ESG Series: COP28 expectations with one month to go

What you need to know

  • By Ehsan Khoman, Ramya RS
  • Oct 30, 2023
  • Commodities Oil
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Executive summary | COP28 expectations with one month to go

Survival of 1.5oC at stake at COP28




The global stocktake will be the most important item to watch








We are “off track” is a given – the question is whether CO28 gets us back “on track”


  • Faint contours of progress – not balanced – were achieved at COP27 (see here). Ambition was not raised in any meaningful way, leaving the 1.5oC target alive, in name only.
  • With one month to go to COP28 (30 November – 12 December), the science unequivocally points to the urgency to act on climate change.


  • The most important deliberation in our view to gauge will be the political messaging from the global stocktake that will assess tangible progress towards the Paris Agreement’s purposes and goals, as this will shape ambition levels, climate policy and the survival of 1.5oC.
  • Discussions on a new collective quantified goal (NCQG) for climate finance will likely be factious though public-private collaboration (such as blended finance) will be prominent as future goals gain traction.
  • Article 6 will be closely watched as delegates decide whether to allow “emission avoidance” as part of the carbon credit mechanism.
  • Meanwhile, the targets of the global goal on adaptation should be set which we believe will be a collection of targets that cover multiple angles.


  • All in, climate deliberations will resume at COP28 against a backdrop of record extreme events, geopolitical tensions and a growing focus on integrity.
  • Agenda wrangling and walk-outs are not off the table as navigating ambition, economics and the politics of the day, requires level-headedness and compromise – recognising that COPs have adopted the challenging practice of making decisions by consensus amongst all 198 Parties (not by the streamlined mechanism of overall majority).
  • What is clear is that the UN synthesis report pertaining to the technical assessment of the global stocktake released on 8 September substantiated that the world is “off track” in meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement. The question is whether we can get back “on track” through ambition of policy and finance to keep the 1.5oC target (with limited overshoot) alive.

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