Catalyzing climate action

As we approach COP28, the stakes for our future have never been higher, nor the call to action clearer. Across the globe, increasing numbers of businesses, investors, and governments are uniting behind a shared vision: to elevate nature, ensure a just and swift energy transition, and channel financial flows to where they’re needed most.

Key to our progress is the understanding that climate action secures economic benefits and mitigates risks. Our direction is set. With nature at the heart of climate solutions, we’re aiming to unlock its potential to provide up to 30 percent of the necessary mitigation, all while building the resilience we desperately need.

Decarbonizing the power system and heavy industry has become a priority, with concerted efforts to balance supply, demand, and investment while piloting frameworks for a just transition across all regions. The financial sector is pivotal, turning net zero commitments into actual financial flows, particularly in emerging markets.

Public commitments are surging: the Race to Zero campaign now boasts nearly 13,000 members, representing a significant portion of global financial assets and population. Each member has pledged to reach net zero by 2050, with interim targets and transparent reporting paving the way.

As we lay the groundwork for COP28, the proof of progress is tangible. Businesses, investors, cities, states and regions are delivering action to:

  1. Put nature at the heart of climate solutions which could contribute up to 30 percent of our necessary mitigation response and build much needed resilience, emphasizing the importance of Indigenous People’s in leading that stewardship
  2. Decarbonizing the power system and heavy industry, tackling supply demand and investment, piloting frameworks to ensure a just transition in all regions.
  3. Turning net zero finance commitments into financial flows, especially in emerging markets, demonstrating that mitigation and adaptation projects and solutions are ripe for investment. Calling for macro financial reforms to reduce debt, and ensure public finance is being used effectively to mobilize private finance at scale needed.

The first Global Stocktake (GST) will offer a rigorous evaluation of our collective actions, informing an action plan that matches the urgency of our times.

Discover our agenda and priorities across each thematic day below.

World Climate Action Summit (WCAS)

1-2 December

    The World Climate Action Summit convenes heads of state and government, alongside leaders from civil society business, youth, Indigenous Peoples’ organizations, frontline communities, science and other sectors to discuss concrete actions and plans aimed at scaling climate action. The summit serves as an important platform for major announcements and is intended to provide momentum and guidance to the remainder of the COP.

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Health / Relief, Recovery and Peace

3 December

    These two themes – new for COPs – aim to boost policies and investments that protect lives and livelihoods and support community resilience and stability. COP28 will host the first Health Day and climate-health ministerial that aims to build consensus on priority actions for the health system’s response to climate change, paired with financing commitments for implementation. Relief, Recovery, and Peace Day will focus on accelerating adaptation, preventing and addressing loss and damage, including in fragile and conflict- affected contexts, which face severe barriers to accessing climate finance and strengthening climate action.

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Finance / Trade / Gender Equality / Accountability

4 December

    This thematic day at COP28 will focus on three key aspects: scaling up efforts, improving access, and enhancing affordability. This will involve reforms to the international financial system, the delivery of enhanced concessional support, the development of sustainable finance markets, and strengthening voluntary carbon markets. Additionally, COP28 will introduce trade as a means for climate-smart, equitable growth, including supply chain decarbonization, transition, and resilience.

    We must also address the challenges that hinder financial support for women, girls, and marginalized groups. This includes ensuring a fair transition and finding solutions to broaden access to finance. The program will also examine accountability mechanisms to turn promises and
    ambition into tangible results.

    The main objectives for this day are:

    1. Showcase a coherent and ambitious action agenda on finance with a range of public, private, and blended finance solutions to accelerate action and close the climate finance gap. These solutions will involve actions in financial and carbon markets by UAE institutions and international partners, IFIs, and Philanthropies, building on efforts taking place both inside and outside the UNFCCC process, and generate new financing resources for climate transition, and specifically for developing economies. The initiatives are designed to highlight how climate finance must be
      structured moving forward to achieve real transformation.
    2. Promote a gender-just transition by advocating for equal opportunities for decent work in impacted and emerging green sectors, supported by gender-disaggregated data and gender-responsive finance.
    3. Establish accountability by reinforcing accountability measures at COPs. This includes defining common standards and creating a foundation for greater accountability, especially for the private sector, including a high-integrity net-zero accountability and recognition system.
    4. Elevate the potential of international trade as a lever in climate action by setting the stage for the international trade community to step up their role in the design and delivery of solutions around climate action, especially around supporting a just transition and enabling market access policies or MSMEs to engage meaningfully with global supply chains and governments.

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Energy and Industry / Just Transition / Indigenous Peoples

5 December

    This day will focus on levers and pathways for rapid decarbonization, job growth, and economic opportunity and just transition across the full energy and industrial value chains. While accelerating economic opportunity and job growth taking a holistic view of the just transition and the socio-economic considerations across all sectors, including energy.

    Key topics in the energy and industry track will include massive deployment of renewable energy, greater energy efficiency, innovation and action for heavy-emitting sectors (including steel, cement, and aluminum), unlocking the potential of hydrogen, and decarbonization of oil and gas supplies, including through methane abatement and carbon management technologies.

    The day will also address universal energy access and the needs of workers across the energy sector transition and will have an additional special focus on cooling as a critical mitigation and adaptation factor.

    Indigenous Peoples Day will recognize the importance of Indigenous Peoples’ intergenerational knowledge, practices, and leadership in climate action and in stewarding planetary health, as well as mechanisms to improve their direct access to finance. The day will notably strengthen the role of Indigenous Peoples – and reinforce the urgency of a fully inclusive, all-of-society approach – in the just transition.

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Multilevel Action, Urbanization and Built Environment/Transport

6 December

    COP28 will feature a historic presence of local leaders, including mayors, governors, parliamentarians, business and civil society leaders, united to accelerate climate action across all levels of government and society. The day will also highlight solutions to transition to low- carbon and resilient built environments and infrastructure, sustainable and circular waste systems, and sustainable mobility and freight. The day will particularly look at action in urban areas, where population growth, economic activity and greenhouse gas emissions converge.

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Youth, Children, Education and Skills

8 December

    This day seeks to empower young people to shape the outcomes of COP28 and beyond, particularly considering the disproportionate risks and impacts from climate change for children and youth. The day will look at equitable representation, stronger engagement mechanisms, and resource allocation across the COP themes and policy tracks. Focuses will include investment in youth-led innovation and entrepreneurship, inclusion in policymaking processes capacity-building, and transforming education to close the skills gap for green jobs aligned with climate action.

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Nature, Land Use, and Oceans

9 December

    The conservation, restoration, and sustainable management of nature is integral for achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement.

    In seeking to transition land use and ocean systems to support climate-aligned and nature positive development, this thematic day will focus on scaling robust solutions that protect, restore and effectively manage natural ecosystems, address drivers of nature loss, empower Indigenous Peoples and local communities, and create resilient livelihoods. The day will also spotlight enabling actions that unlock new financial flows and mainstream climate-nature synergies across transition plans and reporting frameworks.

    The day will additionally showcase efforts that accelerate the implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, the recently adopted agreement that provides a clear framework for halting and reversing nature loss – to help deliver a climate-safe future.

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Food, Agriculture and Water

10 December

    Climate change is creating severe pressure and risks for the agri-food and water systems that underpin human well-being.

    At the same time, these systems are also key contributors to climate change: one-third of all human-made GHG emissions derive from agri-food systems, and 70 percent of freshwater consumed worldwide is used for agricultural production.

    Specific food and agriculture focuses include innovation investment, regenerative agriculture, and national transformation pathways, underpinned by financing mechanisms and project preparation. Water programming will also look at freshwater restoration and conservation, infrastructure for urban water resilience, and integrated governance and management of water-food systems.

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Race to Zero at COP28

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