The President of COP28
Climate Change Resilience

30 November 2023, Dubai UAE - The 28th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP28) in Dubai, UAE, has opened with a plea from the President of COP28, Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, to world leaders and delegates not to lose sight of the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal.
Championed by the One Pacific Voice at all UNFCCC COP meetings, the 1.5 degrees Celsius is a target to prevent worsening and potentially irreversible effects of the climate crisis, for which Pacific countries are at the forefront of its impacts.
“We know as you know the gravity of this moment, we feel as you feel the urgency of this work, and we see as you see that the world has reached a crossroad and yes, since Paris, we have made some progress but we also know that road we have been on will not get us to our destination on time,” said Dr. Al Jaber. “Be flexible, find common ground, come forward with solutions and achieve consensus and never lose sight of our north star of 1.5c, that’s what I’m going to stay laser-focused on.”
The call from the COP28 Presidency echoed that made by Pacific countries in the build up to COP28. Samoa as the Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), had called for unity and solidarity from the AOSIS membership to ensure the fight for a 1.5 degree world remains alive.
 “We cannot and we must not move away from the 1.5 ambition,” Samoa’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN), His Excellency Fatumanava-o-Upolu III Dr. Pa’olelei Luteru, said. “I know there has been talk of accepting something less than what we want, I urge you to please stay in solidarity, our position is 1.5, it is non-negotiable it is our red line.”
COP28 is happening at such a pivotal time, the COP28 President noted, calling to accelerate collective climate action. The conference is taking place in what is already known to be the hottest year ever recorded in human history and as the impacts of the climate crisis wreak unprecedented havoc on human life and livelihoods around the world.
For Pacific SIDS, this compounds conditions that threaten their very existence. The IPCC, in its AR6 Synthesis Report, noted that above a global temperature rise of 1.5°C, Small Island Developing States (SIDS) regions face impacts which may be irreversible.
“Science has spoken, it has been loud and clear, it has confirmed that the moment is now to find a new road, one that’s wide enough for all of us, free of obstacles and detours of the past,” Dr. Al Jaber said. “That new road starts with a decision on the Global Stocktake (GST), a decision that is ambitious, corrects our course and accelerates action to 2030. We all have an urgent and immediate role to play. Let’s work efficiently, let’s agree on the agenda and move to our work quickly please. We have no time to waste.”
During the next two weeks, more than 300 delegates from the Pacific are expected in Dubai where they will join more than 70,000 participants, including Heads of State, government leaders and officials, industry leaders, private sector representatives, academics, experts, youth, and non-state actors as they continue to chart a pathway for global efforts to address climate change.
For Pacific countries, they have identified the Global Stocktake and climate change finance as some of the biggest issues to be discussed in Dubai. 
The COP28 President shares the same views.
“All parties should be prepared to deliver a high ambition decision in response to the global stocktake that reduces emissions while protecting people, lives and livelihoods,” Dr. Jaber said.
“For far too long, finance has not been available, accessible or affordable. This Presidency is committed to unlocking finance to ensure that the global south doesn’t have to choose between development and climate action. 
“Let this be the year that climate finance meets the magnitude of the moment, let this be the COP where we deliver on our promises from the 100billion to Loss and Damage. 
“On Loss and Damage, I know how important this issue is to the parties, particularly to the most vulnerable. This needs to be delivered and actioned here in Dubai.”
UN Climate Change Executive Secretary, Mr Simon Stiell said more than 160 world leaders are headed to Dubai, because only cooperation between nations can get humanity back on track.
“COP28 cannot be just a photo-op. Leaders must deliver – the message is clear,” he said. “And as leaders leave Dubai after the opening summit, their message to their negotiators must be equally clear: don’t come home without a deal that will make a real difference. The reality is that without much more finance flowing to developing countries, a renewables revolution will remain a mirage in the desert. COP28 must turn it into a reality.”
The outgoing COP27 President and Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Sameh Shoukry said it is critical to continue building on previous achievements. 
“We cannot achieve our common goals without having everyone on board, most importantly the Global South,” he said. “We need to start delivering on climate justice and provide the needed tools that we already agreed upon in Sharm el-Sheikh for funding loss and damage, including the establishment of a fund. One of the major outcomes that has to come out of COP28 is for the fund to be fully operationalised and funded.”
The 28th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP28) in Dubai, UAE is taking place from Thursday 30 November 2023 – Tuesday 12 December 2023. 
It is being attended by Pacific leaders and their delegations, who are advocating for the survival of Pacific communities who continue to be at the forefront of climate change impacts.
A key part of amplifying the One Pacific Voice at COP28 is the Moana Blue Pacific Pavilion, which is a Pacific partnership with Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia. 
Another key part of the Pacific’s work at COP28 is the Pacific Delegation Office, which is a partnership with Aotearoa New Zealand. Both the Moana Pacific Pavilion and the Pacific Delegation Office are managed by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).