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Great expectations of COP 28: concrete measures and financing

Under the motto "Unite. Act. Deliver", the 28th World Climate Change Conference (COP28) will begin on 30 November 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The BDI will be there as the voice of the German industry and will organise its own events. One of the key tasks of the summit is to turn the results of the first Global Stocktake into binding political resolutions: All countries must take ambitious concrete measures. Furthermore, with the "Loss and Damage" fund, the focus also lies on financing.

The decision to establish a Loss and Damage Fund at COP27 last year represented a historic milestone after many industrialised countries had blocked it for years. COP28 in Dubai must now make this fund capable of acting and fill it appropriately. If vulnerable countries are to work constructively with industrialised ones to achieve more renewable energies, greater energy efficiency and the phasing out of coal, oil and gas, COP28 must deliver on "Loss & Damage". The industrialised countries' unfulfilled promise to mobilise USD 100 billion per year for climate financing from 2020, has permanently damaged the confidence of developing countries. Progress on the fund is therefore essential to restore lost trust. If the negotiations on the fund fail, COP28 could also fail on other key issues.

COP28 must turn the results of the Global Stocktake into binding resolutions

The recently published UN report on the technical dialogue on the global Stocktake for the implementation of the Paris climate goals presented several key findings. Converting these findings into political decisions, that are as binding as possible, is a central task of the upcoming world climate conference. The first Global Stocktake was already a focal point of the negotiations in Bonn in June of this year.

The global Stocktake monitors the implementation of the national climate plans (NDCs, Nationally Determined Contributions) and thus the efforts pledged by the states to achieve the Paris climate targets. Even though the technical dialogues were concluded in Bonn, it was not possible to clarify how the conclusion of the first global Stocktake should be achieved at COP28. The question of whether the outcome should focus on historical responsibility, particularly of the industrialised countries, or be more future-oriented by promoting the ambition of all parties to the agreement, was and remains controversial. Instead of achieving substantial progress together, the June conference once again revealed the profound differences in opinion between industrialised and developing countries, particularly regarding the issue of climate financing. The question as to how countries will finance their climate protection measures remained unanswered, leading to many people leaving Bonn pessimistic about COP28.

Rapprochement between China and the USA gives hope

This makes the rapprochement between China and the USA on climate protection announced in November 2023 even more significant. The agreement on targets for COP28 brings hope, as both countries had put their climate cooperation on hold in August 2022 (before COP27 in Sharm el Sheikh). An ambitious response to the results of the two-year Global Stocktake dialogue process seems more tangible. The stocktake essentially revealed that greenhouse gas emissions will stagnate at best until 2030. This is far too little to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement (keeping global warming well below 2°C, limiting it to 1.5°C if possible). COP President Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber has therefore welcomed the rapprochement between the two countries in the run-up to COP28. The tripling of renewables capacity and the reduction of emissions from power generation by 2030, combined with the commitment to reduce methane emissions and tackle all greenhouse gases under the NDCs, is good news for future generations, said Al Jaber.

Evening of German Industry at COP28

As the voice of German industry, the BDI will be represented at COP28 in Dubai and will once again be involved with its own event formats. At the traditional "Evening of German Industry" on 8 December, we will once again offer guests from the Federal Government, the Bundestag, business and society a platform for dialogue on international climate policy.

Together with econsense and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the BDI will also be organising discussion rounds on pressing issues relating to the international energy transition in the official German pavilion. Further so-called "side events" with high-ranking panels of international players will be dedicated to topics such as accelerating the transition away from fossil fuels and involving private players in the transformation in emerging countries.