Press Release

Board View

The 28 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) Opens in the United Arab Emirates

▷UN anticipates enhanced efforts in climate change mitigation, adaptation, and implementation through Global Stocktake

The Ministry of Environment (Minister Han Wha-jin) announced that the 28 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) will be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from November 30 at 3:00 PM (Korean time, 10:00 AM local time) to December 12.

Approximately 70,000 people, including representatives from 198 countries, are expected to attend this conference. Minister Han Wha-jin of the Ministry of Environment will lead the government delegation from South Korea, (alternate chief delegate Kim Hyo-eun, Ambassador and Deputy Minister for Climate Change of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) along with officials and experts from relevant ministries and agencies*.

* Ministry of Environment; Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy; Ministry of Planning and Finance; Ministry of Science and ICT; Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport; Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries; Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs; Presidential Committee on Carbon Neutrality and Green Growth; Korea Forest Service; Meteorological Administration; Rural Development Administration; etc.

During the COP28, the initial Global Stocktake results following the Paris Agreement are anticipated to be revealed, highlighting the evaluation of endeavors towards the long-term objectives* of the Paris Agreement, and stressing the call for heightened targets and substantial implementation.-* Efforts to limit the increase in global average temperature to below 1.5℃ compared to pre-industrial levels, adaptation to climate change, expansion of climate resources, etc. 

Serving as the host nation, the United Arab Emirates will convene the ‘World Climate Ambition Summit’ from December 1 to 2, aiming to solidify leaders’ commitment to the implementation of the Paris Agreement. 

South Korea plans for Ambassador and Deputy Minister for Climate Change Cho Hong-sik to attend the summit as a special envoy of the president, expressing the country’s commitment to joining global efforts in responding to climate change.

Key Agenda Items for Climate Change Negotiations

The upcoming COP will address over 90 agenda items in areas such as the Global Stocktake, mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage, climate finance, etc. Discussions are expected to focus on the efforts and future challenges in each of these areas to assess progress and plan for implementation.

Initially, regarding the Global Stocktake, discussions are anticipated to take place based on the comprehensive report on the Global Stocktake released by the UN Climate Change Secretariat in September this year, aiming to achieve an agreement through a high-level meeting. The deliberations will cover the structure and specific elements of the decision text, with the key issues likely to revolve around to what extent historical responsibilities can be specified for achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and how regulatory the decision text can function in future plans. 



Regarding greenhouse gas reduction, negotiations on the draft decision text for the effective implementation of actual emissions reductions under the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Action Program (MWP**, 2023-2026), launched with the ‘Sharm El-Sheikh Implementation Plan*,’ are scheduled to take place.* COP27 Decision Text (2022): In relation to mitigation, the decision includes 1) strengthening the ambition and implementation of reductions in a manner complementary to the Global Stocktake, 2) organizing a minimum of two annual global dialogue forums, and 3) adopting decision texts reflecting implementation.** The theme of the 2023 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Action Program is energy transition, with two global dialogue forums scheduled on the topics of ① ‘Accelerating Just Energy Transition’ and ② ‘Accelerating Energy Transition in the Transportation Sector.’

Regarding the definition of a just transition toward a sustainable socio-economic development and a low-carbon society, discussions will take place on the purpose, scope, procedures, and specific operational plans of the ‘Just Transition Working Programme (JTWP)’ established during the COP27 (2022).

Discussions will also cover technical details for the full operation of the international carbon market under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, including 1) permit modification procedures, 2) linkage between registries, 3) definition of emissions avoidance, and 4) timing of approval for reduction achievements.In relation to climate change adaptation, discussions are planned on the detailed elements to complete the global goal on adaptation framework*. To establish a framework for assessing the enhancement of climate change adaptation globally, considerations will be given to goals, indicators, calculation methods, and more. In addition, discussions will encompass the needs for resources, capacity-building, and technology transfer for adaptation in developing countries.

* As a framework to assess progress on the global adaptation goal under Article 7 of the Paris Agreement [1) enhancing adaptive capacity, 2) strengthening climate resilience, 3) reducing vulnerability to climate change], the aim is to achieve final adoption at the COP28 this year.

In addition to the intense discussions on establishing the ‘Loss and Damage’ fund, whichwas dramatically concluded at the COP27 last year, this year is expected to involve rigorous debates on the detailed measures to fully operationalize the fund. Discussions are planned on specific issues such as the selection of the fund’s operating body* and secretariat, funding sources, eligibility criteria, and remaining issues related to the selection of the secretariat for the ‘Santiago Network**’ aimed at promoting technical support, which will be finalized at this Conference. 

* The 5th Loss and Damage Preparation Committee (November 3-4, Abu Dhabi) recommended the provisional operation (location) of the fund by the World Bank.

** Established during COP25 in Madrid with the aim of preventing, minimizing, and addressing the loss and damage of climate-vulnerable countries, the organization focuses on fostering organizational, institutional, and collaborative frameworks, as well as technical support from experts. During the COP27, agreements were reached on 1) the establishment and selection procedures for the secretariat and 2) the establishment and composition of advisory bodies. Ultimately, one from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) or a consortium of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) is set to be selected.

The South Korean delegation plans to play an active mediating role between developed and developing countries by collaborating with major nations and the Environmental Integrity Group (EIG)* to lead agreements in key negotiation areas such as mitigation, adaptation, and loss and damage that contribute to carbon neutrality. Simultaneously, they aim to emphasize South Korea’s national interests and policy determination befitting a global pivotal nation.

* Environmental Integrity Group (EIG): A climate negotiation group consisting of South Korea, Switzerland, Mexico, Monaco, Liechtenstein, and Georgia

Chief Delegate’s Action Plan

Minister Han Wha-jin of the Ministry of Environment has a schedule that includes 1) delivering the keynote speech at the high-level meeting, 2) participating in the Korea-UAE Green Industry Cooperation Business Roundtable, 3) engaging in bilateral discussions with key environmental cooperation countries and international organizations, 4) attending a special session of the Green Transition Initiative (GTI)*, and 5) participating in a climate dialogue with youth.* A Green Infrastructure Cooperation Platform supporting international efforts for carbon neutrality and green transition, officially launched in March 2023 under the leadership of South Korea and Indonesia

Minister Han Wha-jin is scheduled to deliver the keynote speech at the high-level meeting from December 9 to 10. During this address, Minister Han plans to rally countries towards a resolute commitment to achieving the ambitious 1.5℃ target of the Paris Agreement through the first Global Stocktake, urging accelerated climate actions in the future. The Minister will share South Korea’s efforts and future plans aligned with this commitment, highlighting the country’s outstanding climate adaptation policies and contributions to the international community. Minister Han also intends to announce the formation of a Carbon-Free Alliance to expedite global energy transition, calling for international participation. Furthermore, in climate finance discussions, Minister Han will emphasize the need for expanding private sector mobilization and underscore South Korea’s commitment as a ‘Green Ladder’ in contributing to these efforts.

During the Korea-UAE Green Industry Cooperation Business Roundtable on December 8, considering the active pursuit of the green transition in the carbon-free era by the UAE, including the announcement of their national hydrogen strategy in July, and the high demand for market entry by Korean companies, there are plans to create a platform for collaboration and exchange between businesses of the two countries in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Energy Infrastructure. In addition, efforts will be made to strengthen government cooperation to support green growth in the UAE.

From December 8 to 10, through bilateral discussions with institutions such as the World Bank, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, and Bahrain, there are plans to share experiences in carbon neutrality policies. The discussions will also cover the expansion of ‘Green Official Development Assistance (Green ODA)’ projects and overseas emission reduction projects, aiming to strengthen climate change response and environmental cooperation.

In addition, Minister Han Wha-jin is scheduled to discuss the long-term strategy and major operational plans for the Green Transition Initiative cooperation platform during the Green Transition Initiative Special Session, which is being held for the first time at this Conference. This marks the official launch of the operational phase for the Green Transition Initiative cooperation platform.

Meanwhile, various events will be taking place at the Korea Pavilion* being operated locally (Dubai Expo City Exhibition Hall) under the leadership of the Ministry of Environment from November 30 to December 12.

* Since 2011, the Korea Pavilion has been operating at the COP venue, playing a role in representing various stakeholders in Korean society to communicate climate change activities and intentions globally and facilitate exchanges.

This year, the Korea Pavilion is showcasing, for the first time, 16 outstanding technologies from domestic companies in the areas of carbon neutrality and circular economy. It provides an opportunity to support the overseas market entry of domestic green industries. In addition, 46 side events for exchange and climate discussions involving various societal stakeholders such as industry, academia, and youth are prepared, with the participation of 60 institutions from both domestic and international backgrounds.

As part of the side events, the Ministry of Environment, along with the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), K-water, Hyundai Motor, and SK E&S, will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on December 8. Through this MOU, the organizations will commit to cooperation for the global propagation of project models contributing to worldwide carbon reduction. In addition, the organizations plan to showcase their achievements in establishing the ecosystem for hydrogen mobility in South Korea to the international community.

Minister Han Wha-jin stated, “The Global Stocktake at this year’s COP will be the last crucial opportunity not to miss in suppressing the global average temperature rise to 1.5℃.” She added, “At COP28, we need to gather the global determination for more ambitious goals and actions, and South Korea will also promise to play its best role as a member of the international community through carbon-neutral green growth policies.”

For further information, please contact the Public Relations Division. 

Contact person: Gina Lee, foreign media spokesperson

Phone: +82-44-201-6055

Email: gcjgina