COP 28: Navigating the Climate Action Roadmap – Insights from the 28th Conference of Parties For UPSC

The 28th Conference of Parties (COP-28) convened in Dubai, UAE, witnessed representatives from 197 countries unveiling initiatives to combat global warming. This article delves into the outcomes and concerns emanating from COP-28, emphasizing the need for prompt action to fulfill commitments and effectively address climate change challenges.

For Prelims: Conference of Parties (COP-28), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Paris Agreement, Global Stocktake, Global Goal on Adaptation, Climate Finance, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Renewable Energy

For Mains: About COPs, Key Outcomes of COP 28, Key Concerns and Way Forward

Key Outcomes of COP 28 (2023):

Global Stocktake Text:

The COP-28 marked a substantial step forward since the Paris Agreement, proposing eight steps in the Global Stocktake (GST) to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. This includes a call to triple global renewable energy capacity and double energy efficiency improvements by 2030, along with a substantial reduction in non-CO2 emissions, particularly methane, by 2030.

Transitioning Away from Fossil Fuels:

COP28 emphasized a just, orderly, and equitable transition away from fossil fuels, aiming for net zero by 2050, signaling a potential conclusion to the fossil fuel era.

Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA):

The focus on enhancing adaptive capabilities and minimizing vulnerability for sustainable development led to a call for doubling adaptation finance. Specific 2030 targets for water security, ecosystem restoration, and health were integrated into the text.

Climate Finance:

Addressing climate finance, the COP-28 aimed to establish a new collective quantified goal before 2025, starting at a floor of USD 100 billion per year, with allocations for mitigation, adaptation, and loss and damage.

Loss and Damage Fund:

An agreement to operationalize the Loss and Damage (L&D) fund was reached, with earmarked percentages for Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States, initially overseen by the World Bank.

Global Renewables and Energy Efficiency Pledge:

Signatories committed to tripling global renewable energy capacity to 11,000 GW by 2030 and doubling the global average annual rate of energy efficiency improvements.

Global Cooling Pledge for COP 28:

66 national government signatories pledged to reduce cooling-related emissions by at least 68% globally relative to 2022 levels by 2050.

Declaration to Triple Nuclear Energy:

A declaration aimed to triple global nuclear energy capacity by 2050 was launched at COP28.

Major Engagements of India in COP 28:

Green Credit Initiative:

India introduced the Green Credit Initiative to incentivize pro-planet actions, issuing Green Credits for plantations on waste/degraded lands and river catchment areas.

Phase II of Leadership Group for Industry Transition (LeadIT 2.0):

This phase focuses on inclusive and just industry transition, technology transfer, and financial support for emerging economies.

Global River Cities Alliance (GRCA):

Led by the National Mission for Clean Ganga, GRCA highlights India’s role in sustainable river-centric development and climate resilience.

Quad Climate Working Group (QCWG) on Localised Climate Action:

The event emphasized the role of local communities and regional governments in supporting sustainable lifestyles.

Key Concerns:

Lack of Specific Timelines for Fossil Fuel Phase-out:

The agreement lacked clear and urgent plans for fossil fuel phase-out, using vague language without specific timelines or targets.

No Specified Targets on Tripling of Global Renewable Energy:

The COP-28 agreement called for contributions to the global target without clarifying how individual countries would ensure the tripling of their renewable energy capacity.

No Clear Mechanisms for Achieving Adaptation Goals:

The adaptation draft fell below the expectations of developing countries, lacking details on how objectives would be realized or funded.

Lack of Accountability on Financial Commitments:

There is currently no established mechanism to hold governments and institutions accountable for fulfilling their climate financing commitments.

Varying Interpretations on Climate Finance:

Data on climate finance flows are compiled using various methodologies, leading to varying interpretations and potential double counting.

Resistance over Phase-down of Coal:

India, China, South Africa, and others resisted stipulating no new coal-fired power plants without carbon capture and storage.

Concerns over Methane Emission Cuts:

The agreement’s call to reduce methane emissions by 2030 raises sensitivity, particularly regarding agricultural patterns in countries like India.

Way Forward:

Commit to Climate Finance Targets:

Bilateral donors must fulfill climate finance commitments, integrating them into national development plans.

Clear Roadmaps and Timelines:

Develop detailed roadmaps with specific timelines, establishing interim goals for accountability and fostering commitment.

Enhanced National Action Plans (NDCs):

Countries should revise and strengthen their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) across sectors like energy, transportation, agriculture, and industry.

Legislation and Policy Support:

Enact and strengthen domestic legislation and policies supporting climate targets, integrating climate considerations into existing laws.

Capacity Building:

Invest in capacity building at local, national, and international levels, providing training and resources for effective climate action implementation.

International Cooperation:

Facilitate the transfer of climate-friendly technologies, share experiences, and promote best practices to accelerate environmentally friendly solutions adoption.


COP-28 signifies a crucial step in the battle against climate change, demanding collective determination and unwavering commitment. The global community must embrace determined contributions, forge genuine partnerships, and work towards building a sustainable and resilient future.

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