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World’s first Global Stocktake is nearing a conclusion that aims to increase ambition and accelerate climate change mitigation by informing the next round of climate action plans due in 2025. During the conference’s first week, world leaders shared their views and expectations for the global stocktake’s outcome during a series of roundtables. A total of 29 Heads of State and Government, 21 ministers, 10 high-level officials, three United Nations organizations, and eight non-governmental organizations spoke at the events.[1]

Day 7 at the COP28 witnessed leaders converging thematic discussions around ‘Urbanization, Built Environment and Transport’. Over 250 local mayors and governors met at the Local Climate Action Summit to establish the Coalition for High Ambition Multilevel Partnerships (CHAMP) and mobilize USD 467 million for urban climate action.[2] All stakeholders collectively believe that solutions presented around urban climate resilience and high-emitting industries will both contribute to the creation of safer and greener cities.

Notably, the COP Presidency hosted a Ministerial Meeting on Urbanization and Climate Change, calling upon government ministers, regional leaders, financial institutions, and non-governmental stakeholders to back the ‘Joint Outcome Statement on Urbanization and Climate Change’. This statement sets out a ten-point plan to boost the inclusion of cities in the decision-making process on climate action, supporting nations in fully integrating climate action among all levels of government. This is extremely relevant as cities contribute over 70 percent of carbon dioxide emissions, and around 90 percent of them face dangerous climate-related issues (e.g., sea level rise, stormwater runoff, urban heat islands).[3]

Dr. Sultan Al Jaber

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

Key announcements (06 December 2023)


High-emitting industrial sectors took center focus today, as the ‘Cement and Concrete Breakthrough’ (established by the UAE and Canada) and the ‘Buildings Breakthrough’ (the UNEP, France, Morocco) were announced.[4] These initiatives will help nations close the collaboration gap to decarbonize across high emitting infrastructure sectors. Many other significant nations have endorsed one or both initiatives, including the US, UK, Japan, and Germany.


Waste management was also a focal point, as the UAE hosted a high-level debate on the topic, a challenge/opportunity.[5] The UAE launched 'Waste to Zero', a multilateral coalition working together to decarbonize waste management and accelerate the circular economy.[6] The Waste MAP, the first platform which tracks global methane emissions from waste via satellite, was also publicized.[7]


Transportation was another area of focus, as emissions from the sector must fall by over 3 percent per year until 2030 to achieve climate targets.[8] To this effect, more than 30 countries, including the US, launched a declaration to support the development of a global hydrogen certification scheme.[9] The US and Canada established a collaborative task force to decarbonize the rail sector.[10] Aviation leaders also met at the Global Sustainable Aviation Forum to discuss collaborative approaches to decarbonizing air transport.[11] The UNECE’s (The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) Inland Transport Committee (ITC) announced intentions to develop an action plan to reduce transportation sector emissions by 2050.[12]


Other announcements include:

a. A report released from the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) has confirmed previous projections pegging 2023 as the hottest year ever recorded, including two days in which temperatures broke 2-degrees above pre-industrial levels, an upper target set by the Paris Accords.[13] This report underscores the urgency for global climate action, as efforts are currently lagging.

b. Parties at the conference continue to debate over the details of a COP28 deal to address fossil fuel emissions. While many (e.g., the US, EU, Colombia, Ethiopia) support some form of a fossil fuel phase-out, opposition to a full phase-out is led by Russia, Saudi Arabia, and China, who are focused on a deal which includes carbon capture technologies. Several developing nations also want equity to be addressed in any phase-out deal (i.e., first in, first out).[14]

c. Parties have reached an agreement on the Santiago Network to give technical assistance on implementation of the Loss and Damage Fund and support developing nations acutely at risk from the effects of climate change.[15] The Secretariat will be placed under the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.[16]

  1. Global Stocktake Moves Closer to a Conclusion at COP28 | UNFCCC
  2. https://twitter.com/COP28_UAE/status/1732354256403832966; https://www.cop28.com/en/cop28-uae-coalition-for-high-ambition-multilevel-partnerships-for-climate-action#:~:text=Join%20the%20Coalition%20for%20High,not%20limited%20to%20Nationally%20Determined
  3. https://www.cop28.com/en/news/2023/12/COP28-Presidency-brings-together-leaders-to-chart-new-path-forward
  4.  https://www.canada.ca/en/innovation-science-economic-development/news/2023/12/canada-and-the-united-arab-emirates-leading-global-push-for-decarbonization-of-cement.html; https://www.unep.org/news-and-stories/press-release/buildings-breakthrough-global-push-near-zero-emission-and-resilient
  5.  https://twitter.com/COP28_UAE/status/1732390073600033212; https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2023-12-05/how-cop28-could-impact-india-s-waste-to-energy-industry  
  6. https://twitter.com/COP28_UAE/status/1732395033586704450
  7. https://twitter.com/COP28_UAE/status/1732396019088793748
  8. https://www.icis.com/explore/resources/news/2023/12/06/10951339/cop28-decarbonising-the-transport-sector/
  9. https://www.energy.gov/articles/cop28-countries-launch-declaration-intent-clean-hydrogen
  10. https://www.energy.gov/articles/joint-statement-us-department-energy-us-department-transporation-and-transport-canada
  11. https://www.atag.org/news/cop28-event-highlights-the-energy-transition-for-aviation/
  12. https://unece.org/climate-change/press/cop28-unece-and-partners-highlight-need-decarbonize-inland-transport-and-how
  13. https://climate.copernicus.eu/copernicus-november-2023-remarkable-year-continues-warmest-boreal-autumn-2023-will-be-warmest-year
  14. https://www.reuters.com/world/world-divided-cop28-over-whether-end-fossil-fuel-era-2023-12-06/
  15. https://twitter.com/COP28_UAE/status/1732370576855949664
  16. https://tribune.com.pk/story/2449047/loss-and-damage-fund-secretariat-notified-under-undrr