Get your COPTake: What are we looking for ahead of COP28?

Published 21 November 2023

In the year since COP27, extreme weather conditions have hit every corner of the globe – soaring temperatures, droughts, floods, wildfires – this discomfort must serve as an impetus for rapid change. So, with a lot riding on it, what must COP28 achieve to ensure real progress against global climate goals? And, during a conference dominated by government dialogue and objectives, how can business ensure their voice is heard?

Our managing director of external affairs, Jonathan Shopley, shared his insights during our pre-COP webinar – follow the link below to download and be in the know ahead of the conference (30 November – 12 December).

Special event: Join us for our Final COPTake - a fireside chat with our team about what they witnessed at COP28 and what this will mean for corporates and project developers moving forward. Register to attend on Thursday December 14th.

A spectre looms over COP28 

The result of the Global Stocktake - outlining the status of government commitments and whether enough is being done to meet the Paris Agreement’s 1.5 degrees target – casts a haunting shadow over COP28. 

We know it will deliver the uncomfortable truth that we’re not on track for 1.5 degrees, but just how far we’ve strayed is yet to be revealed. The outcome will set the tone for the remainder of COP28. Will it create an atmosphere of high ambition, with commitments and pathways to urgent implementation? 

This is an opportunity for the private sector to do its own stocktake and identify where it can and should step up to close the emissions gap - leveraging the opportunities to engage with governments, collaborate across sectors, and finance the action and innovation required to deliver impactful solutions.  

It cannot be stressed enough that we can no longer only talk about climate action as a future target, COP28 must be the catalyst to real action now across both public and private sectors.  

Article 6: we need full implementation now  

Article 6, formed as part of the 2015 Paris Agreement, has yet to be fully operationalized. It was designed to 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, and in particular: 

  • Article 6.2 - which enables countries to trade emissions reductions and removals with one another. This is in the implementation phase, with one transaction - between Ghana and Switzerland - authorized.  
  • Article 6.4 - a mechanism for the establishment of a global carbon credit market, overseen by a COP designated “supervisory body.” This still needs to be defined, with the first transactions not expected until before 2025. 

At COP28 we are asking for the final i’s to be dotted and t’s to be crossed on Article 6 – unlocking its full potential and enabling initiatives, that should give cause for great hope, such as: 

Setting a precedent for tackling fossil fuels 

Coal combustion is the largest contributor to climate change and tackling it will set a precedent for how we shift away from all fossil fuels. By COP28 it is anticipated that several initiatives will unveil their plans for methodologies to use finance from carbon credits to incentivize developing countries to retire coal plants and replace them with cleaner power.  All while protecting the livelihoods of those working in the coal sector.  

A fully operational Article 6, backed by strong demand, will be key to these initiatives' success and ensuring that the developing countries reliant on coal are fairly compensated to enable them to make the long-term shift. 

Advancing Africa as a destination for green growth and climate investment 

With ample natural resources, access to critical minerals, and a young workforce, Africa’s potential as the engine for global green growth is untapped. The Africa Carbon Markets Initiative (ACMI) has 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. The ambition is high, but the potential supply of credits must be matched by demand – we need more countries to engage and signal their interest.  

    Providing a carbon reduction blueprint for high emitting sectors 

    Acknowledging its emissions impact, the aviation sector has unveiled ambitious climate plans, with Article 6 central to achieving them. Collaborative approaches that use compliance mechanisms such as CORSIA for airlines, are essential to deliver the transformation of high emitting sectors, such as aluminium and steel.

      Keep ambition alive wherever you are

      The climate crisis is a global issue, yet its impacts and opportunities to mitigate are unevenly distributed.  

      In the wake of the Global Stocktake, we need governments around the world to come together and work collaboratively to implement solutions that will drive change and impact, not just against their own NDCs, but globally. This is not about one individual leader showing the way, it is about crowding everyone into the climate action tent.  

      It is not a simple task but, with the right mechanisms in place, it can be done – which is why unlocking the full impact of Article 6 is so critical to taking rapid, inclusive action.

      We will be sharing our COPTake video series with our expert take on key moments throughout the conference and, for those attending COP28, head to our events page to find out about the events we will be attending and hosting.

      It cannot be stressed enough that we can no longer only talk about climate action as a future target, COP28 must be the catalyst to real action now across both public and private sectors.
      Jonathan Shopley, Managing Director External Affairs