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Day5

Day 5 of COP28 focused on the themes of ‘Finance / Trade / Gender Equality / Accountability’. COP28 President, H.E. Dr. Sultan al Jaber notably announced the Global Climate Finance Centre (GCFC). The GCFC will operate as an independent think tank and research hub – aiming to expedite the development of climate finance frameworks globally, to address obstacles hindering investment flows, and to make climate finance more accessible and cost-effective.[1] All stakeholders agree that climate finance and trade will be key tools in the climate action arsenal to achieve climate-related targets. Dr. Jaber also summarized the successes of the COP28 climate talks thus far and reaffirmed the science-backed imperative to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and keep the 1.5-degree goal an achievable reality.[2] 

Dr. Sultan Al Jaber

COP28 President-Designate,
UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change, and
Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology

Key announcements (04 December 2023)

01.

USD 57 billion across the climate agenda in just the first four days of COP28[3]. Aside from the GCFC unveiling, further initiatives and financial commitments were announced, such as the UAE also committing a further USD 272 billion in green finance.[4] The Asian Development Bank pledged USD 10 billion in climate finance for the Philippines over the next five years to support the development of carbon markets and renewables.[5] The Danish investment firm, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, also announced intentions to raise USD 3 billion for a new fund focused on renewables in emerging and middle-income countries, while the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development stated that it would include climate resilient debt clauses in new loan deals for some developing nations.[6]

02.

Accountability was another thematic area of focus, with much dialogue around holding parties accountable to past and current climate commitments. Notably, a global coalition of civil society organizations have released a report entitled the ‘2023 Fair Shares Deficit: A Civil Society Equity Review of the NDCs and 2035.’ This review assesses progress towards a sampling of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), determining that collective effort thus far has failed to meet the goals set forth by the Paris Accords. Particularly, no developed countries are presently found to be meeting their NDCs.[7] Civil society stakeholders, financial institution representatives, and officials have urged that multiple climate action instruments – including market mechanisms, regulatory action, and financial commitments – will be required to meet the 1.5-degree target, requiring cooperation and accountability across and within national economies.

03.

Discussions today around gender equality underscored how women are often the most impacted by climate change, necessitating meaningful remedial action.[8] For example, the UN launched its ‘Feminist Climate Justice: A Framework for Action’ report, underscoring how climate change is estimated to place 158 million additional women into poverty and 236 into hunger – through escalating issues such as conflict and forced migration – and calling for actions to protect women’s’ rights in the context of climate justice.[9] High-level dialogue also resulted in the announcement of the ‘Gender-Responsive Just Transitions & Climate Action Partnership’ from the COP28 Presidency, endorsed by over 60 parties. The initiative builds upon objectives from the UNFCCC’s Gender Action Plan, and includes commitments around data, finance, and equal opportunities, with implementation to be reviewed at COP31.[10] Notable among other commitments, the US also announced a slew of investments totalling USD 1.4 billion to the Women in the Sustainable Economy (WISE) Initiative, which aims to improve women’s access to employment, training, leadership roles, and financing in sustainable industries.[11]

04

4. Other key announcements include[12]:

a. The UK its first ever climate-resilient debt clauses in Senegal (Africa). Close to 73 nations together issued a call to action on adapting these clauses.

b. Formerly known as APICORP, the Arab Energy Fund committed to invest up to USD 1 billion over the next five years in decarbonization technologies. This five-year strategy leading to 2028 will support regional energy transition towards net zero goals.

  1. https://www.thenationalnews.com/climate/cop28/2023/12/04/abu-dhabi-to-set-up-global-climate-finance-centre-as-part-of-cop28-legacy/
  2. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-12-04/cop28-latest-bankers-start-talks-with-all-options-on-the-table
  3. COP28 mobilizes over $57 billion in first four days, setting the pace for a new era in climate action
  4. https://www.reuters.com/sustainability/sustainable-finance-reporting/uae-banks-pledge-200-bln-green-finance-cop28-climate-talks-2023-12-04/
  5. https://www.reuters.com/sustainability/asian-development-bank-provide-10-bln-climate-finance-philippines-2023-12-04/
  6. https://www.reuters.com/sustainability/sustainable-finance-reporting/copenhagen-targets-3-bln-emerging-market-greenfield-renewables-fund-2023-12-04/; https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/climate-finance-takes-centre-stage-cop28-climate-talks-2023-12-04/ 
  7. https://wwf.panda.org/wwf_news/press_releases/?10269966/2023-Fair-Shares-Deficit-A-Civil-Society-Equity-Review-of-the-NDCs-and-2035-Mitigation-Fair-Shares
  8. https://twitter.com/COP28_UAE/status/1731662405141213424
  9. https://www.unwomen.org/en/news-stories/press-release/2023/12/as-climate-changes-pushes-millions-of-women-into-poverty-un-women-calls-for-a-new-feminist-climate-justice-approach#:~:text=Dubai%2FNew%20York%2C%204%20December,million%20more%20women%20into%20hunger.
  10. https://www.zawya.com/en/world/middle-east/cop28-launches-partnership-to-support-womens-economic-empowerment-ensure-gender-responsive-just-transition-o2jo2x60
  11. https://www.state.gov/at-cop28-a-wise-investment-advancing-womens-participation-in-climate-efforts/; https://www.iucn.org/news/202312/cop28-funding-tackling-gender-based-violence-amid-climate-change-surpasses-16-million 
  12. https://livemint.com/news/world/cop28-day-5-live-update-president-al-jaber-fossil-fuel-science-remark-green-finance-more-declarations-gender-trade-11701694510590.html