Your 14-Day Guide to Navigating COP28 | Savoir Flair
Sustainability
Your 14-Day Guide to Navigating COP28
article ANNIE SPRATT/UNSPLASH
by Savoir Flair 12-minute read November 27, 2023

COP28 is a milestone event for the world to unite, act, and deliver.

article GASPAR ZALDO/PEXELS

From November 30 to December 12, 2023, the United Arab Emirates will be at the forefront of global climate action as it hosts the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Dubai. This pivotal event promises to be a convergence of ideas, solutions, and actions, bringing together a diverse range of stakeholders including governments, youth, business leaders, investors, civil society, frontline communities, indigenous peoples, and more. The COP28 thematic program is meticulously crafted to focus on escalating solutions essential for limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees, enhancing resilience, and mobilizing finance at scale. This year's conference is particularly significant as it aligns with the response to the Global Stocktake, a critical assessment of where the world stands in its climate action and support, identifying gaps and forging solution pathways for 2030 and beyond.

The programming each day at COP28 is built around four cross-cutting themes: Technology and Innovation, Inclusion, Frontline Communities, and Finance, ensuring a holistic approach to addressing climate change. These themes will be woven into the conference's fabric through both content and speakers, promising a comprehensive and multifaceted dialogue. The COP28 Presidency has outlined an ambitious plan of action, aimed at marrying high aspirations for negotiated outcomes with a robust agenda for real-world implementation. This plan calls upon governments and key climate stakeholders to engage actively in four critical areas: accelerating the energy transition, fixing climate finance, focusing on nature, people, lives, and livelihoods, and ensuring full inclusivity in all climate actions. COP28 is set to be not just a meeting point for discussion, but a launchpad for tangible, impactful climate action.

Don't miss the opportunity to be part of this transformative global event. Scroll down now to discover Savoir Flair’s comprehensive 14-day guide to the can't-miss events and activities at COP28, where each day brings new insights and opportunities to drive meaningful climate action.

1

Global Conference on Gender and Environment Data

November 28

The "Counting on a Sustainable Future: Global Conference on Gender and Environment Data" will begin, focusing on exploring the nexus between gender and the environment. Organized by the COP28 Presidency, UN Women, UNFCCC, WEDO, and IUCN, this conference will bring together a diverse group of stakeholders, including UN agencies, government officials, policy makers, and leaders from various sectors. Attendees can expect to learn about the latest research and initiatives at the intersection of gender and environmental issues, with insights from experts in academia, civil society, and indigenous communities.

2

Global Conference on Gender and Environment Data

November 29

On the second day of the "Counting on a Sustainable Future", discussions will continue to delve into the gender-environment nexus. Participants will have the opportunity to engage with a broad array of experts and leaders, furthering their understanding of how gender dynamics play a crucial role in environmental policy and action. The conference aims to foster collaborative approaches and innovative solutions in this vital area.

3

World Climate Action Summit

December 1

The World Climate Action Summit will convene, featuring heads of state, government officials, and leaders from various sectors, including civil society, business, and science. This summit is set to be a platform for major announcements and discussions on concrete actions and plans to scale climate action. Attendees can expect insightful discussions, particularly a panel featuring representatives from Microsoft and Google, who will discuss the role of AI in combating climate change and its ethical implications. Additionally, Dubai's RTA will present their 'Net-Zero-Emissions Public Transportation in Dubai 2050' strategy, offering insights into sustainable public transportation initiatives.

4

World Climate Action Summit

December 2

The continuation of the World Climate Action Summit will emphasize the importance of youth and underrepresented voices in the climate conversation. The Youth and Education event will highlight the role of young people and educators in shaping climate policy. Attendees will also gain valuable insights into Cleantech and the Blue Economy, with a focus on sustainable technology and ocean innovation. Furthermore, the 'Super Climate' event will explore the intersection of sustainable financing and technology, offering perspectives on how financial tools can aid in creating a carbon-neutral future.

5

Health, Relief, Recovery, and Peace

December 3

COP28 will introduce new themes focused on enhancing policies and investments for community resilience and stability. The first Health Day and climate-health ministerial will aim to build consensus on responding to climate change's impact on health systems, including discussions on necessary financing commitments. The Relief, Recovery, and Peace Day will address adapting to and managing climate-related loss and damage, with a focus on fragile and conflict-affected areas. Additionally, the Green Horizons initiative at Expo City Dubai will offer insights into the experiences of women on the climate frontlines. A special event on the impact of climate change on human health will provide attendees with scientific evidence and case studies, highlighting the health benefits of climate action and the experiences of frontline communities and vulnerable groups.

6

Finance, Trade, Gender Equality, Accountability

December 4

On December 4th, a crucial day in the climate action calendar, participants will convene to address a spectrum of issues including finance, trade, gender equality, and accountability. This event will focus on developing innovative financial strategies to bridge the climate finance gap, with a special emphasis on the needs of developing economies. Gender justice in climate action will be a key theme, promoting equal opportunities in emerging green sectors and advocating for gender-responsive financial strategies. Discussions will also highlight the importance of accountability in climate initiatives, particularly in the private sector, and examine the role of international trade as a catalyst for climate action. Sessions like "Voices and Ventures: Women Driving Climate Solutions" and "Stewards of the Earth" will spotlight the role of women as leaders and innovators in the climate dialogue. Additionally, the event will delve into the intersection of climate change and human health, exploring how AI and technology can democratize healthcare access. This session, titled "Dr (AI) Will See (All of) You Now," will address the urgent need for strengthened healthcare infrastructure in the face of environmental health challenges, bringing to the fore the importance of proactive measures and tech-driven solutions in adapting to the health impacts of climate change.

7

Energy and Industry, Just Transition, Indigenous Peoples

December 5

The day will showcase a range of innovative finance solutions, including public, private, and blended options, geared towards closing the climate finance gap and supporting developing economies. Emphasis will be placed on promoting gender-just transitions in green sectors, backed by gender-responsive finance and data. Accountability in climate action, especially in the private sector, will also be a key focus, along with exploring the role of international trade in supporting just transitions and engaging MSMEs in global supply chains. Additionally, the day will feature empowering sessions like “Empowering the Next Generation: Youth at the Forefront of Sustainability,” discussing the critical role of youth in sustainability efforts, and “Bee The Change,” a unique documentary presentation highlighting the importance of bees in ecosystem sustainability. Moreover, “The Wake-up Experience by Impact Nest” promises an immersive session combining wisdom from speakers and visual storytelling, addressing the climate crisis and potential solutions to prevent catastrophic consequences.

8

Multilevel Action, Urbanization and Built Environment, Transport

December 6

This day will unite influential local leaders, including mayors, governors, parliamentarians, business, and civil society leaders to accelerate climate action at various government and societal levels, focusing on transitioning to low-carbon and resilient built environments, sustainable waste systems, and mobility solutions. Special emphasis will be placed on urban areas, addressing the challenges posed by population growth, economic activity, and greenhouse gas emissions. The day will also feature 'Pitch@Gov,' a competition offering innovators in the UAE the chance to pitch ideas to judges, win grants, and join the MBRIF Innovation Accelerator program. Additionally, the 'Inclusive Infrastructure, Disability and Climate Change' event will highlight the need for accessibility and inclusion in urban development and climate action, particularly for persons with disabilities. This session aims to set out priority actions for disability-inclusive climate change infrastructure. Moreover, COP28 will host its first-ever Sustainable Fashion Show, showcasing climate-conscious and accessible fashion creations, emphasizing the industry's commitment to sustainability and climate action. Attendees can expect to gain actionable insights into making urban environments more sustainable, inclusive, and adaptable to climate challenges.

9

Day of Rest

December 7

COP28 will observe a traditional 'Day of Rest,' providing participants with an opportunity to reflect and recharge before entering the second week of the conference. Although there will be no official programming from the presidency, attendees can still engage in enriching activities. One such option is the 'Climate Ambassadors Programme,' designed to educate students about the COP negotiations through a mock session, offering a hands-on learning experience about the inner workings of climate negotiations. Additionally, Expo City Dubai will host 'Clips & Conversation with NatGeo.' This event includes a screening of the documentary Secrets of the Elephants, followed by a conversation with the producer and videographer behind the series. This day offers a chance for attendees to relax while still engaging in informative and thought-provoking activities related to climate action and awareness.

10

Youth, Children, Education and Skills

December 8

COP28 dedicates this day to focus on empowering the younger generation to shape future climate actions and policies. This day will address the unique challenges and impacts of climate change on children and youth, emphasizing the need for equitable representation, stronger engagement in policy-making, and strategic resource allocation. Attendees can expect to explore the avenues of youth-led innovation and entrepreneurship, the integration of young voices in policymaking, capacity-building initiatives, and educational reforms to prepare for green jobs. Key sessions include 'Skilling for Tomorrow’s Workforce' by LinkedIn, which will discuss the evolving skill requirements for a green economy and the importance of inclusivity in education and upskilling. The 'Dubai Youth Climate Dialogue + Youth Stocktake Outcomes Launch' will be a platform for sharing youth policy priorities and presenting the first-ever youth stocktake findings, aimed at enhancing youth participation in the UNFCCC process. Additionally, 'Digital Drivers' will explore how supporting women and youth in digital-driven SMEs can spur economic growth and innovative solutions for challenges like food insecurity. This day promises rich insights and actionable strategies for integrating youth and children more effectively into the global climate conversation and action.

11

Nature, Land Use, and Oceans

December 9

COP28 will focus on the vital role of conserving, restoring, and sustainably managing natural ecosystems in achieving the Paris Agreement goals. This thematic day will explore scaling robust solutions for protecting and managing ecosystems, addressing nature loss, empowering Indigenous Peoples and local communities, and creating resilient livelihoods. It will also highlight actions to unlock new financial flows and mainstream climate-nature synergies across transition plans and reporting frameworks. Participants can look forward to learning about the implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, an agreement pivotal in halting and reversing nature loss for a climate-safe future. The day will feature sessions like 'Unlocking Nature's Secrets: Digital MRV with Your Smartphone' by Agerpoint CEO Kevin Lang, demonstrating how smartphone technology, including sensors, can revolutionize environmental data collection for sustainable agriculture and biodiversity. Additionally, 'Resilience & Gender: Seeing Through the Storm' will close the gender programming at COP28, focusing on how women, despite being disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis, are crucial in shaping climate solutions and resilience-building. Attendees will gain insights into integrating gender considerations at every level of climate action.

12

Food, Agriculture, and Water

December 10

On this day, COP28 will address the critical challenges and opportunities in the food sectors amid climate change. Participants will delve into the pressure and risks climate change poses to agri-food and water systems, significant contributors to GHG emissions and freshwater consumption. The day's agenda includes discussions on innovation investment, regenerative agriculture, national transformation pathways, and financing mechanisms for sustainable food and agriculture. Sessions like 'Farmers and Traditional Producers at The Heart of Food Systems Transformation' will focus on the vital role of smallholder producers in resilience and mitigation, exploring approaches like agroecology and climate-smart agriculture. 'Sustainable Consumption, Healthy Affordable Food for All, and Reducing Food Waste' will address the need for shifting consumption patterns, promoting healthier food choices, and reducing food loss and waste, emphasizing actionable solutions for sustainable consumption. Additionally, 'The Food We Eat at COP? - Walking the Talk' will showcase COP28's approach to climate-conscious catering, serving as an educational and engaging discussion on sustainable catering practices and setting ambitious standards for future events. 

13

Final Negotiations

December 11

On December 11th, as COP28 focuses on final negotiations, there will still be opportunities for engaging activities alongside the conclusion of thematic discussions. One such notable event, 'Turning Food Waste into High-End Furniture and Fashion Items,' is designed to be inclusive, welcoming kids, youth, and participants of all backgrounds. This workshop will showcase creative methods for repurposing food waste into luxurious furniture and fashion items, emphasizing sustainability and inclusivity. Additionally, the session on 'Decarbonization through Electrification and Waste Heat Recovery Technologies' will explore the potential of green, renewable energy in high-temperature industrial processes. This session will highlight innovative technologies like electrical heaters and waste heat recovery, offering insights into how industries can effectively decarbonize and meet sustainability objectives. Attendees can anticipate a day filled with practical learning and innovative ideas, enhancing their understanding of waste management, youth involvement in sustainability, and advanced decarbonization techniques.

14

Final Negotiations

December 12

During the final phase of COP28, attendees can engage in several enriching events, despite the absence of thematic days. One key event is VoFG, a platform designed to empower young people as advocates for a sustainable future. This session will feature children aged 8 to 12 sharing their stories and perspectives with the audience, emphasizing the importance of including youth voices in climate discourse. Another significant knowledge-sharing session, 'Debrief on the COP28 Climate Talks,' will offer reflections and insights on the progress made during the talks, with a focus on climate-friendly agriculture. Additionally, 'Climate Changers: Transforming the Climate Narrative Through Inclusive Youth Voices' will delve into the critical role of young people in transforming the climate narrative. This session will highlight the experiences and insights of youth from various programs, exploring ways to empower them in driving actionable change for a sustainable future. Attendees can expect to gain valuable insights into the perspectives of young advocates and the future directions of climate action and agriculture.

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