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COP28 - time for impact

Countries, corporations, and civil society are convening in Dubai to jointly answer the question: is the global community on track to meet 1.5°C?

The task at hand for COP28 - solving the global climate crisis.

Attendees will be negotiating and collaborating to drive forward global impact, conscious actions, and sustainable innovations.

Because the time for ambition and change is now - to create lasting climate impact.

The ABCs of COP

A climate policy glossary

What is COP?

Countries, corporations, and civil society come together yearly at COP to determine progress and regulate how to respond to the climate crisis.

What is the Paris Agreement?

The Paris Agreement regulates how countries act in mitigating and adapting to climate change. Most importantly, it tasks them with limiting global warming to 1.5°C with their NDCs.

What is an NDC?

The Paris Agreement sees countries setting national climate goals to achieve its targets: Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)

What is Article 6 of the Paris Agreement?

Article 6 defines the rules of engagement for international compliance carbon markets

What happened at COP27?

What happened last year and what will be decided at COP28?


Climate talks: Looking ahead for Latin America - Mauricio Mira Ponton on carbon market paradigm shifts and “sparking the fire“ of climate action

Mauricio Mira on the top topics for carbon markets in the region.


Article 6 and electric buses in Thailand: how carbon markets speed up the net zero transition

What does it take to get the first Asian carbon project under Article 6 authorised? Karolien Casaer-Diez, Article 6 expert at South Pole, explains.


Climate talks: Accelerating action in Asia-Pacific

Karolien Casaer-Diez shares the hot topics around climate action in Asia Pacific, and how to prime global markets to accelerate the transition to a global low-carbon economy.


Climate talks: countdown to COP28. Ermenegilda Boccabella on anticipations for COP, insights into the global stocktake, and the cost of inaction

We spoke to our new head of Public Affairs, Ermenegilda Boccabella, about the Global Stocktake and her expectations and insights ahead of COP28.


Climate talks: Dennis Onono on the potential offered by innovative sustainable technology projects in Africa

Ahead of Africa Climate Week, South Pole spoke to Dennis Onono about the top topics affecting carbon and beyond in Africa today, from climate finance to the most innovative climate action projects.

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What does COP stand for?

It stands for Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Established in 1994, it is the first international treaty governing the global response to climate change. Every year all countries that signed it come together to review and/or update, taking forms of the Paris Agreement for example.


What is the Paris Agreement?

The first legally binding global treaty on climate change, the Paris Agreement, was agreed at COP21 in Paris in 2015. Since then, almost all countries in the world have committed to its goal of limiting global average temperature rise to no more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, and strengthening everyone's ability to adapt and build resilience to the growing effects of climate change.

The Paris Agreement sees countries setting national targets (so-called NDCs - see below) to achieve this goal, as well as setting up mechanisms for countries to cooperate across the globe (see section on Art. 6)


What is an NDC?

Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are a key feature of the Paris Agreement and will be an important subject for discussion at COP28. NDCs are a type of pledge: they represent the climate actions that countries will take to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and limit global warming to 1.5°C. As current pledges are insufficient, more ambitious ones – accompanied by policies and actions to drive measurable impact – are urgently needed.

To achieve these national climate commitments, countries can voluntarily cooperate using the mechanisms defined under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement (please see above for an explanation). Discussing how this should work in detail will be part of the discussions in Dubai.


What is Article 6 of the Paris Agreement?

The Paris Agreement recognises that countries can – and should – cooperate to meet their national climate targets (NDCs). But some countries emit more, and others emit less, so Article 6 creates an international carbon market to trade 'mitigation outcomes,' making it easier to foster impact on a global scale.

It works like this: Countries that can achieve emission reductions at a lower cost, can sell these "mitigation outcomes" to the countries that face much higher costs to reduce their emissions. Here are some examples of Article 6 pilot projects in action.

Another factor that makes Article 6 uniquely important is that it harnesses the power of the private sector to transform the global economy and lower emissions in the long term. Decarbonization projects, new climate technologies, and integral innovations are primed for investment from both the public and the private sectors - channeling finance for climate mitigation and adaptation.

What do we expect at COP28 for Article 6?

More implementation, more collaboration, and more systems.

At COP28, we can expect to see more discussion around the details of implementing Article 6 what will shape the collaboration between the voluntary carbon markets and NDCs, and which systems need to be put in place to enable robust international carbon market(s) that work for everyone.


The key takeaways from COP27

  • The global community established a Loss and Damage fund to support those countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
  • While some expected it to be an 'implementation' COP, the issue of phasing out fuels was not fully addressed. Action on Article 6, for example, which is a key component of the Paris Agreement, was incremental at a time when it needed to be exponential.

What will be decided this year?

The focus of COP28 will be on fine-tuning Article 6 rules to accelerate global collaboration on reaching global goals, act on the outcomes of the first global stocktake, and review just transition mechanisms. Lawmakers will also likely decide on the amount for the Loss & Damage fund, established at COP27, which provides for the most vulnerable countries to climate change.

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