COP28, what to expect?

Within three months, from November 30th to December 12th, heads of state, climate experts, leaders from the private sector and non-governmental organizations will gather in Dubai for the Conference of the Parties promoted by UNFCCC. This year, COP28 negotiations are expected to revolve around relevant matters discussed at COP27 and at the 2023 Bonn Conference, such as: reducing the use of fossil fuels; implementing the loss and damage fund; climate finance; global stocktake (our reports on the results and discussions in Bonn can be found here, here and here).

In this article, we highlight those with more significant impact on corporations and the future planning of their activities.

According to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) AR6 Synthesis Report: Climate Change 2023, considering the current emission growth rates, it is likely that global warming will exceed 1.5°C this century, with a greater probability of this occurring before 2040. In this scenario, some issues have proven essential both to mitigate the growing volume of emissions and to encourage adaptability.

This year, for the first time, governments will carry out a global stocktake, which will define the progress of countries in meeting the goals established in the Nationally Determined Contributions, or NDCs. This global balance acts as a key indicator of how countries pursue their goals and, consequently, how corporations and specific projects will be called upon to contribute to the goals assumed.

According to the UN Executive Secretary for Climate Change, Simon Stiell: “this global assessment is an exercise in ambition. It is an exercise in accountability. It’s an acceleration exercise. It is an exercise that aims to ensure that all Parties fulfill their part of the agreement, know where they should go next and how quickly they should move to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement.”

The last technical result analysis phase started during this years’ Bonn Conference and will end at COP28, during which the conclusions of the technical assessment will be presented, and their implications discussed and considered, becoming a key result for the negotiations.

Another topic that is essential for a positive outcome of the conference, is the goal of phasing-out fossil fuels. Since the COP27 negotiations – extending to the 2023 Bonn Conference –, more than 80 countries have insisted on the importance of the total reduction of fossil fuels, but there is still no consensus on the topic, with some countries pushing for the “phase-down”. With ‘phase out’ meaning the progressive reduction over successive periods to the point where no further usage occurs and ‘phase down’ meaning a progressive reduction over successive periods, but to a level that is deemed acceptable to continue into the indefinite future due to carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.

Between the phase-out or phase-down, what is certain is that the reduction in the use of fossil fuels is an inevitable and essential reality, with evident impacts and challenges for the industry with regards to its production processes.

As per the Loss and Damage fund, stablished at COP27, countries made clear the need to establish the topic on the conference agenda so that the specificities for effective implementation of the fund and immediate distribution of values can be agreed.

Giving indications of the context of COP28, on July 13th, Sultan Al Jaber published the action plan for the conference. The proposal covers all main aspects of climate action, based on the Paris Agreement, divided into what Al Jaber called the four Fs: fast-tracking the transition to a low-CO2 world; fixing climate finance; focusing on people, lives and livelihoods; and full inclusivity.

As for energy transition, the plan brings commitments to double energy efficiency, triple renewable energy capacity to 11,000 GW worldwide and double hydrogen production to 180 million tons per year by 2030.

In its commitment to follow trends that impact the market, Rolim Goulart Cardoso Advogados has a long-standing partnership with the non-profit organization Responding to Climate Change Limited(RTCC), working on issues related to the climate agenda and the sustainable business development. RTCC was founded in 2002 by James Ramsey, an official observer of the UNFCCC, and has the mission to raise global awareness of climate change.

Keeping up with the work that has been developed over the years, Rolim Goulart Cardoso’s team will monitor the negotiations, bringing to the public the main decisions and updates that might impact companies. Our delegation will also participate in debates and round tables alongside with RTCC’s team and in official side events organized by the UNFCC.

During the COP28, events at the RTCC pavilion will be televised live on Climate Change TV, at the following link:

This year, a team of our lawyers and guests, accredited by the office, will comprise Rolim Goulart Cardoso’s Delegation:

Maria João Rolim: Partner in the energy area, specialized in Energy Transition and Sustainability.

João Dácio Rolim, founding partner of the firm, specialized in international tax and carbon markets.

Alice Khouri and Vivian Marcondes, energy and environmental lawyers, respectively, specialized in aspects related to the ESG and climate agenda.

– As the firm’s guests, Cácia Pimentel, representing Mackenzie Integridade, Flávia Bellaguarda and Rodrigo Sluminsky, representing La Clima, and Fernanda Delgado, energy and geopolitics specialist.

– Supporting our activities from Brazil, Thiago Pastor, partner in the environmental area, and Lucas Lima, lawyer from the energy team.