How UAE residents can take part in COP28 this year

From registration to climate goals to be aware of; here's how residents can get involved


Angel Tesorero

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Photo: AP
Photo: AP

Published: Mon 13 Nov 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Mon 13 Nov 2023, 10:52 PM

In the next couple of weeks, the UAE will host over 70,000 delegates, including heads of state, civic and world leaders, environmental experts and advocates, for COP28 or the 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), taking place from November 30 to December 12 at Expo City Dubai.

The primary task at hand is to examine national reports and emission inventories submitted by participating countries. Delegates will debate and build consensus on climate action. They will review the progress on the goal to limit the mean global temperature to 1.5°C to substantially reduce the effects of climate change.

COP is the world's highest decision-making process on climate issues. Climate change, however is a pressing global crisis that transcends national boundaries. This means, international cooperation and concerted efforts from everyone — across civil society, government, industries and all sectors of the economy, and individuals like all of us — are needed to deliver concrete and viable solutions.

COP28 UAE is practically open to everyone and here’s an explainer how you can take part at this year's most significant climate conference.

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Where and how can you participate?

COPs are organised into two distinctive areas called the Blue and Green Zones.

The Blue Zone is a UNFCCC-managed site that is only open to UN-accredited participants. There is an online registration system for accreditation. People who can attend the Blue Zone are world leaders, representatives from 198 Parties (countries); official observers (UN agencies; international government organisations, non-governmental organisations); and media.

Here is where formal negotiations across the two weeks of the conference will take place, such as the World Climate Action Summit, Global Climate Action Hub, presidency events, and numerous panel and roundtable discussions.

What is open to everyone is the Green Zone.

Do you need to register to visit the Green Zone?

Yes, visitors must register and all information is available on the COP28 website (

The Green Zone is managed and delivered by the COP28 UAE Presidency. It offers a platform for different groups, including youth groups, civil society, NGOs, the private sector, and indigenous people to have their voices heard, promoting dialogue and awareness about climate action.

The Green Zone will have curated content programming, aligned with thematic days, conferences, panel discussions, talks, presentations, and more. It will also have a Youth Hub — a place for youth to discuss, collaborate and network on climate change solutions.

The Civil Societies Hub will host presentations, activations and discussions on climate change solutions; while the Arts and Cultural Programming Hub will demonstrate climate change and solutions through various art mediums, including ‘Sameem, Story of our Culture’.

There will also be three distinct hub themes for sponsors and partners to showcase ideas, solutions and innovation.

How can we be involved?

At the onset, COP28 president-designate Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber and UNFCCC executive secretary Simon Stiell said what must be done at COP28: “Now, more than ever, unity is a prerequisite for success. Globally, the world has experienced its hottest summer on record, climate change continues to impact people every day, particularly the climate vulnerable, and they are looking to us to take decisive action.”

Members of the public can take part in Green Zone activities by expressing their interest and registering at They can also follow COP28 social media channels.

What UAE residents can do?

The UAE is the perfect host for the upcoming COP28 as the country is home to around 200 nationalities. We can do our part by writing to and engaging with various heads of state and world leaders who will come together to tackle the most pressing climate issues in dialogue with leaders from the civil society, business, youth, indigenous people, and other sectoral groups.

The worsening summer climate the world has experienced this year is a strong reminder that we are running behind schedule in mitigating climate change.

Therefore, we must show our support for the swift implementation of climate adaptation and mitigation solutions. We can actively remind our leaders that the world needs to decarbonise rapidly whilst not sacrificing economic progress by accelerating a just and equitable energy transition. We should also remind them that sustainable development is all about inclusivity.

What is the focus of COP28?

COP28 UAE will focus on fast-tracking a just, orderly and equitable energy transition; fixing climate finance; putting nature, lives and livelihoods at the heart of climate action; and mobilising for the most inclusive COP.

There will be thematic days throughout COP28 which will focus on an inclusive approach prioritising frontline communities and how finance, technology and innovation can drive solutions.

Why is it important to keep 1.5°C within reach?

The frequency and intensity of extreme weather events and irreversible and permanent effects, like rising sea levels displacing populations, are expected to increase significantly unless we take substantial action to curb global temperatures. Scientists have reached a global consensus — we must limit the world’s average temperature rise to 1.5°C (equivalent to 2.7°F) above pre-industrial levels to secure our future. This threshold is critical in preventing further degradation and avoiding potentially irreversible consequences.

The UAE, for its part, has raised its own target of cutting emissions from 31 per cent to 40 per cent this decade.


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