UN Climate Change Conference (COP 28), 30 Nov – 12 Dec 2023, United Arab Emirates

By November 30, 2023 February 21st, 2024 Climate Events, Events

The 2023 UN Climate Change Conference, or 28th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28),convened from 30 November to 12 December 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). COP28 brought the world together at a critical moment for global transformative climate action.

198 parties have united behind the UAE Consensus of COP28, in a hard won consensus to accelerate global climate action.

Discussions during COP28 focused on fast-tracking a just, orderly and equitable energy transition; fixing climate finance; putting nature, lives and livelihoods at the heart of climate action; and mobilizing for the most inclusive COP.

Collaborative efforts established through South-South cooperation were emphasized by participants as essential for developing countries to present unified voices, share successful climate solutions, and access critical financial resources, toward advancing the negotiated outcomes of the conference.

UNOSSC Director, Ms. Dima Al-Khatib, addressed various meetings during COP28, emphasizing that the collaborative efforts established through South-South cooperation are essential to create a more equitable and effective response to the urgent climate challenges faced by developing nations, including access to critical financial resources.

The 6 December Ministerial Meeting on Urbanization and Climate Change fostered dialogue and collaboration among key stakeholders to advance multilevel climate action with a strong focus on financing, accelerating mitigation, adaptation, and resilience at the local level. The UNOSSC Director noted that the “role of cities and subnational actors as first responders to the climate crisis is invaluable.” “South-South cooperation is one key means of implementation that bolsters this role,” she said.

On the occasion of the UNESCO event titled ‘Greening Higher Education: Transforming Competences and Practices’, UNESCO and UNOSSC co-launched a joint project. The project  aims to support youth engagement in climate action and science technology and innovation (STI) and greater collaboration across higher education institutions in the Global South and ultimately worldwide through a ‘South-South University Cooperation Network (SUCN)’. “The launch of this initiative with UNESCO could not have been more timely, to empower and unleash the power of the youth in championing South-South cooperation for climate action,” she said at the event.

On 8 December the Ministry of Ecology and Environment of China convened a High-level Forum on South-South Cooperation on Climate Change. The theme of the Forum was ‘Deepen South-South Practical Cooperation on Climate Change, Jointly Promote Green and Low-carbon Development’. The UNOSSC Director addressed the opening of the High-level Forum on, emphasizing the vital role of South-South cooperation in tackling the global climate crisis.

On 10 December, the UNOSSC Director spoke at the High-level event titled ‘Bridge Digital Divide, Build Climate Resilience – Energy Transition’. She highlighted the critical role of South-South cooperation in addressing the digital gap hindering energy transition in the Global South, and underscored UNOSSC’s commitment to fostering South-South knowledge creation, innovation and action towards climate resilience.

On the sidelines of COP28 UNOSSC Director, Dima Al-Khatib, met with H.E. Dr. Mohamed Bin Fahad, Chairman of the Zayed International Foundation for the Environment and explored South-South opportunities to empower youth and women and toward accelerating climate action. She also met with high-level representatives of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; the Islamic Development Bank; Masdar City, a sustainable urban community in Abu Dhabi; the International Renewable Energy Agency; and UNESCO; among others.

South-South Cooperation at COP28

When it comes to climate action, the importance of South-South cooperation becomes even more pronounced. Collaborative efforts established through South-South cooperation become essential for developing countries to present unified voices, share successful climate solutions, and access critical financial resources in the context of climate negotiations and collective action. At COP28, South-South cooperation played a key role in ensuring an equitable, collaborative and effective approach to climate challenges faced by developing nations.

COP28 featured a range of events showcasing South-South Cooperation, underscoring the imperative for collaborative efforts:

Bringing together leading ecosystem builders from the Global South for a dynamic panel discussion, this event was an opportunity for gaining insights from experts and discovering actionable strategies and innovative solutions for addressing climate challenges and promoting inclusivity in the Global South.

Hosted by Impact Hub Shanghai, this panel discussion highlighted the role of  South-South cooperation for creating conducive ecosystems for climate innovation and promoted the exchange strategies to support the deployment and scaling of innovative technologies for climate action.

The Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action gathered in person for its COP-28 Ministerial Meeting to discuss the role of Finance Ministers in mobilizing public and private climate finance, in particular for developing countries.

This event brought together experts and stakeholders to discuss climate change impacts in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, including rising sea levels and extreme weather. The focus was on fostering regional South-South cooperation on transboundary climate adaptation strategies, aiming to enhance development, stability, and peace in the region.

The Yale Emerging Climate Leaders Fellowship convened 16 young leaders from the Global South for policy analysis and discussions with top climate experts. It featured three dialogues among the inaugural fellows, focusing on South-South exchanges on climate finance, human capital for energy transition, and e-mobility

C40 and the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) hosted a dynamic discussion focusing on urban climate leadership and cooperation. The event brought together mayors and city practitioners to discuss the economic and social benefits of urban climate actions and to strengthen global climate cooperation.

This event explored the use of South-South trade and the Global System of Trade Preferences among Developing Countries (GSTP) to advance low and zero carbon technologies. The discussions focused on how trade could support Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and foster investment, production, and technology transfer opportunities in the Global South.

UNOSSC at COP28

Underscoring the pivotal role played by South-South and Triangular Cooperation in advancing Climate Action, the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) actively engaged in multiple events throughout COP28. These engagements served as platforms to delve into the collaborative efforts, innovative strategies, and shared experiences that nations in the Global South can harness to address climate challenges effectively. Explore the events below:

Updates from COP28