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COP28 Kicks off

But what is COP?

Published 11/29/2023

COP28 kicks off today, but what on Earth is it…?

  1. COP = Conference of the Parties (classic government jargon)
  2. "Parties" are all the governments that have signed up to the United Nations Climate Change Treaty
  3. It is basically an annual conference where all those governments (about 200 of them) get together to discuss tackling climate change
  4. This year, it's COP28 - which basically means the number conference it is (last year's was COP27)

What actually happens at COP?

The governments there get together to discuss things like:

  1. Emissions reduction targets
  2. How to cope with the impacts of climate change
  3. And the ever-important question of where does all the money come from? (this one can be quite controversial)

Unfortunately, not all of these things actually get agreed upon. And governments don't necessarily follow through on agreements where they are made.

So every year they all meet back up and things become more and more urgent.

Ultimately, the intentions behind COP are really great and it can lead to some really good outcomes...

But, unfortunately, the reality often doesn't meet the expectations.


This year it's COP28 in Dubai hosted - somewhat controversially - by the United Arab Emirates (if you want any of the goss the BBC have some pretty detailed coverage).

But we'll save the controversies for another day… this video focuses on what COP is and what it's all about.

The Carbon Jacked team will be heading to COP to speak a some events including the main Green Zone & Extreme Hangout stage.

It's also worth saying that there’s more to COP than the government negotiations - there are loads of class events and activations taking place all over the city, which we’re going to be hitting up so drop us a line if you’re about.

So that's COP in general, but what happened this year?

Now bearing in mind it was held in a petrostate, and everything has to be agreed by all 200 countries, the outcome was never going to go far enough...

But given all of that, it could have been a lot worse even if it did fall well short of what was needed.

The key outcome was on fossil fuels, with countries explicitly agreeing to move away from fossil fuels⛽ for the first time ever which is a real step in the right direction... but the commitment is pretty weak and full of loopholes.

If you want to delve deeper, check out Carbon Brief.

The CJ Team x