Arguably the most important conference of the year, COP28 2023 comes at a crucial moment for climate action.
But, what is it? Why is it important? And, what does it have to do with food waste?
What is COP28?
COP28 will be the 28th annual UN meeting where governments discuss climate change.
First held in Berlin in March 1995, The Conference of the Parties (COP) involves all the countries who joined the treaty of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
In these conferences, the countries set goals on climate change, report on progress, negotiate policy and agree to share scientific and technological advances that could benefit the cause.
COP28 dates & venue
Each year the conference is held in a different city and, this time, it’s Dubai's turn.
Not only is the UAE a leader in energy and sustainability, but since it’s located in the desert, the country also has a real understanding about the challenges of climate change, making Dubai a prime host for this year’s COP28 conference.
Due to be held in Expo City between the 30th November 2023 and the 12th December 2023, around 200 countries are expected to meet, as well as representatives from environmental charities, community groups, think tanks, businesses and faith groups.
Why is COP28 so important?
It’s all down to the Paris Agreement.
Back in 2015, the conference (held in Paris) set a goal of limiting long-term global temperature rise to 1.5℃ to help avoid the most severe impacts of climate change.
This year, H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, President-Designate for COP28 UAE, is aiming to keep this goal ‘within reach’.
What are the goals of COP28?
In order to stay on target for this 1.5℃ limit, it’s argued that emissions must be halved by 2030.
With only 7 years left, “COP28 UAE is a prime opportunity to rethink, reboot, and refocus the climate agenda”, says Sultan Al Jaber, COP28 president.
The COP28 programme has also set aside themed days to focus on issues including health, finance, food and nature.
The full COP28 schedule can be found here: https://www.cop28.com/en/schedule
Who can get involved?
While the COP28 Blue Zone is a UNFCCC managed site reserved for Parties and world leaders, the COP28 Green Zone is for anyone with an interest in climate change.
An area open to the public, it’s a space to explore exhibits and climate innovations, see talks and art exhibits, and even watch film screenings.
There’s limited space available, but you can register here: https://www.cop28.com/en/green-zone
So, what does COP28 have to do with food waste?
Simply put, food waste is a huge contributor to climate change.
In fact, if food waste were a country, it’d be the third largest greenhouse gas emitter behind the US and China.
Despite this, food often isn’t a huge consideration when it comes to tackling climate change. However, with the 10th December being dedicated to Food, Agriculture and Water at COP28, we’re delighted to see it’s finally getting the acknowledgement it needs.
While these big conferences are great for spreading awareness about the issue, change can only happen when we all work together to do our bit.