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cop28 inogen alliance team

Looking back on COP28 in Dubai, it's clear that this conference generated its fair share of controversy and raised concerns about the perceived lack of action. However, amid the debates and discussions, significant outcomes and progress did emerge. The prevailing sentiment in the headlines is that incremental changes and small steps are not an option; the global climate crisis demands more substantial actions.


It's important to recognize the intricacies involved in convening such a global event. COP28 brought together an array of stakeholders, including government officials and diplomats, to grapple with exceptionally intricate, technical, and politically sensitive issues. These challenges transcend geographical and political boundaries, making consensus-building a formidable task.


Record attendance and participation was noted, underscoring the gravity of the climate challenge and the acknowledgement from different stakeholder groups. Youth delegates played a significant role in amplifying the urgency of climate action, injecting fresh perspectives and energy into the discussions. Additionally, the private sector demonstrated a heightened commitment to climate initiatives, signaling a growing recognition of the shift from voluntary to required business opportunities inherent in sustainability.


To gain a more comprehensive understanding of the outcomes and insights from this crucial event, let's explore some external news and perspectives on the topic as well as insights from our team that was on the ground at COP28 for the first time as Inogen Alliance with a side event coordinated with our Associate Sustainera from Azerbaijan with presenters including Antea Brasil, Integral, Egypt; and Tonkin + Taylor New Zealand.


Hilton Lucio, Antea Brasil and Ilkin Haji, Sustainera Azerbaijan


The Biggest Actions from COP28

  • More than $57bn was mobilized to counteract climate change, including energy, nature, finance, food and health
  • Countries agree to transition away from fossil fuels – the beginning of the end
  • Oil & Gas Decarbonization Charter was launched with 40% of global oil companies signing 
  • Over 120 countries backed the COP28 UAE Climate and Health Declaration
  • 118 countries have pledged to triple the world’s global renewable energy capacity within the next seven years
  • A reduction in cooling related emissions was agreed
  • The Loss and Damage Fund was formalised, and contributions commenced
  • Agreement on the Global Goal on Adaptation and framework
  • FAO develops roadmap to combat hunger, with 120 key actions and milestones identified


High Level Insights on COP28:


Youth-Led Initiatives: Young climate activists played a prominent role at COP28, demanding ambitious climate targets and holding leaders accountable. This COP also saw the institutionalization of a Youth Climate Champion role into future COP presidencies. 


Private Sector Pledges: Many major corporations and businesses made substantial pledges and commitments to reduce their carbon footprint and transition to more sustainable practices. 


Global Climate Financing: Discussions on climate finance were a central theme at COP28. Many nations and organizations pledged funds to support developing countries in their climate adaptation and mitigation efforts. The Green Climate Fund received a boost, with total pledges currently standing at US$12.8 billion and expected to increase. These funds play a crucial role in financing climate mitigation and adaptation efforts.


Adaptation and Resilience: The urgency of addressing adaptation and building climate resilience gained prominence at this conference. Experts and leaders stressed the need to not only reduce emissions but also prepare for the inevitable impacts of a changing climate. Agreements were reached on targets for the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) and its framework, emphasizing the importance of resilience and the need for financial, technological, and capacity-building support.


Technological Innovations: COP28 showcased various technological advancements and innovations aimed at combating climate change. These solutions range from renewable energy technologies to carbon capture and storage initiatives.

cop28 inogen alliance event
Amr Osama Abdel-Aziz, Integral Egypt

Summary of Negotiations Outcomes


  1. Loss and Damage:

COP28 operationalized the loss and damage funding which was established in COP 27 in Sharm El Sheikh. The fund will be hosted in the World Bank and pledges of around $730million has been secured in Dubai. The fund will  aid nations facing severe climate change impacts. The allocated pledges so far are much lower than the value needed to address the loss and damage.


2. Climate Finance Target:

COP28 sets the floor to finalize the agreement of the new collective quantified goal (NCQG) on climate finance at COP29. The agreement will include drafting a post-2025 finance target, in order to replace the $100 billion previously pledged by developed countries to finance mitigation and adaptation actions in developing countries. However, the language for the NCQG to consider the needs for NDC and NAPs implementation was weakened in the final version of the text and was criticized by developing countries.


3. Global Goal on Adaptation:

COP28 sets 2030 as a date for targets on water security, food security, ecosystem restoration, infrastructure, cultural heritage, and health. In addition, the need to significantly scale up adaptation finance beyond doubling was included in the final text. The final text was criticized for having weak language regarding the targets without quantification, timelines, scaling up of the adaptation finance, and closing the adaptation gap.


4. Global Stocktake 

COP28 witnessed the first-ever “global stocktake” under the Paris Agreement, and for the first time in a COP history there was a decision that explicitly calls for “transitioning away from fossil fuels”. The text was criticized for not including “phasing out” of fossil fuels, for having weak text regarding the phasing down of unabated coal, and for not including near-term targets for fossil fuels other than the net zero goal by 2050. The text also included global targets for tripling renewable energy capacity globally and doubling the global average annual rate of energy efficiency improvement by 2030. Moreover, accelerating other zero and low emission technologies such as nuclear and carbon capture and storage/utilization were included as global targets but without time frame.


5. Carbon Markets:

COP28 leaves critical questions on carbon markets unanswered. This includes delaying decisions on how the various types of carbon credits (especially the ones away from the UN-governed carbon market) will be supervised; hence, impacting the credibility of emission-reducing projects. 


6. Just Transition:

COP28 adopted a decision to operationalize the just transition work program, which was established in COP 27 in Sharm El Sheikh. The work program will focus on just and equitable transition pathways that include energy, socioeconomic, workforce and other dimensions in addition to approaches to enhancing adaptation and climate resilience. However, the text was criticized by developing countries since it did not include strong language on support for just transition.


7. Nature-Based Solutions:

COP28 integrates nature-based solutions into climate goals, setting a promising 2030 deforestation goal and recognizing the vital role of ecosystems in climate adaptation and noting the need for enhanced support to achieve such goal.



Inogen Alliance COP28 insights:


Brett Ogilvie, Tonkin + Taylor

brett ogilvie tonkin + taylor

COP28 witnessed a significant increase in attendance, with 90,000-100,000 registered participants in the Blue Zone. This exclusive zone was reserved for invitees representing governments that signed the UNFCCC or registered NGOs, and a limited number of private sector representatives. The private sector had a significant presence in the Green Zone, resembling a trade show dedicated to climate change-related products and services.

The surge in attendance, doubling since COP26, can be attributed to heightened private sector engagement. Businesses are recognizing both the urgency of climate action and the opportunities it presents. COP serves as a platform for collaboration and problem-solving among diverse stakeholders.

The first Global Stocktake (GST) underscored the pressing need to cut global greenhouse gas emissions by 43% by 2030, compared to 2019 levels, to limit global warming to 1.5°C. However, it also highlighted that Parties are falling short of their Paris Agreement commitments. The GST calls for a global-scale increase in renewable energy capacity and energy efficiency improvements, along with phasing out coal power and fossil fuel subsidies, emphasizing an equitable transition.

At COP there are hundreds of events and side meetings between the Green and Blue Zones. One that stood out to me, to give an example of one specific topic and event, was the Global Renewables Alliance (GRA)/International Renewable Energy Association (IRENA) joint event: Global Offshore Wind Alliance (GOWA) Ministerial event, Charting the Course of Offshore Wind Energy.  The purpose of this event was to reaffirm collective commitment to tripling offshore wind.  The newest members to GOWA include the European Commission and Brazil.

The government of Denmark spoke about how Denmark had the planet’s first offshore windfarm. They didn’t listen to the voices who said it was impossible. Romania is looking to be the first country with offshore wind in the Black Sea.

The Netherlands is Chair of North Sea Co-operation, and together they want to launch the North Sea as an energy powerhouse for NW Europe. They emphasized the need to look at whole value chain for wind energy and the importance of biodiversity. 

Brazil was excited to join GOWA, with 90 offshore wind projects under permitting at the moment and 700 GW of offshore wind potential off their coast. 

Ocean Conservancy is the first non-profit member of GOWA, supporting rapid, responsible and just deployment of offshore wind.  They called for concessionary finance for the developing world to address climate and biodiversity crises hand in hand.   

Other events delivered by IRENA/GRA included a focus on transmission networks as an enabler for energy transition, and the ability of private sector finance and expertise to support their development.  “Without transmission, there’s no transition” was a theme that resonated with me.

Bringing it back to the overall themes and actions of COP 28, parties are urged to set ambitious, economy-wide emission reduction targets aligned with the 1.5°C limit in their upcoming climate action plans by 2025. While there was no firm commitment to phase out fossil fuels, the conference marked a significant turning point, signaling the "beginning of the end" for fossil fuels and a lot of discussion around renewable energy sources.

In summary, while COP 28 faced its share of challenges and criticisms, it marked a critical milestone in the global effort to combat climate change. The need for more substantial actions, the active participation of youth and the private sector, and the focus on adaptation and resilience all underscore the evolving nature of the climate conversation. While challenges remain, the conference marked a significant step forward in the global effort to combat climate change.


Michelle Meaclem, Tonkin + Taylor

michelle meaclam tonkin + taylor

There is still a lack of meaningful inclusion of marginalized communities, including young people, at decision- and policy-making tables, despite their critical role in climate action. However, it was encouraging to see and hear about the different initiatives being driven by young people at local, national, regional and international levels at various youth-led events at COP28. Furthermore, the Youth Climate Champion role was institutionalized at COP28, ensuring that future COP presidencies facilitate participation of youth.

Infrastructure and cities at COP

For the first time, there was a thematic day on multi-level action and urbanization (as well as health/relief, recovery, and peace). Cities drive 70% of global emissions and currently, approximately 55% of the world’s population live in urban areas. It is projected that by 2050, the figure will increase to 70%. Engineers have a critical role to play, in collaboration with other sectors, to shape sustainable urban environments that align with our global climate goals.  

The importance of multi-level climate action was highlighted in the initiative launched by the COP28 Presidency and Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Coalition for High Ambition Multilevel Partnerships (CHAMP). On the thematic day of Multilevel action, Urbanization and the Built environment, and Transportation, the Ministerial Meeting on Urbanization and Climate Change reinforced the importance of multi-level climate action to achieve the Paris Agreement targets and also discussed how local climate finance could be accelerated to facilitate a multi-disciplinary and integrated approach for climate action. As part of this event, there were ‘2+2’ interventions, where a subnational and a national representative gave joint interventions to showcase examples of multilevel climate partnerships. 

I also had the opportunity to provide opening remarks in the COP28 Presidency High Level event on “Accelerating Urban Water Resilience: Innovative Finance for Urban Water Utilities”, along with H.E Jochen Flasbarth and H.E. Saeed Mohammed Ahmad Al Tayer on the thematic day of Food, Agriculture and Water. Water utilities are underinvested – only 3.16% of climate finance goes to water. There are significant challenges which the public and private sectors need to overcome rapidly to deliver safe and climate resilient water utilities. This event showcased some partnerships that have driven innovation and investment in urban water resilience. 

Although the outcomes of COP may not have been as ambitious as what was hoped for, it was good to see agreements for the Loss and Damage Fund, the Global Goal on Adaptation, and a transition away from fossil fuels as a start. I was also encouraged by the work of civil society, youth, cities, and the private sector in raising climate ambition that was shown at COP28.


Read more about the Inogen Alliance side event at COP28 here, and watch for more to come in 2024 with COP29 being hosted in Baku, Azerbaijan. 


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