The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) opens in Dubai on Thursday with a resounding call to accelerate collective action.
The summit, which runs until December 12, is a decisive moment to act on climate commitments and prevent the worst impacts of climate change.
This year’s COP marks the conclusion of the "global stocktake", the first assessment of global progress in implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement.
The findings are stark: the world is not on track to limiting temperature rise to 1.5°C by the end of this century. It does recognise that countries are developing plans for a net-zero future, and the shift to clean energy is gathering speed, but it makes clear that the transition is nowhere near fast enough yet to limit warming within the current ambitions.
"Over 160 world leaders are headed to Dubai, because only cooperation between nations can get humanity back in this race. But COP28 cannot be just a photo-op. Leaders must deliver – the message is clear," said UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell.
Climate finance stands at the heart of this transformation. Replenishing the Green Climate Fund, doubling financial resources for adaptation and operationalising the loss and damage fund are key to keeping 1.5°C within reach while leaving no one behind.
"We don’t have any time to waste. We need to take urgent action now to reduce emissions. At COP28, every country and every company will be held to account, guided by the north star of keeping 1.5°C within reach," said COP28 President Dr. Sultan Al Jaber.
"All parties should be prepared to deliver a high ambition decision in response to the global stocktake that reduces emissions while protecting people, lives and livelihoods."