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ESCAP at COP28

Background

The 28th United Nations Climate Change conference, COP28, will be held from November 30 until December 12, 2023, in UAE which is member of the UNFCCC Asian States Group.

Discussions during the 2023 Asia-Pacific Climate Week will inform COP 28. Outcome of the first Global Stocktake (GST) in 2023 will also be communicated at COP28 to provide a comprehensive assessment of progress since adopting the Paris Agreement, and will form the basis for the next round of Parties’ emissions reduction targets for 2035 and 2040 as well as raising financial resources to support climate adaptation and mitigation.

The COP28 Presidency outlines the following vision on the negotiated outcomes and the presidential action agenda for immediate response to the GST with a focus on closing the gaps to 2030.

  • Fast-tracking the energy transition and slashing emissions before 2030: Develop systems for decarbonization pathways; operationalize carbon market and non-market approaches; accelerate work on the Just Energy Transition package.
  • Delivering old promises and set the framework for a new deal on finance: Assure the delivery of the USD 100 billion, double adaptation finance by 2025, build the foundation for a new financial architecture, develop innovative and holistic solutions for move private capital, etc.
  • Putting nature, people, lives and livelihoods at the heart of climate action: Operationalize the new fund and funding arrangements for Loss and Damage; adopt a comprehensive and robust framework for the Global Goal on Adaptation.

Climate change in Asia and the Pacific

Vulnerability to climate change, in the Asia-Pacific region, is increasing at an alarming speed, and the region leads with eight out of ten countries globally that are most vulnerable to disasters. Asia, the continent with the largest land mass extending to the Arctic, is warming faster than the global average. Thawing permafrost in the region is unprecedented, causing the expansion of glacial lakes which result in glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) that endanger the lives of downstream populations.

Preventing perilous climate change by maintaining global warming at or below 1.5°C requires undertaking substantial efforts to remove both significant amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and reduce its emissions. However, in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, the region is diverse with some of the top emitters in the world alongside smaller emitters, with the latter also being the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

The sixth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Climate Change 2023: Synthesis Report, elaborates on intensifying adverse impacts from climate change and provides mitigation pathways to limit warming to 1.5°C, particularly by rapidly reducing greenhouse gas missions. Ahead of COP28 and the launch of the Synthesis Report, the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres referred to the IPCC report as “a how-to guide to defuse the climate time-bomb,” calling it “a survival guide for humanity.”

The 2023 Review of Climate Ambition in Asia and the Pacific: Just Transition towards regional net-zero climate resilient development, which was developed jointly by ESCAP, UNEP, UNFCCC/RCC Asia-Pacific, ILO, UNIDO, and the United Nations Regional Collaborative Platform for Asia-Pacific applies the IPCC’s recommendations for greenhouse gas reduction to limit the temperature rise to 1.5°C. It provides analysis and recommendations for Asia-Pacific member States to set more ambitious NDC commitments, pursue new and innovative approaches to both mitigation and adaptation, create just transition frameworks to accelerate transition to clean and low carbon development, and increase investments in the restoration and enhancement of terrestrial, coastal, and marine ecosystems to leverage nature-based solutions.

ESCAP at COP28

The Pathway to COP28 calls the world to UNITE, ACT, and DELIVER. ESCAP’s participation at the COP28 aims to:

  1. Increasing ambition and commitments by ESCAP member States, including strengthening NDC Commitments, investing in nature-based solutions, strengthening regional and multilateral cooperation, and protecting key sectors, such as food system and energy.
  2. Accelerating decarbonization in key sectors, including accelerating energy transition, decarbonizing heavy emitting sectors, shifting toward fossil-free forms of transport, and supporting Early Warning for All.
  3. Bolstering climate finance flows with new financing mechanisms, including scaling up financing for transformative climate action, boosting Climate FDI, developing New Collective Quantified Goal on Climate Finance, and supporting Climate Justice.

ESCAP’s commitments to Asia-Pacific’s Transition

ESCAP’s commitments to Asia-Pacific’s Transition including the following among others:

Strengthened mandates:

New and strengthened regional initiatives and platforms:

 

ESCAP's work on climate change

>> Download the "ESCAP's work on climate change" flyer in PDF here.