Decisions from Dubai: A review of COP28 outcomes

By Climate Champions | December 14, 2023

A just 1.5°C transition away from fossil fuels, climate finance and nature at the heart of first Global Stocktake outcome alongside Global Goal on Adaptation and Loss and Damage Fund.

The COP28 outcome made it clearer than ever that we must transition away from fossil fuels in a just and equitable manner. It also underscored the importance of the global goal on adaptation in strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change, as well as the vital importance to protect and restore nature. The need for enhanced support and finance for developing countries was flagged as a critical enabler of climate action. 

The political declarations at COP28, the strong leadership and calls to action by non-State actors, and the negotiated response to the Global Stocktake send a strong signal to the world.

The outcome has also shown the importance of collaboration and continued contributions from cities, businesses, youth and Indigenous Peoples to turn promises into action and meaningful progress.

Now these signals must be translated into real economy transformation, reflected in updated nationally-determined contributions (NDCs), and supported by legislation and effective climate action at all levels.

The COP28 decisions set out a to-do list for Parties and partners to work together to achieve deep, rapid and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in line with 1.5 °C pathways, making an explicit reference for the first time to the need to reduce 43% of GHG emissions by 2030 and 60% by 2035 relative to the 2019 level. 

The outcome also clearly highlighted the importance of conserving, protecting and restoring nature and ecosystems and enhancing efforts to halt and reverse deforestation, in line with the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. With the operationalization of the Loss and Damage Fund with financial support, and the agreement on a Global Goal on Adaptation, Parties took important first steps to build resilience and protect the most vulnerable communities. 

Importantly, the COP28 events programme and global stocktake decisions repeatedly emphasised the central role of non-Party stakeholders. COP28 decisions welcome leadership initiatives by Parties and non-Party stakeholders, and call clearly for increased collaboration on the way forward. The outcome text specifically encourages the High-Level Champions, the Marrakech Partnership and non-Party stakeholders to consider the outcomes of the first global stocktake in future work.

Reflecting the emphasis of COP28 on inclusion, leading Indigenous Peoples, businesses, investors, cities and regions and youth brought a clear message to Dubai that they stand ready with the wisdom, capital, solutions, and insights to implement a vision of the future set out by world leaders. 

H.E. Razan Al Mubarak, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28 said: “COP28 has delivered a global commitment to transition away from fossil fuels and conserve and restore nature in order to  limit warming to 1.5 °C. It sets a clear path for Parties and the real economy to activate around these goals. COP28 has also demonstrated the importance of inclusivity. We are proud of the leadership of real economy actors from around the world – including Indigenous People, women, finance, business, cities and states, youth and civil society – who have built momentum for this outcome. I am committed to working tirelessly with all of them to support Parties to turn the declarations and outcomes here at COP28 into action, finance and solutions on the ground.”

Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP27 said: “COP28 has built on the successes of COP27, agreeing on a Global Goal on Adaptation and operationalizing the Loss and Damage Fund, securing first commitments to it, as well as witnessing a number of significant financial commitments. It has also clearly called for a just and equitable transition away from fossil fuels to limit warming to 1.5. These clear political signals and commitments must be translated into just financial flows to real projects on the ground, especially in developing countries. Our work during the last two years has helped connect climate solutions projects with financiers, proving that the solutions are there. Furthermore, we underscored the need to reform the international financial architecture and address the multiple debt crises to ensure climate finance is adequate, accessible and fair. As the facilitator of the second replenishment process of the Green Climate Fund, I am proud that the Fund reached a record-breaking funding level. We now need to mobilize the needed action among both governments and non-State actors to translate the various commitments and outcomes made at COP28 into real deliverables on the ground.”

The COP28 Action Agenda was framed around the vision of the COP28 Presidency, the 2030 goals and solutions in the 2030 Breakthroughs, the Breakthrough Agenda, and the Sharm El Sheikh Adaptation Agenda. The focus was on driving action from multiple stakeholders towards the specific, near term, real economy action needed for systemic change and to urgently close the gap to get on track for a 1.5 degree, resilient, nature positive future.  It is clear that leadership from the real economy has helped to inform the priorities and outcomes at COP.

Non-State actors at COP28 clearly demonstrated that they stand ready to deliver a rapid, just, and well-financed transition towards a net-zero economy.  Their leadership and increased ambition, action and collaboration will be critical to ensuring a strong, action-oriented, all of society response to take forward the outcomes of COP28 and turn them into tangible progress.  

The High-Level Champions remain committed to working with all parts of society, and all corners of the economy to turn political declarations and commitments at COP28 into action, finance and solutions on the ground.

See Summary of Global Climate Action at COP28 for an overview and summary of the action, progress and commitments delivered by real-economy actors.

The 2030 Climate Solutions Implementation Roadmap published by the UN Climate Change High Level Champions and Marrakech Partnership is a compilation that brings together the existing 2030 frameworks and tools developed under the leadership of the HLCs with the Marrakech Partnership including the Climate Action Pathways, 2030 Breakthroughs, Breakthrough Agenda, Sharm-El-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda and Race to Resilience and Race to Zero campaigns into a more coherent implementation roadmap. 


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