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What are the Key Negotiated Outcomes of the COP28 that You Need to Know

Expert Opinion
This article was written by Nurul Azizah
Open on 30 November 2023 and closing one day later than the scheduled date (13 December), the COP28 negotiation track has been exciting and full of dynamics. Through this guiding question, I will take you on the journey to the key negotiated outcome of COP28 that you need to know, as it will be the foundation of discussion of climate change action.
COP28 venue, Dubai Expo City (Photo by author)
Do you think COP28 is getting us closer to our climate goals?
I believe so. There is much progress made in COP28, one of which is the first-time reference for transitioning away from fossil fuels. Also, it calls on the Parties to enhance, strengthen, and accelerate the previously committed effort, to reduce emissions and inline their NDC with 1,5 degrees pathways, in a nationally determined manner and taking into account different national circumstances, pathways, and approaches.

There are several outstanding issues from the previous COP that are resolved or making progress in COP28. Decision on the outcome of the first global stocktake to assess and lay out the plan to close the gaps of implementation of the Paris Agreement, operationalization of funding arrangements and fund of loss and damage, adoption of UAE Framework for Global Climate Resilience; also the delivery and progression of Work Programme on Just Transition and Mitigation Work Programme. All these decisions are come by the package named ‘UAE Consensus’
Which particular themes/topics/solutions gained your interest during the COP28? What makes you interested in this particular matter?
The topics of climate change adaptation and responding to loss and damage always spark my curiosity. Almost always the secondary themes besides climate change mitigation, the discussion of adaptation and loss and damage does require more attention (and support).

It uplifts the mood that on the very first day of the COP28, the decision regarding operationalization of funding arrangement and fund of the loss and damage is adopted; making it one of the many ‘first’ in the COP process. Adoption of the decision on Day 1! Especially when it is one of the major themes, that has undergone a long and hard-fought negotiation raised by most vulnerable countries demanding financing for loss and damage.

And that, in fact, is the reality of adaptation and loss and damage support. The complexity of the problem captured my attention. When we talk about adaptation finance, for example, it is more difficult to define, track, and estimate, and doesn’t bring more immediate and certain financial return, in comparison with mitigation finance. You have to think beyond the near-term incentives to solve the issues of adaptation and responding to loss and damage. It is, maybe, easier to discuss mitigation action, because it tends to incline to economic potential and incentives.

It is, perhaps, a test for us to become more selfless, and caring for others beyond one’s self-interest.
The 6th Plenary Meeting of COP28/CMP18/CMA5, 13 Desember 2023 (Photo by author)
There are many ‘firsts’ in COP28, one of them that impresses me is the appointment of Youth Climate Champion (YCC) which aims to connect the COP Presidency leadership and youth stakeholders. Here, the COP28 Presidency actively gives a platform for young people to amplify the voice of the youth into UNFCCC process.

So what kind of activities does YCC hold? Funding and training of the youth negotiator, facilitating open and free policy capacity building, and conducting a series of (global, regional, local) consultations with youth, to name a few. Also, to walk the talk, indeed more than half of the UAE negotiators are under 35 years old.

Even more encouraging, the role of youth is institutionalized by the adoption of the decision regarding the Presidency Youth Climate Champion, and become one of the six key negotiated outcomes of COP28 called ‘UAE Consensus’ which addresses the main issues of the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Continuing the practice in COP28, there will be a Youth Climate Champion in every future COP.

At the next COP, I hope the YCC and young people will be able to maintain dan optimize this great momentum to engage in meaningful participation and input for the policy-making process of the UNFCCC. The paths are already paved, this time we have to make sure that our ideas, views, and concrete solutions be part of the policy of our future.
How does COP enhance Indonesia’s climate action?
COP surely enhances Indonesia’s climate action by giving the outline guidance on how to collectively achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement; on how to work together with other Parties and stakeholders through international cooperation. Especially for COP28, the outcome of the first global stocktake has to inform Indonesia’s second Nationally Determined Contribution, that currently being developed. Our second NDC has to demonstrate the spirit of updating and enhancing action and support to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, in a nationally determined manner.

About the Author

Nurul is a International Convention Analyst at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, based in Jakarta. Studied in International Relations major, previously worked in state-owned financial institutions, and currently working in the public sector, making a convenient combination of knowledges to help her contribute on the discussion of climate change policy.
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