Climate Change Negotiations – UNFCCC, COP, Other Conventions and Protocols

COP28 in Dubai: What to expect from Climate meeting


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : COP28

Mains level : Read the attached story


Central Idea

  • The upcoming COP28, scheduled to be held in Dubai from November 30 to December 12, faces the daunting challenge of addressing the urgent climate crisis.
  • Despite decades of negotiations, current global commitments to combat climate change are deemed insufficient.
  • With temperatures rising at an alarming rate, the need for substantial action has never been more critical.

What is COP?

  • The word ‘COP’ is an acronym for ‘Conference of the Parties. The ‘parties’ are the governments around the world that have signed the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), a treaty agreed upon in 1994.
  • Every year, the COP is hosted by a different nation and the first such COP meeting – ‘COP1’ – took place in Germany in 1995.
  • The conferences are attended by world leaders, negotiators, and ministers, and also by representatives from civil society, business, international organisations, and the media.
  • The last COP-27 edition convened in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt with the theme “Together for Implementation” and to renew and extend the agreements reached in the historic Paris Agreement.

Climate Action So Far: Crisis and Inadequate Responses

  • Rising Temperatures: 2023 is poised to become the warmest year ever recorded, with monthly warming records continually broken.
  • Response Lag: Global efforts to combat climate change have not kept pace with the rapid temperature increase.
  • Assessment: Recent reports indicate that current climate action plans, even in an optimistic scenario, would only achieve a 2% reduction in emissions by 2030, far from the 43% reduction recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
  • Financial Gap: Despite increasing climate risks, financial resources allocated for adaptation measures in developing countries are insufficient, with a vast disparity between the required and actual funding.

Expectations from COP28

COP28 aims to address these pressing climate challenges and achieve significant outcomes:

(1) Tripling of Renewable Energy:

  • Objective: Triple the global installed capacity of renewable energy by 2030, resulting in 70% of electricity generation from renewables.
  • Potential: This initiative could reduce 7 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by 2030, making it a substantial step toward emission reduction.
  • Support: The proposal has garnered endorsement from G20 countries and explicit support from 60 others.

(2) Delivery of $100 Billion:

  • Background: Developed countries pledged to mobilize $100 billion annually in climate finance from 2020, a commitment that remains unfulfilled.
  • Progress: Developed nations are expected to claim fulfillment of this promise at COP28, though it remains inadequate compared to the trillions required for climate action.
  • Challenge: The greater challenge lies in negotiating additional funding beyond the $100 billion annually, commencing from next year.

(3) Funding for Loss and Damage:

  • Fund Creation: The establishment of a loss and damage fund, designed to assist countries affected by climate change impacts, was a notable outcome of the previous climate meeting in Egypt.
  • Funding Flow: COP28 is expected to witness financial contributions to the loss and damage fund, signaling progress in addressing concerns, especially for small island nations.

(4) Global Stocktake:

  • Mandate: As per the Paris Agreement (2015), COP28 will present findings from the first global stocktake exercise. This assessment evaluates countries’ progress in combating climate change and outlines necessary actions for the next five years.
  • Informing Action: The stocktake findings will inform discussions and actions during the conference, providing a roadmap for more effective climate action.

(5) Phase-down of Fossil Fuels:

  • Challenge: Controversial debates on the scheduled phase-down or phase-out of fossil fuels, particularly coal, persist among nations.
  • Contentious Issue: Resolving the disagreement over fossil fuel reduction is expected to be a complex and unresolved matter at COP28.


  • COP28, set to be held in Dubai, represents a critical opportunity to address the climate crisis.
  • With expectations of tripling renewable energy, fulfillment of $100 billion climate finance commitments, funding for loss and damage, and global stocktake findings, the conference aims to push climate action forward.
  • However, the contentious issue of fossil fuel phase-down remains a challenge for the conference.
  • The world eagerly anticipates the outcomes and progress toward mitigating climate change.

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