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What is COP28 and What Can Your Business Expect from It?


COP28 poster

What is COP?

The COP (Conference of Parties) is an annual meeting held by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It gathers world leaders to discuss climate change and global strategies for mitigation.


The first COP took place in 1995 in Berlin, Germany, and has since resulted in significant international agreements like the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement.


Indonesia, significantly affected by climate change, participates in advocating for its interests and needs in addressing the issue. The country is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and strengthening climate adaptation.


Let’s delve into COP28 expectations, but first, a flashback to COP27 in Egypt.


COP27 Egypt Flashback

COP27 held in Egypt
COP27 in Egypt

Topics Discussed at COP27 Summit in Egypt: The 27th UNFCCC COP, held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, from November 6-20, 2022, marked the 30th anniversary of the UNFCCC and the leadership transition from the UK to Egypt. Four themes were discussed: mitigation, adaptation, finance, and collaboration.


Before COP27, Egypt’s President called for accelerated global action on climate change mitigation and adaptation. The conference aimed for a just transition to a new sustainable economic model, with developed countries supporting developing nations financially and technologically.


Here are the important takeaways from the COP27 Conference:


Loss and Damage Fund

For years, developing countries have been asking for financial support and responsibility to address the impacts of climate change, which have been consistently rejected by developed countries. However, at COP 27, this demand was met with the establishment of a special fund to address "Loss and Damage Fund," which could provide assistance to poor families whose homes are damaged, farmers whose farmland is destroyed, and coastal communities affected by erosion so that they are forced to leave their homes. In addition, the governance structure and the selection process for the host for the Santiago Network on "Loss and Damage Fund", will provide technical assistance to developing countries and will be fully operational at COP 28. The United Nations also announced a plan worth $3.1 billion to ensure that everyone on the planet is covered by an early warning system within the next five years to strengthen countries' ability to cope with dangerous weather.


The Vulnerable 20 Group of Finance Ministers (V20) and the Group of Seven (G7) also jointly launched the “Global Shield against Climate Risks” to provide developing countries with more ways to protect themselves from the increasingly extreme weather, one of which is Germany which provides €170 million ($179 million) in the form of grants. Followed by Denmark, Belgium, Scotland, Austria, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, the European Union, and France, which made financial commitments related to addressing loss and damage, and the United Kingdom also announced that it would postpone the payment of debt of developing countries until two years after a climate disaster.


Regulations on the Carbon Market

Most of the regulations for the Carbon Market were established at COP26, and COP27 was supposed to discuss the operational details. Unfortunately, this was not well implemented.

Initial recommendations on efforts to reduce carbon emissions issued at the beginning of COP 27 ended up being insufficient and will be updated before COP 28, with the hope of taking more into account the protection and human rights. No decision was taken to address double counting of emissions reductions between countries (as part of NDCs) and non-state actors such as companies in the scope of reducing emissions in the Carbon Market.


However, there was positive news from the High-Level Expert Group of the UN Secretary-General on Net-Zero Emissions Commitments from Non-State Entities, which released a new report during COP 27. The report states that high-quality carbon credits cannot replace the emissions reductions required to achieve net-zero targets. Instead, carbon credits can only be counted as efforts to reduce emissions outside the scope of the company's own operations.



Nature-Based Solutions in the Spotlight

At COP 27, Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) were discussed for the first time and included in the closing decision of the UN climate negotiations. This decision encourages governments and businesses to consider NBS or ecosystem-based approaches while ensuring relevant social and environmental protection.


Outside of this decision, the Forest and Climate Leader's Partnership (FCLP) has brought together 28 countries (and growing) to restore forests by 2030. Indonesia is one of the countries that announced a partnership to work together on forest conservation at COP 27.


Of the $12 billion pledged by the UN at COP 26 to protect, restore, and sustainably manage forests for five years (2021-2026), partner countries have announced that $2.67 billion has been used. In addition, countries such as Germany and private companies have contributed grants to the project with a total of $9.2 billion for forest protection and restoration, including the use of carbon credits and the allocation of funds to philanthropic foundations.


What to Expect at the COP28 Summit in Dubai

Journey to COP28

The upcoming COP 28 Summit in Dubai holds several significant implications for businesses worldwide. A closer look at the key anticipated outcomes reveals a transformative landscape for industries across sectors.


Global Stocktake: A Turning Point for Business Strategies

The first-ever review of progress since the Paris Agreement's inception in 2015, the Global Stocktake, is set to reshape business strategies and commitments towards climate action. Businesses must stay abreast of the stocktake's findings to align their operations and goals accordingly.


Earth Systems Transformation: Ushering in New Opportunities

COP 28 aims to revolutionize major Earth systems, encompassing energy, food and land use, and cities. This transformation paves the way for unprecedented regulations and opportunities for businesses operating within these sectors.


Climate Finance: Fueling Renewable Energy Transition

Developed nations are expected to increase financial support to the Global South, enabling the transition to renewable energy sources. This surge in funding will undoubtedly create new markets and demand for businesses in the renewable energy sector.


Fossil Fuel Phase-Out: A Looming Paradigm Shift

The potential decision to phase out fossil fuels by 2050 will have far-reaching consequences for businesses in the energy sector. Businesses must adapt and prepare for this transition to ensure their long-term sustainability.


Adaptation Measures: Embracing Climate Resilience

The push for a comprehensive framework for the Global Goal on Adaptation will drive demand for businesses offering solutions to adapt to climate change. Businesses that develop innovative adaptation solutions will find themselves at the forefront of this growing market.


Inclusion: Fostering Equitable Business Practices

COP 28's emphasis on inclusion will likely lead to a stronger focus on equitable business practices and corporate social responsibility. Businesses must embrace inclusive practices to align with this evolving landscape.


In conclusion, the COP 28 Summit in Dubai presents a transformative opportunity for businesses to adapt, innovate, and thrive in a rapidly changing climate landscape. By understanding and anticipating the key outcomes, businesses can position themselves for success in a sustainable future.



References:

Chatting, M., I. Al-Maslamani, M. Walton, M. W. Skov, H. Kennedy, Y. S. Husrevoglu and L. Le 2022. Future Mangrove Carbon Storage Under Climate Change and Deforestation. Frontiers in Marine Science. 9 (781876) : 1 - 14. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2022.781876


UK Parlianment. What was agreed at COP27?. Retrieved October 23, 2023, from https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/what-was-agreed-at-cop27/.








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