COP28: Get your daily COPTake

Published 30 November 2023

The expectations around COP28 are enormous because of the urgency with which we need to act on climate change. This will be made clear in the results of the first Global Stocktake - outlining the status of government commitments and whether enough is being done to meet the Paris Agreement’s 1.5 degrees target.

As the conference unfolds our experts will be providing their COPTakes on key moments and updates throughout in our COPTake video series.

Day 1 COPTake - Sheri Hickok

Kicking off our COPTake series, our CEOSheri Hickok delivers a simple message to companies - it is time for the private sector to step up and close the growing emissions gap.

As Sheri explains, private-sector climate action is more critical than ever to plug the emissions gap and is being demanded by investors and consumers. Our latest data exploring the climate commitments of the Fortune Global 500 found that despite a steady rise in climate commitments following the Paris Agreement in 2015, in the last year, the number of companies with a significant climate commitment has stagnated at around 66%. More concerning is that there was no increase in 2030 commitments in the last year, staying at 42%. This needs to change. 

The good news is that our data also found three clear markers from the companies in the Fortune Global 500 making the most positive impact on emissions today and other businesses can follow their lead by:

  • Measuring and reporting on emissions 
  • Setting ambitious climate targets - 2030 or sooner
  • Making climate someone’s job by employing a Chief Sustainability Officer or equivalent

And the best bit is that it pays - companies that reduced reported emissions year over year earned on average nearly $1bn more in profit than their Fortune Global 500 peers.

Day 2 COPTake - Jonathan Shopley

It's day 2 at COP28 and world leaders have landed - listen as our Managing Director of External Affairs, Jonathan Shopley talks through who's there and what can we expect to hear from them.

Along with insights on world leaders' COP28 agendas, you will have heard Jonathan talk about our focus on Article 6 and its evolution. 

We want this COP to unlock Article 6's full potential and do what it was designed to do - allow countries to cooperate to meet more ambitious climate targets through the purchase and sale of carbon credits. 

It allows countries to determine which parts of the carbon markets they want to tap into to meet their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) – countries’ self-defined mitigation goals, forming the basis of plans to meet the Paris Agreement’s objectives. The importance of meeting NDCs will only increase as the results of the stocktake are revealed and we must give countries access to all climate tools to achieve these goals – Article 6 being critical to this.

Will COP28 dot the remaining i's and cross the remaining t's of Article 6?

Days 3 & 4 COPTake - Teresia Kariuki

What does Teresia Kariuki, our Carbon Asset Developer in Kenya, have to say on the first-ever Health Day at a COP? A day when more than 40 million health professionals from around the globe joined the call to action by the World Health Organization and civil society organizations, to prioritize health in climate negotiations.

As Teresia shared, the first-ever Health Day at COP recognizes the undeniable link between health and climate change. A key topic on the agenda was promoting health arguments for climate action and health co-benefits of mitigation. 

For us, clean cooking and clean water projects are clear examples of the intersection between health and climate impacts:

  • Nearly 1 in 3 people across the world still do not have access to clean cooking technology - with about 40% of these people in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • More than 1 billion tonnes of carbon emissions each year comes from burning wood to cook - contributing to 4 million deaths per year from indoor air pollution (more than HIV, Malaria, and Tuberculosis combined).
  • Around 2 billion people worldwide don’t have access to safe drinking water and every year, 829,000 people die from diseases directly attributable to unsafe water, inadequate sanitation, and poor hygiene practices.

Channelling finance to scale these solutions is critical and this was a hot topic at the Africa Climate Summit 2023 where we saw the Africa Carbon Markets Initiative set targets to boost Africa’s carbon credit production 19-fold by 2030, to fund the entrepreneurs and businesses that can transform the economy across the continent.

Clean cooking and clean water projects are key parts of that transformation. We now need to see the demand for these credits and deliver these health and climate solutions.

Day 5 COPTake - Jonathan Shopley

It's Day 5 of COP28 and our Managing Director of External Affairs, Jonathan Shopley, has landed in Dubai. Here he shares his updates on Finance Day or, as many are calling it, the day of the Voluntary Carbon Market owing to some big announcements.

Finance day turned out to be a big day for the Voluntary Carbon Market:

  • IETA hosted their Voluntary Carbon Market roundtable - which we attended 
  • The COP presidency also hosted its own Voluntary Carbon Market roundtable, where supportive comments were shared by the UNFCCC's Executive Secretary, the World Bank president, and the US climate envoy including a comment saying: "No developing country who wants to use voluntary carbon markets should be left behind" - we agree. 
  • Six carbon standards - Verra, Gold Standard, ACR at Winrock International, Climate Action Registry, Global Carbon Council, and Architecture for #REDD+ Transactions - announced a collaboration to increase the impact of activities under their standards.
  • VCMI, SBTI, Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol), and The Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (ICVCM), together with CDP and We Mean Business Coalition, said they will cooperate on establishing an end-to-end integrity framework that provides consistent guidance on decarbonization

All this activity is against a backdrop of ongoing Article 6 consultations - which we'll share more on soon.

Day 6 COPTake - Mo Safdar

We've reached day 6 of COP28, hear from Mo Safdar, Origination Lead in our Project Development team, as he shares his insights two important themes of the day - Just Transition and the role of Indigenous People in protecting our planet.

Mo explains the importance of designing projects with communities at their heart - from our work in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Latin America, Southeast Asia, we've know that community buy in is critical because communities and indigenous people will be the stewards of these projects for generations to come.

Day 7 COPTake - Philip Mann

The mid-point at COP28 has seen negotiations around Article 6 heating up. Hear from Dr Philip Mann, our Senior Manager of National Programs, who helps to cut through the complexities and outline how discussions are progressing.

As Philip helpfully explains, Article 6 sets out three mechanisms for voluntary cooperation to achieve the Paris Objectives, two of which allow the international transfer of carbon credits to countries or organizations that need help meeting their own climate targets. We want COP28 to unlock Article 6's full potential.

Article 6 has been hotly debated at COP28 - Philip flagged three areas of note:

  •  Article 6.4 – which is effectively the next generation Clean Development Mechanism based on a project approach - there have been very lively debates on the two recommendation documents produced by the COP designated “supervisory body.” Where they’ll land remains to be seen and we will be closely following the updates.
  • Article 6.2 - which involves government-to-government trading - we are seeing difficult discussions centred around the degree to which trades are governed centrally versus parties having autonomy and related discussions on the authorisation process. Texts relating to Article 6 have today been forwarded to the second week of COP28.
  • Active interest in Article 6 continues - being demonstrated by more countries reporting the development of carbon market approaches and by positive moves from an increasing number of countries expressing interest in creating bilateral agreements– as we have seen previously for example between Ghana and Switzerland.

And of course, as broader debate continues around fossil fuels (phase down/out), lets remember that Article 6 could play a critical role in helping the transition from fossil fuels, for example by supporting early coal plant retirement.

Day 9 COPTake - Jonathan Shopley

It's the first day of the second week and as Jonathan Shopley, our Managing Director of External Affairs explains, this is likely to be the start of some difficult negotiations.

As Jonathan explains, this is likely to be the start of some difficult negotiations as country ministers take the technical texts prepared in week one and turn them into real steps forward. How do we get from where we are now to delivering the goals of the Paris Agreement? 

As we know from the Stocktake there's a huge gap between where we are now and where we need to be and this week needs to deliver.

Days 10 & 11 COPTake - Faith Temba 

Faith Temba, our Global Sourcing Manager for Africa, gives us her COPTake for days 10 & 11 - plus a bonus reminder of an important initiative agreed earlier in the conference. 

COP28 is drawing to a close, and with so many announcements over the past two weeks there’s one that may have escaped your notice – Africa’s Green Industrialization Initiative.

As Faith explains, the initiative was launched by Kenya’s president Ruto and aims to accelerate and scale green industries and businesses across Africa, promote climate mitigation and adaptation, and catalyze economic green growth on the continent. The Initiative will activate private sector led scaling up of green industrial clusters. African leaders unequivocally embraced it as the definitive pathway for their nations' developments.

A key part of this will be developing and building a strong talent pipeline and ensuring access to the right skills and education. This was a key COP focus area over the weekend – how do we ensure access to green skills and training for youth across the world? For example, in Kenya, where there is a strong workforce and so much green innovation. 

The discussions at COP must lead to solutions to nurture and grow talent that will help scale green solutions. 

As Faith spoke the Africa Youth Summit was also taking place and we look forward to seeing the outcomes of this.