Updated November 2023
The COP28 is the 28th session of the Conference of Parties, which is the primary decision-making body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The UNFCCC was formed to deal with the growing threat of climate change; as a part of this, the Conference of Parties (COP) is held every year to discuss and find solutions for climate change.
Keep reading to find out more about COP28 being hosted by the UAE at Dubai Expo City.
Table of Contents
What is COP28?
COP28 is the 28th session of the Conference of Parties (COP), which is the apex decision-making body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The UNFCCC was primarily formed to deal with the growing threat of climate change, and as a part of this, the Conference of Parties (COP) is held every year to discuss and find solutions for climate change.
Usually, the Presidency and venue of COP rotate among the five recognized UN regions, including the Caribbean, Latin America, Asia, Africa, Central, Eastern and Western Europe. For the year 2023, COP28 takes place from 30 November to 12 December 2023 at Expo City, Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates.
COP28 date & location in Dubai
The 28th session of the Conference of Parties, also known as COP28, will be hosted by the UAE at Dubai Expo City. The event is scheduled to take place from 30 November until 12 December 2023. Pre-sessionals takes place from 24 to 29 November.
Moreover, the Dubai Expo City is one of the best locations for such a conference to take place as both COP28 and Expo 2020 Dubai have some similar goals and missions, including achieving sustainability and encouraging global cooperation to address global issues.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, unveiled the logo of Cop28 on 16 January during the event launch at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in Adnec.
Inspired by the “one world” concept, the logo’s spherical design with light and dark green shades depicts people, renewable energy technologies, wildlife and nature, representing the need to use innovation for sustainable development.
It conveys the message that Cop28 will be a Cop of action and will contribute to the progress in mitigation, adaptation, finance, and loss and damage.
According to Dr Sultan Al Jaber, President-designate of Cop28 and Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, “we live in one world, a world where we need to collaborate and cooperate like never before to make the transformational progress needed to reach the Paris Agreement.
Generally, for every session of the COP Conference of Parties, the Presidency position is held by the Minister of Environment from the host government. Therefore, for COP28 in Dubai, UAE, HE Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri is taking over the presidency position.
Environmental relevance of the UAE as the host of COP28
The UAE’s position as the host for COP28 in 2023 reflects the country’s efforts to transition to an economy that utilizes renewable and clean energy, technology advancements, and climate-smart solutions. A major focus of the conference will be on the economic case for climate action.
Moreover, the UAE views hosting COP28 as a privilege and an acknowledgment of the country’s environmental efforts over the past three decades. Climate change has been a priority for the UAE since 1989, the same year it ratified the Vienna Convention for the protection of the ozone layer. The country became a member of the UNFCCC in 1995 and ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 2005.
Given below are some of the ‘green’ initiatives practiced and propagated by the UAE include:
- the UAE and the US put forward the proposal for the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate or AIM with the objective of creating huge investments in climate-smart agriculture and food systems over the next 5 years. The agriculture sector employs around 5 billion people globally, and the UAE pledged an extra $1 billion for this project.
- as part of its commitment to reduce methane emissions, the UAE has joined the Global Methane Pledge. UAE’s hydrocarbon industries have the world’s lowest methane intensities of 0.01%. Moreover, by 2023, the country aims to reduce methane emissions by 30%.
- efforts have also been made by the UAE government to maximize renewable energy sources. To help developing countries transition to renewable energy, $400 million has been invested.
- by fostering low-carbon industries, the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure has created the Hydrogen Leadership Roadmap, which outlines comprehensive steps for the country to become a leading exporter of hydrogen.
- a large-scale carbon capture facility (CCUS) is also located in the UAE. Solar energy costs can be reduced with the help of this facility.
- in its second NDC (Nationally Determined Contribution), the UAE aims to plant 100 million mangrove trees by the end of the decade. The NDC was adopted as part of the Paris Agreement.
- as part of the government’s climate change assistance, $17 billion was spent on 27 island nations. The city has initiated a number of projects, such as solar, wind, and battery storage.
- the Barakah Nuclear Plant began operating in April 2022. UAE’s power sector will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions significantly once the four reactors of the plant are fully operational
- being amongst the first countries in the Middle East and North Africa to announce the Net Zero 2050. The strategic initiative was mainly aimed at making the UAE carbon-neutral by mid-century.
What to expect from COP28 in Dubai?
COP28 is split into two zones, namely, the Blue Zone and the Green Zone:
The Blue Zone
An UNFCCC-managed site, the Blue Zone is open to accredited party and observer delegates. It hosts formal negotiations, panel discussions, the World Climate Action Summit, country pavilions, presidency events, and hundreds of side events, including panel discussions, round tables, and cultural events, across the two weeks of the conference.
The Blue Zone will be attended by:
- 199 Parties (negotiators from 198 States and the EU)
- observers (NGOs, IGOs, UN Agencies)
- world leaders
For more information, visit the COP28 Blue Zone page.
The Green Zone
The Green Zone is a space managed and delivered by the COP28 UAE Presidency. Offering a platform to non-accredited delegates, including youth groups, civil society, NGOs, the private sector, and indigenous groups, the Green Zone by COP28 is a space where they can promote dialogue and awareness about climate action.
The Green Zone is open to:
- guests of the Blue Zone
- public and private sector
- general public.
In this zone, visitors can enjoy a vibrant hub that features the first-ever sustainable fashion show at COP, inspiring art installations, performances, theatrical shows and many more. These engaging experiences aim to inform and engage a wider audience in the sustainable climate movement in an enjoyable manner.
For more information, visit the COP28 Green Zone page.
COP28 registration & tickets
To become a part of COP28, attendees will either have to register in the Green Zone or Blue Zone.
The Green Zone
The Green Zone is accessible to the general public. You can explore the Green Zone by obtaining a COP28 Green Zone Day Pass, granting access to an array of experiences from COP28 Hubs to various Expo City Dubai attractions, encompassing art, culture, educational events, and a delightful selection of food and beverages. Each person is entitled to register for two complimentary passes.
Passes related to scheduled events for the COP28 Green Zone are now open to the public. Visitors can explore breakthrough climate innovations, cutting-edge tech, interactive exhibits, inspiring art installations, film screenings, and talks across Expo City Dubai, from 3 to 12 December.
Limited seats are available, and those interested can book tickets from the official website.
- a Green Zone Day Pass is valid for a single entry for one visitor only
- a Day Pass is valid only on the stated date. No pass-outs are permitted
- children 12 years and under do not require a Green Zone Day Pass
- you can access the Green Zone with this pass between 9 AM and 9:30 PM
The Blue Zone
To be able to register in the Blue Zone, eligible attendees are first required to register themselves at the UNFCCC and acquire a Special Entry Permit or the COP28 UAE visa.
The following documents are required to apply for a Special Entry Permit or the COP28 UAE visa:
- the UNFCCC registration code
- accurately filled visa application form on the visa portal
- clear coloured copy of passport with minimum 6 months validity from arrival into UAE (jpg/png/pdf; max 100kb)
- clear coloured copy of UN Passport (if applicable) (jpg/png/pdf; max 100kb)
- clear recent passport-size coloured photo of the applicant, with white background
Depending on the category you belong to, you can register at the UNFCCC as follows:
- if you are a Party, register here
- if you are a UN organization, specialized Agency, IGO or NGO, register here
- if you are Press/Media, register here.
However, do note that the media accreditation was closed on 11 October.
The UAE Government has authorized an electronic, free-of-charge and single-entry Special Entry Permit for all UNFCCC-registered COP28 UAE event attendees, also known as the COP28 UAE visa. After completing your UNFCCC registration:
- you will receive a UNFCCC registration confirmation email which will include a link to apply for the COP28 UAE visa.
- visit the visa portal through the link and fill out the form, upload the required documents and submit it for approval.
- once approved, you will receive the visa confirmation email with a link to download your COP28 UAE visa.
Please note that it is mandatory for all foreign UNFCCC-registered participants entering the UAE to apply for the COP28 UAE visa prior to arrival using the visa application link within the UNFCCC registration confirmation email.
The processing time of the COP28 UAE visa application may take up to 72 hours after submission. Please make sure to take the necessary steps to apply as soon as your UNFCCC registration is confirmed.
You can further check your application status using the link in your visa application confirmation email (received after submitting the visa application).
The COP28 UAE Official App has been launched, offering a seamless experience for attendees during the two-week conference. The user-friendly app is designed to help both Blue and Green Zone participants manage schedules, navigate Expo City Dubai, and stay informed on real-time program changes.
Some of the major features of the app are interactive maps, step-by-step directions, daily insights into the Thematic Program, as well as including nine ‘Self-Guided Itineraries,’ reducing the need for printed materials. Blue Zone delegates benefit from a secure app with interactive mapping, networking, personalized scheduling, and more to enhance productivity.