerships.

Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, COP28 President-Designate

The COP28 conference, held at Expo City in Dubai, UAE (United Arab Emirates), included heads of state, government officials, international industry leaders, private sector representatives, academics, experts, youth, and non-state actors, the UAE said.

Ahead of the conference, some critics expressed concern about the UAE appointing a fossil fuel leader -- Dr. Sultan Al Jaber -- as COP28 President-Designate. Still, some advocates called on observers to keep an open mind throughout the conference coversations.

COP28 News: Climate Conference Timeline

What did chief sustainability officers (CSOs) and their technology partners witness at the event? Here's a timeline recapping all of the developments at COP28.

December 13: Multiple updates...

  • White House Statement: While there is still substantial work ahead to keep the 1.5 degree C goal within reach, the COP28 agreement "puts us one significant step closer" to that goal, the Biden administration said.
  • Outcome: A deal for the world to transition away from fossil fuels was hailed as a historic achievement, but there's a good chance it won't achieve its ultimate goal - holding global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, Reuters reported.
  • BRICS: Russia’s “task is to combine efforts and common approaches in the Eurasian space and in the BRICS space” when it comes to the BRICS climate agenda, Russia First Deputy Economy Minister Ilya Torosov told Bloomberg.
  • Building Sector Reaction: The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) stated: "We are encouraged that the UAE Consensus uses stronger and more specific language in calling for accelerated efforts towards net zero emission energy systems and transitioning away from fossil fuels. For the first time, the agreement calls on countries to contribute to doubling the annual rate of energy efficiency improvements and tripling renewable energy capacity by 2030. These express targets will drive needed investment across the building sector which has the opportunity, and now the imperative, to deliver significant reductions of greenhouse gases."
  • Donald Trump's Perspective: Donald Trump, if elected as president again, would renege on a $3 billion U.S. pledge to a global fund meant to help developing countries cut emissions and adapt to climate change, Reuters reported.

December 12: Multiple updates...

  • Fossil Fuels Agreement: Representatives from nearly 200 countries agreed to begin reducing global consumption of fossil fuels to avert the worst of climate change, a first of its kind deal signaling the eventual end of the oil age, Reuters reported.
  • Natural Gas: Climate talks in Dubai ended with a nod that lower-carbon fuels like natural gas will play a role in the shift to cleaner energy sources, Bloomberg reported.
  • Renewable Energy Targets:  More than 100 countries at the climate summit agreed to triple renewable energy capacity by 2030 -- one of the least controversial commitments floated at the conference, Reuters noted. But the countries have given little detail on how they can make an industry running flat out go that much faster, the report added.

December 9: Multiple updates...

December 8: Multiple updates...

December 4:

  • Free Net Zero Data Tool: Keep an eye on an emerging platform called NZDPU -- which is short for net zero data public utility. The platform aims to "create a free-to-all platform of reliable, comparable corporate climate data across industries and jurisdictions that can be used by governments, civil society, media, investors and other observers," The Wall Street Journal reported. Michael Bloomberg is funding NCDPU through philanthropy.

December 2 and 3: Multiple updates...

  • Critic: Climate advocate and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore slammed the UAE, saying its position as overseer of international negotiations on global warming this year was an abuse of public trust, Reuters reported.
  • . Energy Transition Accelerator: The U.S. Department of State, the Bezos Earth Fund, and The Rockefeller Foundation presented the core framework of the Energy Transition Accelerator (ETA). The carbon finance platform seeks to "catalyze private capital to support ambitious just energy transition strategies in developing and emerging economies." Multiple governments and businesses expressed interest in the ETA -- though that doesn't necessarily mean the organizations will adopt it.
Faith Taylor, Chief Sustainability Officer, Kyndryl
  • IT Service Providers and MSPs on-Site: Global IT service provider Atos is set to host at an Sustainability Services session at the event. Also, we noticed that Kyndryl Chief Sustainability Officer Faith Taylor is on-site at the conference. Kyndryl is one of the world's largest managed infrastructure service providers. We plan to ping Taylor post-conference to learn about her key takeaways and learnings from the event.
  • A Climate Data Platform Called NZDPU: French President Emmanuel Macron and entrepreneur Michael R. Bloomberg unveiled the proof of concept for the Net-Zero Data Public Utility (NZDPU or the Utility). NZDPU is striving to be "the first global, central source of emissions data that streamlines and consolidates data from different sources into a consistent format while limiting reporting burdens on companies." The platform will "help stakeholders to meaningfully integrate such data into their decision making," the developers assert.
  • Fossil Fuel Companies: Exxon Mobil and Saudi Arabia’s Aramco, the world’s largest private and state-sector oil companies, led a pledge by 50 oil and gas producers to cut emissions from their own operations, Bloomberg reported. But the companies did not announce plans to scale back fossil fuel production.
  • Abandoning Coal: The United States committed to the idea of phasing out coal power plants, joining 56 other nations in kicking the coal habit, the Associated Press reported. U.S. Special Envoy John Kerry said America was joining the Powering Past Coal Alliance, which means the Biden Administration commits to building no new coal plants and phasing out existing plants. The move suggests the U.S. plans to end coal production by 2035.
  • Banking Pledges: Ten of the world's top development banks pledged to step up their climate efforts , yet failed to say anything about halting financing for fossil fuel projects, Reuters reported.
  • United States and Green Climate Fund: The United States has pledged $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund, Vice President Kamala Harris said, Reuters reported. The fund, with more than $20 billion in pledges, is the largest international fund dedicated to supporting climate action in developing countries. The latest pledge, which Reuters was first to report, would be additional to another $2 billion previously delivered by the United States.
  • United State and Methane Policy: The Biden administration unveiled final rules aimed at cracking down on U.S. oil and gas industry releases of methane, part of a global plan to rein in emissions that contribute to climate change, Reuters reported.

November 30 - Memo to Fossil Fuel Companies: The incoming COP28 president, Sultan al-Jaber, opened this year's U.N. climate summit by urging countries and fossil fuel companies to work together to meet global climate goals, Reuters reported.

November 30 - Microsoft and the United Nations: The United Nations and Microsoft are partnering to "enable the UNFCCC to create a new AI-powered platform and global climate data hub to measure and analyze global progress in reducing emissions," the organizations said. UNFCCC stands for United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

November 30 - IBM and AI:  IBM will apply the company's geospatial AI technologies, including IBM's geospatial foundation model developed in collaboration with NASA, to "climate efforts including analysis of urban heat islands in the United Arab Emirates (UAE); reforestation across Kenya; and climate resiliency in the United Kingdom (UK)," the company said.

November 29 - US Attendance:  US Vice President Kamala Harris will attend COP28, Bloomberg reported.

November 29 - Open Source: Numerous open source experts are set to present at the conference. The speaker lineup includes experts representing Linux Foundation Research, Linux Foundation Europe, OS-Climate, Hyperledger Foundation, AgStack Foundation, Fintech in Open Source Foundation (FINOS), Sustainable & Scalable Infrastructure Alliance, and the ELISA and Zephyr projects. The content will include an Open Source for Sustainability research recap.

November 29 - Research: Only one-third of survey respondents have confidence that renewable energy will surpass fossil fuels as the primary fuel source by 2050, KPMG reported.

November 28 - OPEC: OPEC issued a strongly worded defense of the oil-and-gas industry days before the start of the biggest ever climate talks, pushing back against the International Energy Agency and highlighting the increasingly fractious debate over how best to tackle global warming, Bloomberg reported.

November 27 - Oil Pitch?: The COP28 president Sultan Al Jaber allegedly used his climate summit role to push oil trade with foreign government officials, the Centre for Climate Reporting and BBC reported.

November 27- Not Attending: U.S. President Joe Biden and China's Xi Jinping don't plan to attend COP28, Bloomberg reported.

November 27 - Schneider Electric: With energy at the heart of over 70% of carbon emissions, Schneider Electric delegates at COP28 will highlight the untapped potential of electrification, automation and digital technologies and showcase the social and economic benefits of deploying such solutions in industries, buildings, homes, data centers, infrastructure, and transportation, the company said.

November 27- COP29 Conference Location?: Next year's COP29 climate summit is supposed to be held in Eastern Europe, but Russian opposition to holding the event in a European Union country has left the event without a home, according to Reuters.

November 24 - Carbon Trading: Climate negotiators at COP28 may bolster carbon trading when they decide on rules for a new United Nations-overseen emissions market that can lower the cost of fighting global warming, Bloomberg reported.

November 24 - Green Bond Sales: record amount of green debt has been raised this year by issuers in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia ahead of COP28, Bloomberg reported.

November 24 - COP28 Agenda?: The delayed release of a COP28 agenda invited one constant question: What kind of climate conference could an oil boss possibly host, Bloomberg wondered.

November 16 - NEC Strategy: NEC CEO Takayuki Morita will give a keynote speech on December 2 to introduce NEC's environmental initiatives. The keynote's theme will be "Accelerating Adaptation Measures by Using Digital Technology to Implement Adaptation Finance in Society." It will also feature a panel discussion with global environmental experts.

November 15- US and China Advancements: China and the U.S. have agreed to back a global target to triple global renewable energy capacity by 2030, the two superpowers said in a statement, Reuters reported. The agreement arrives two weeks before nearly 200 countries meet for the COP28 climate conference.

November 13 - European Union: The European Union will make a "substantial" financial contribution to a new international fund addressing the destruction caused by climate change, the EU's executive commission said, Reuters reported.

November 10 - US and EU: The United States and European Union are leading a global push for COP28 to endorse the tripling of renewables and doubling of energy savings by the end of the decade, Bloomberg reported.

COP28 News and Analysis: October 2023 Recap

October 30 - Renewable Energy Goals: The COP28 president and two renewable energy organizations urged governments to triple renewable energy capacity by 2030 as part of efforts to stop global warming exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius, Reuters reported.

October 30 - Words Matter: The COP28 president said he was aware countries had strong views about including language on fossil fuels and renewables in the negotiated text of the UN climate summit in November, but that common ground must be found, Reuters reported.

October 24 - Fossil Fuel Transition Deadline?: More than 130 companies -- including Nestle, Unilever, Mahindra Group and Volvo Cars -- are urging political leaders to agree a timeline at the upcoming U.N. climate summit to phase out fossil fuels, Reuters reported.

October 20 - Climate Fund Concerns: Ahead of the conference, a major divide is emerging between developed and developing nations over who should operate and finance a fund that covers damages caused by climate change, Bloomberg reported.

October 20 -Financial Executives Return: Wall Street is returning to climate talks that it largely snubbed in 2022, as the United Arab Emirates steps into the role of host of COP28, Bloomberg reported. BlackRock CEO Larry Fink is among a string of finance heavyweights planning to attend the COP28 summit in Dubai that starts in November 2023, the report said.

October 10 - Waste to Zero: The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) and Tadweer (Abu Dhabi Waste Management Company) plan to launch Waste to Zero -- a "global initiative to mobilize and advance waste decarbonization efforts, and to establish a circular economy platform," the organizations said.

October 6 - Indonesia Energy Transition Plan: The country expects to unveil a $20 billion energy transition investment plan in November 2023, days before the United Nations COP28 climate summit as Jakarta tries to resolve issues on funding and energy mix for the initiative, Reuters reported.

October 5 - Pope Expresses Concerns: Pope Francis warned that the world "is collapsing" due to global warming, urging participants of the upcoming COP28 talks to agree to binding policies on phasing out fossil fuels, Barrons reported.

October 2 - Oil and Gas Company Perspectives: More than 20 oil and gas companies are rallying around COP28 President Sultan al-Jaber's calls to curb carbon emissions ahead of a United Nations summit on climate change, Jaber said.

COP28 News and Analysis: September 2023 Recap

September 26 - China and the United States: The two countries are facing mounting pressures to ink a climate agreement ahead of or during COP28, The Washington Post reported.

September 19 - United Nations Debates: United Nations officials and world leaders offered a preview of climate change battles to come — over the responsibility rich countries have to reduce emissions, over the financing needed for climate adaptation and over what exactly it means to move away from fossil fuels, Bloomberg reported. When many of the same leaders gather in Dubai for the UN’s COP28 climate conference in November, those disconnects are sure to be front and center, Bloomberg said.

September 13 - Human Rights: More than 200 civil society groups have written to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), host of this year's COP28 U.N. climate summit, and all participating governments with a series of demands concerning the Gulf nation's human rights record, Reuters reported.

September 12 - IBM and AI: IBM will sponsor the COP28 conference. The effort will include emphasizing Watsonx to help organizations build AI (artificial intelligence) applications that drive sustainability and efficiency.

September 8 - Philanthropy: The conference will include a Business & Philanthropy Climate Forum (BPCF) on December 1 and 2. The CEO-level forum will "mobilize global business leaders and philanthropists to progress action in line with the COP28 Presidential Action Agenda.

September 6 - Cloud Services and AI in UAE:  G42 and Microsoft plan to offer sovereign cloud services, AI capabilities and data center infrastructure in the UAE. Much of the announcement focused on sustainability. G42 is a technology holding group focused on AI technologies. The partnership surfaces a few months before COP28 starts in the UAE.

Christiana Figueres, global climate change expert

September 6 - COP28 Concerns: The architect of the Paris Agreement described the upcoming United Nations Conference of Parties (COP) summit as a “circus,” arguing that the main purpose of the climate meeting could be done from home, Bloomberg reported. Indeed, Christiana Figueres, a climate advocate and former executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said that the need of the hour is to finance and execute the agreement, which was adopted in 2015, the report said.

September 5 - Global Climate Concerns: The world is losing the race to meet its climate change goals, the president of the upcoming COP28 climate summit said, as African presidents gathered in Kenya to discuss how to fund the continent's environmental agenda, Reuters reported.

September 5 - Africa: The United Arab Emirates, the host of this year’s COP28 United Nations climate summit, pledged $4.5 billion to help African nations accelerate clean-energy projects, Bloomberg reported.

September 1 - UAE Criticism: The United Arab Emirates is looking to deflect criticism of its rights record ahead of this year's UN climate talks, a London-based group said, after obtaining a leaked recording, according to AFP News. The leaked audio of a meeting in February 2023 between summit organizers and Emirati officials was dismissed by the UAE's COP28 team as an "unverified recording," the report said But the Centre for Climate Reporting (CCR) said it revealed attempts by the oil-rich Gulf state to limit scrutiny ahead of the key event, AFP News reported.

September 1 - Fossil Fuels: UAE oil giant ADNOC — run by the president of the COP28 climate conference — is expected to spend more than $1 billion every month this decade on fossil fuels, according to new analysis by international NGO Global Witness, CNBC reported. This is nearly seven times higher than its commitment to decarbonization projects over the same timeframe, the research says. ADNOC, which recently became the first among its peers to bring forward its net-zero ambition to 2045, disputes Global Witness’ analysis and says the assumptions made are inaccurate, CNBC added.

COP28 News and Analysis: August 2023 Recap

August 31 - European Union and COP28: EU countries are preparing to push for a global deal on phasing out fossil fuels at the United Nations COP28 climate summit, a draft of the EU's negotiating position showed, according to Reuters.

August 31 - Microsoft Backs Startups: Microsoft is launching a GrowthX Accelerator for B2B technology startups that address sustainability in the Middle East. The latest effort, known as GrowthX cohort 4, is an eight-week, equity-free accelerator program that aligns with the COP28 climate conference -- which is set for December 2023.

August 25 - Water Focus: A Water Agenda at the conference will feature three priority areas: (1) conserving and restoring freshwater ecosystems, (2) enhancing urban water resilience, and (2) bolstering water-resilient food systems, according to summit organizers.

August 21 - Air Pollution: Nearly 50 organizations have signed a letter calling on COP28 President-Designate Dr. Al Jaber to "take steps to reduce air pollution and deliver win-wins for climate, public health and economies," according to The Clean Air Fund.

August 8 - Funding Requirement: Developed nations have to make good on their promise to provide $100 billion a year in financing to help emerging-market countries combat climate change, according to Majid Al Suwaidi, the director general of the COP28 climate summit, Bloomberg reported.

August 1 - Environmental Protests Permitted: The United Arab Emirates will allow environmental activists to “assemble peacefully” at the COP28 climate talks, despite a prohibition on unauthorized protests in the Gulf state, The Times of Israel reported.

COP28 News and Analysis: July 2023 Recap

July 31 - Host Nation - Oil Company Goal: Abu Dhabi National Oil Company brought forward its net zero carbon emissions target by five years to 2045 as OPEC member the United Arab Emirates prepares to host COP28 in December, Reuters reported.

July 28 - G20 - Lack of Progress: The Group of 20 (G20) major nations failed to agree on concrete targets to cut dangerous emissions, releasing only a statement that dismissed current measures to address climate change as "insufficient," Reuters reported. Members could not agree on depleting carbon budgets, historical emissions, net-zero goals and the issue of financing to support developing countries, Reuters said. The Indian meeting had been seen as a chance for the world's biggest polluters to take concrete steps ahead of a G20 leaders' meeting in September in New Delhi and the COP28 Summit in the United Arab Emirates in December, the report noted.

July 24, 2023: Multiple updates...

  • Food Systems and Agriculture Agenda: The COP28 UAE Presidency launched its Food Systems and Agriculture Agenda. The agenda includes four pillars, covering national leadership, non-state actors, scaling up innovation, and finance.
  • UAE Climate Strategy: The United Arab Emirates has said it is committed to delivering targets to cut the CO2 emissions causing climate change after an independent research group said the country, which will host this year's COP28 climate summit, is far off track, Reuters reported. The UAE statement essentially counters Climate Action Tracker's conclusions from July 20 (see below).

July 20, 2023: Multiple updates...

  • UAE Climate Plan Concerns: The United Arab Emirates, host of this year's COP28 UN climate summit, has set out "insufficient" plans to tackle its own contribution to climate change, according to the Climate Action Tracker, an independent research group, Reuters reported.
  • Food Security & More: During a meeting, COP28 President-Designate Dr. Sultan Al Jaber and Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, called for the world's most vulnerable to be placed at the heart of climate action.

July 17, 2023: U.S. climate envoy John Kerry said it was "imperative that China and the United States make real progress" in the four months before U.N.-sponsored climate talks begin in Dubai, as waves of extreme heat and rainfall hit large parts of the globe, Reuters reported. While Kerry met his counterpart Xie Zhenhua in the Chinese capital Beijing today in efforts to rebuild trust between the world's top two greenhouse gas emitters, severe heat warnings had been declared in ItalyGreece and the United States.

July 13, 2023: Multiple updates...

  •  Countries at COP28 must face up to how far behind they are lagging on climate change targets and agree a plan to get on track, the United Arab Emirates' incoming president of the event said, according to Reuters.Sultan al-Jaber said COP28 should also yield international goals to triple renewable energy, double energy savings and hydrogen production by 2030, the report added.
  • Deploying a fully functional fund to compensate poor countries hit by climate change is among the major goals for COP28, Bloomberg reported.
  • Commenting on the speech by Sultan Al Jaber, Tom Evans, policy advisor on climate diplomacy and Geopolitics at climate change think tank E3G, said: “The UAE have taken on the feedback that people were eager to hear them set out a vision and a forward process. They’ve shown more of a clear grip over the steppingstones between now and COP28. It's coming later than expected, but it's a step up. Al Jaber’s vision has the right ingredients, but the proof will be in the pudding. Keeping 1.5C in reach requires final agreements at COP28 to phase out fossil fuels, triple renewables, accelerate reform of the financial system to unlock money for mitigation and adaptation, and a functioning fund for loss and damage.” 

July 11, 2023: The UAE will cut emissions by 40% by 2030 from a business-as-usual level, the Ministry of Climate Change & Environment said in a statement, Bloomberg reported. The figure compares with an earlier plan for a 31% reduction. The country already has a net zero goal by the middle of the century, the first Middle Eastern state to announce such as an ambition, Bloomberg noted.

July 7, 2023: COP28 UAE President-Designate Dr. Sultan Al Jaber met the of PakistanPrime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, senior government and diplomatic officials, and youth climate advocates in Islamabad as part of his global listening and engagement tour.

Chuka Umunna, head of EMEA ESG & green economy investment banking, JPMorgan

July 5, 2023 - 'Keep An Open Mind': Critics should stop "carping from the sidelines" about the United Arab Emirates hosting the climate talks and give the oil producer a chance to show it can lead on decarbonizing the energy sector, a senior JPMorgan banker told Reuters. Indeed, Chuka Umunna, JPMorgan's Head of EMEA ESG (environmental, social and governance) & Green Economy Investment Banking, said critics in richer countries should "give the presidency a chance," the report said.

July 5, 2023 - Fossil Fuels & Carbon Emissions: The world's oil and gas companies should set targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 at COP28 , the CEO of France's TotalEnergies (Patrick Pouyanne) said, Reuters reported.

July 4, 2023 - UAE Renewables Investments: Conference host the United Arab Emirates said it will aim to triple its renewables base by 2030 backed by $54 billion of investments, Recharge reported.

COP28 News and Analysis: June 2023 Recap

June 15, 2023 - COP28 Preview: The Bonn Climate Change Conference, a two-week event that concluded today, is widely regarded as a mid-way check on how talks are progressing ahead of COP28, CNBC reported. Alas, many Bonn attendees were disappointed by the lack of progress on issues such as climate finance and the pace of cuts in carbon pollution, the report stated.

Got COP28 news to share? Please email me the details.

Blog originally drafted on June 15, 2023. Updated regularly thereafter.

subscribe to our newsletter


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Latest Updates

  • Most Read

  • Search Our Sustainability Databases

  • Sustainability & Green IT Predictions for 2024

    • Recent Comments
      Most Comments
  • Tab #1
    Tab #2
    Tab Content #1
    Tab Content #2
    linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram