The “Conference of the Parties” (COP) is the global decision-making body of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Parties meet every year to review progress and decide on the path forward.
In November 2023, the United Arab Emirates will host the 28th session of COP in Dubai. As climate impacts are increasingly widespread, rapid, and intensifying, this year the world is at a critical juncture to meet the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels, as committed to in the Paris Agreement.
COP28 will be a milestone moment when the world will take stock of its progress on the Paris Agreement. The first Global Stocktake (GST) will provide a comprehensive assessment of progress since adopting the Paris Agreement. The GST will help align efforts on climate action, including putting measures in place to bridge the gaps in progress.
UNODC is leading the narrative on crimes that affect the environment, which contribute to the triple planetary crisis of biodiversity loss, pollution, and climate change.
The ocean absorbs one-third of carbon dioxide produced by humans and 90 percent of heat created by global warming. The resulting acidification and rise in sea temperature, when combined with unsustainable fishing, pollution and other illegal activities taking place across the ocean, leads to detrimental impacts on marine life and ecosystem services. And despite an increase in marine conservation efforts, most coastal States still lack the basic resources and capabilities needed to adequately monitor their maritime domains and regulate the activities taking place within them. This high-level event will discuss the role of innovative partnerships and advanced technology solutions to address the illegal and criminal activities that contribute to the decline of marine biodiversity and ocean resilience. Reinforcing the need for strengthening rule-based ocean climate action through continued collaboration, panellists will deliberate on how environmental authorities, maritime actors, technology providers and the justice system can together bring forward recommendations from the conference.
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Partners: Bloomberg Philanthropies, SkyTruth, Global Fishing Watch
Environmentally sound management of wastes, and its responsible trade, is essential in mitigating climate change and promoting a circular economy. The waste management sector can play a vital role in climate mitigation through a multitude of actions. First, through direct GHG reductions from solid waste management and, second, indirectly through the effects of waste prevention, re-use and recycling. Waste recycling and resource recovery – which are at the core of a circular economy - offer potential GHG reductions in the magnitude of up to 20% of the global emissions. The side event will explore the role of international regulations and national actions in driving waste management and circular economies in order to respond to the climate crisis.
Partners: Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions, UN Habitat, French Solid Waste Partnership, ASEAN Secretariat, Nokia, French Agency for Ecological Transition (ADEME), International Solid Waste Association (ISWA)
This side event will link COP 28 with the 15th UN Crime Congress, which will be hosted by the UAE in 2026. The event aims to raise awareness about the importance of addressing the interdependent and interrelated impacts of climate change on crime prevention and criminal justice, including with regard to crime prevention; adaptability and preparedness of crime prevention and criminal justice infrastructure and actors; and enhanced multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder cooperation. It is expected that panellists and speakers will call for action in making good use of the preparatory process leading up to 2026, to ensure that the 15th Congress will become the momentum to agree on decisive steps towards successfully addressing the impact of climate change on crime prevention and criminal justice matters.
Partners: France, United Arab Emirates, UN Women
Technologies that enable the decarbonization of economies rely heavily on critical materials, including rare earth elements, lithium, nickel, cobalt, and others. As industries transition to clean energy technologies, demand for green minerals is set to increase exponentially. However, complex extraction processes and informal trade networks raise concerns over the environmental toll of the industry, human rights violations, corruption allegations and poor governance. Further, a recent IRENA report on “Geopolitics of the Energy Transition Critical Materials” suggests the lack of a formal structure and the wide geographical reach of artisanal and small-scale mining can result in the extraction, trade, and sale of commodities via unofficial channels. This could potentially lead to a convergence with other serious crimes and become a source of revenue for organised criminal groups thus, perpetuating impoverishment and armed violence in already vulnerable areas. This high-level event will discuss the importance of robust legal and policy frameworks as well as enforcement mechanisms, responsible sourcing practices and traceability systems to ensure sustainability, transparency, and accountability along critical material supply chains.
Partners: International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), UN Environment Programme (UNEP)
In a historic collaboration at COP28, which marks the first-ever participation of the global law enforcement community at the climate summit, the Ministerial Forum brings together law enforcement representatives from Asia, Africa, the Americas, the Middle East, and the UN. As we tackle biodiversity protection and climate resilience, it's crucial to note that this marks the inaugural participation of the global law enforcement community in a climate summit. The Forum will address the urgent need to safeguard biodiversity and vulnerable communities, with a focus on the essential role of law enforcement. Furthermore, the Forum will unveil significant global initiatives, concluding with the adoption of the Abu Dhabi declaration.
Partner: UAE Ministry of Interior
Join us at the forefront of global law enforcement's commitment to climate action at COP28, which marks the first-ever participation of the global law enforcement community at the climate summit. The International Initiative of Law Enforcement for Climate (I2LEC) is uniting the global law enforcement community to discuss and promote the transition to green law enforcement. Our panel discussion will bring together influential voices from organizations like UNODC, INTERPOL, Esri, UNPOL, the Department of the U.S. Homeland Security, the Executive Office of Anti Money Laundering, and the UAE MOI. Discover opportunities and challenges in supporting this crucial transition.
Partner: UAE Ministry of Interior
Following the recent Ocean-Climate Dialogue, and the focus on increased ambition and the Global Stocktake, this side event will showcase how UN-Oceans is building synergies at the national and international levels for ocean-based climate change mitigation and adaptation. It will highlight how collaboration for climate-smart sustainable ocean management and planning can contribute to increased ambition for a greater collective impact. During this event, UNODC will showcase the role and importance of enhanced maritime law enforcement in advancing initiatives for ocean climate action.
Partner: DOALOS, UNESCO, CBD Secretariat, UNEP, FAO, IAEA, UNCTAD, Samoa, Antigua and Barbuda
Climate change and weather disasters lead to increased migration and refugees, of which women, girls and people facing multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination are disproportionately affected. Weather-related disasters can lead to increased domestic and intimate partner violence. The extractivism model contributes to climate change and rapid environmental degradation around the world and human rights violations including gender-based violence, particularly against indigenous peoples and local communities. Gender-based violence (GBV) against women environmental human rights defenders is on the rise to discourage and silence them as they lead in the protection of natural resources, and the environment from increasing environmental threats and job loss. Climate change impacts in many countries have put more girls at risk of early marriage as families struggle to cope with impacts and see this as a way to lighten the financial burden in the household and secure their future. Spotlight Initiative and our partners work with governments to strengthen the resilience of institutions and communities to respond to violence against women and girls, and integrate GBV prevention as part of climate change readiness and response plans.
Partners: Spotlight Initiative, UN Women, UNDP, ILO
Climate change is referred to as a “threat multiplier” because of its potential to exacerbate many of the current challenges and threats already being faced in some countries particularly in Central Africa. It can contribute to instability, worsen existing conflicts, threaten global security, and reshape human mobility patterns. In broader terms, climate change is an important factor threatening human security through undermining livelihoods, compromising culture and identity as well as challenging the ability of states to provide the conditions necessary for human security. In Central Africa, the Lake Chad Basin is perceived as a “basin of problems” while the Congo Basin is seen as a “basin of solutions”. The reality is that these two basins can learn from each other. Both basins have a common goal but different approaches to addressing climate change, peace, and security. The Lake Chad Basin can learn from the Congo Basin in the sense of preserving its ecological integrity, and the Congo Basin can learn from Lake Chad Basin in terms of economic development and conflict prevention activities as sustainability requires reconciling the long-term vision of national and international interests and the short-term needs of local communities. Given that the Congo Basin rainforest is currently the last terrestrial net carbon sink in the world, the subregion has a key role to play in negotiations on climate finance for the implementation of climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies and the prevention of security risks related to climate change that can benefit both basins.
Partner: UNOCA, ECCAS, FAO, UNESCO, UN-DPPA, Climate Security Mechanism,
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and UNODC have launched a new partnership to advance innovative knowledge-sharing for tackling fisheries crimes in the Galapagos. The event will discuss the importance of leveraging fisheries science and targeted sector information to enable more capacity to counteract illegal fishing activities and to demonstrate how the conservation and maritime security communities can build on each other's core competencies for greater impact on blue carbon sinks. The event will highlight the UNODC-WWF joint pilot project in the Galapagos and showcase the importance of enforcing the rule at sea to curb biodiversity loss and promote resilience to climate change in coastal marine ecosystems.
Partners: WWF, Ecuador
Responsible and sustainable value chains play a crucial role in combating deforestation, protecting biodiversity, and addressing climate change. The event aims to highlight the significance of these regulations in promoting ethical and eco-conscious supply chains, contributing to global environmental conservation, and encouraging businesses to adopt sustainable practices. The world is witnessing a growing global shift towards sustainable and ethical value chains. With the introduction of the new Deforestation Regulation in the European Union, there is a clear trend towards stricter oversight of supply chain activities, particularly in relation to deforestation. The event will delve into these trends, emphasizing the need for transparency and accountability throughout value chains and highlighting the increasing alignment of regulations with sustainability objectives. "Responsible Value Chains: New Deforestation Regulation in the European Union" is a platform that brings together stakeholders, policymakers, and industry experts to discuss the importance of responsible value chains and the implications of the EU's Deforestation Regulation. It provides an opportunity to explore the latest developments in supply chain sustainability, the impacts of the new regulations on businesses, and the potential benefits for forests, biodiversity, and the fight against climate change. This event is a significant step in fostering ethical and environmentally responsible value chains in line with the EU's regulatory framework.
Partners: Spanish Chamber of Commerce, Global Canopy, Grupo FCC, Banco Santander and Oro Verde