Previewing COP28: CEnv Insights into this year’s vital summit
An introduction to the 28th Climate Change Conference. Our CEnv delegates explore what they hope to see from this year's vital summit.
The United Nations Climate Change Conference takes place in Dubai from 30 Nov – 12 Dec 2023.
The summit sees different key areas tackled across two weeks, with the aim of agreeing global climate action. These themes include skills, health, energy, nature, agriculture and climate justice.
You can see the thematic programme in full here.
Where do SocEnv fit in?
As a leading environmental organisation, SocEnv has been granted observer status by the UN. We will have a combination of in-person delegates (Chartered Environmentalists based in Dubai) and virtual delegates based in the UK.
Having observer status enables us to emphasise our priorities to decision-makers. It also means we can interact with the COP programme and publish regular updates on the summit’s developments and outcomes.
What are we calling for?
Ambition. COP27 lacked ambition to phase out all fossil fuels and limit global heating to 1.5°C (above pre-industrial levels). Meanwhile, we’re seeing the effects of climate change around the world, including more extreme weather such as heatwaves, wildfires, and flooding. COP28 must address the areas where COP27 fell short.
A focus on delivery. Achieved via professionalism, as below:
- We must invest in quality green skills and green jobs. Without this investment, including in high-level training provision, we won’t be able to tackle climate change effectively. We’re backing IEMA’s campaign to get green skills and training on the agenda at COP28 – find out why here. We’ll also be publishing research we’ve coordinated as part of the Environmental Policy Forum. The research findings, which explore green skills challenges, solutions and opportunities, will go live online on 8th December (skills day at COP28).
- Professional registration helps build and showcase the skills professionals need to lead climate action.
- Professional bodies are key in providing support to professionals, helping their development, and facilitating the sharing of good practice.
- The environmental profession must take the lead in showing how climate ambition can be turned into tangible action, through collaborative initiatives like Pledge to Net Zero and the Professional Bodies Climate Action Charter.
We asked some of our delegates what COP28 means to them and what they hope to see from this year’s vital summit. This is what they said:
Alicia Dauth CEnv MIEMA, Senior Associate Consultant – Environment at AESG:
“For me, COP signifies, Creating Opportunities for the Planet & People. After all, it’s the purpose of bringing the international community together, to communicate and commit. As a Chartered Environmentalist I pledge to be engaged and involved with discussions which lead to positive action. Our shared global challenges should drive our efforts to conserve, regenerate and sustainably manage our earth’s natural resources for future generations.
As each year passes, we lose valuable time. We require action from all sectors; energy, agriculture, infrastructure, institutes, government – everyone must become involved (now). We will all benefit if we unite to address the global environmental crisis.
I hope we can all walk away from COP28 ready to unite, act, and deliver.”
Samantha Ebner CEnv M.CIWEM AM.IWater, Associate Director: Intelligent Transformation, at Jacobs Middle East:
“COP28 marks a pivotal moment to witness change first-hand. From a young age, issues like food security, water conservation, ocean protection, and environmental education have been subjects close to my heart. These concerns have shaped my career and now, as a mother and a citizen of this planet, they resonate even more deeply.
The environment is our shared home, not a distant entity— it is where we live, grow, and dream. COP28 offers as a platform to make a real difference, harmonizing our individual journeys with collective actions in businesses and industries. This summit is a crucial point for us to be architects of change, building a sustainable future where positive transformation is not just a goal but a visible reality.”
Zein Mocke MSc BA CEnv MIEMA, Director, Climate Response Advisory and Environment at Jacobs Middle East:
“A decade ago, the Gulf Region considered environmental protection a hurdle to economic growth. Today sustainable development, environmental health, and the green economy are perceived as differentiators for regional cities that are competing to attract the best talent.
Decision makers across all sectors and industries have collectively focused their efforts under the net zero banner to optimize organizational performance and accelerate urban livability. The efforts leading to and during the summit will leave a positive legacy for the region and we hope that it will be seen as a leading force for the green agenda for many years to come.”
Lara Young CEnv FIEMA FICE, Group Head of ESG at Cromwell Property Group:
“I’m looking forward and hopeful that at COP28 we will see significant tangible progress on the actions that have been spoken about at length in previous COPs. For several years, the themes of global leadership and taking action have been strong, however I have felt than we have often been left disappointed on actual progress made year on year and would like to see COP28 end this trend.
With the explosion of sustainable finance and the ever-growing general public awareness on critical topics such as water, biodiversity, and net zero, I believe we have a real opportunity to deliver genuine step change across the globe. However, the pace of change can and must go faster and thus I’m keen to see COP28 ensure greater assurance and accountability so that everyone follows through on promises made. As the saying goes, actions really do speak louder than words… “
Aqib Gulzar CEnv MIEMA, Principal Environment Consultant (People and Places Solutions) at Jacobs Middle East:
“Measuring the successes/ limitations of the UN Climate Conferences over the years is really important and the first ever Global Stocktake (GST), providing a comprehensive assessment of progress since adopting the Paris Agreement, should be useful in this regard.
Economies, people’s lives and livelihoods, especially in developing countries, are continuously being hit with accelerating climate change. I am hopeful of ambitious commitments being made at COP28, while the summit should also provide an update on the progress of agreements already reached, especially loss and damage funding for vulnerable countries.
To keep a 1.5°C climate change scenario within reach, I firmly believe that action must be led by those with proven competence – registered environmental professionals – and will be calling for recognition of the importance of green skills and training at COP28.”
Stay up to date and informed
Before, during and after the summit, at the Society for the Environment will be updating our one-stop webpage, the COP28 hub, as well as our social media channels with the key developments and announcements.