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Insight 23.11.2023

UBP Impact Team’s COP28 Wish List

UBP Impact Team’s COP28 Wish List

In what has become an annual tradition, UBP’s Impact team has written a list of the outcomes they would like to see from the COP 28 climate summit due to take place at the end of November in Dubai.

Here are their five main hopes:

1.   Further action on climate commitments

We hope that the reading of the latest technical reports on the global stocktake will lead to further ambition in terms of nationally determined contributions, implementation, and inclusion of non-party stakeholders (civil society, the private sector, financial institutions, cities and other subnational authorities) as regards limiting climate warming. In the specific case of financial institutions and private companies, we hope to see more progress on the regulation of net zero claims.

2.   Continued convergence between the climate and nature agenda

The TNFD has now launched, as has the Global Biodiversity Framework and so there is much more substance for policy makers to fold into their climate agendas. It is important to understand the intricate relationship between climate and nature, including the loss of biodiversity and its impact on the +1.5°C target. So it is crucial to uphold commitments to protect oceans and other waters, restore degraded ecosystems, and promote regenerative agriculture.

3.   Some substance on what “A Global Goal on Adaptation” means

As the probability of a temperature overshoot increases, the world needs to think about adaptation measures, from protective infrastructure investments to expanded humanitarian response capacity. A Global Goal on Adaptation was agreed in 2015, but the following decades has seen policies developed mainly on the Mitigation side. We hope to see an agreement on a new framework for adaptation that includes concrete targets and financing plans. We also hope to see details emerge as to the concept of a “loss and damage fund” discussed last year.

4.   The end of subsidies for fossil fuels and specific sector targets

It could be helpful to at least include stronger language around the needed reduction in use of fossil fuels and the counterproductive nature of existing subsidy schemes. The IMF has estimated that subsidies to fossil fuels companies are still at the equivalent of 7% of global GDP. Removing those subsidies would have the double advantage of creating fiscal room for many countries and accelerating the energy transition. Beyond subsidies, there are also a number of targets in terms of sector decarbonation that should be agreed upon.

5.   Carbon pricing (again)

All of the progress made on carbon pricing has happened at national level so far. The WTO recently noted that there are about 70 different identifiable approaches to carbon pricing. We are in need of a more global approach that would include a higher share of the economy. Also, we would welcome further clarity on the carbon offset market which, for its voluntary part, is in need of credibility.

As our climate, our environment, our economies and our societies continue to evolve at breakneck speed, the challenges for COP 28 are substantial and will call for bold commitments and some compromise. Let’s hope our Impact team’s wishes can be granted.

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