COP: what’s it all about?

COP, or the Conference of Parties, is an annual United Nations summit about the climate crisis. The conference is where the world comes together to discuss, negotiate and chart a course towards a more sustainable, climate-resilient future.  

The aim? To make sure all Parties are on track to address climate change, so we can limit greenhouse gas emissions to a level that keeps dangerous human-induced climate change in check.  

COP21, which was held in 2015, was a pivotal moment in the process as all Parties adopted the historic Paris Agreement – the first ever universal, legally binding global climate agreement that agrees to limit global temperature rise to well below 2˚C above pre-industrial levels, with an aspirational goal of 1.5˚C. All Parties also committed to submitting Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), which are detailed reports on how they plan to mitigate climate change and adapt to its consequences.  

What can I expect from the EU at COP this year? 

This year, COP28 takes place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from 30 November until 12 December 2023.  

As a global leader in climate action, the EU is going to COP28 eager to raise ambition among our international partners. This year, the focus will be on global energy targets. 

To keep 1.5 ˚C alive we must:  

  • triple global renewable energy capacity and double energy efficiency by 2030  

  • agree on phasing out unabated fossil fuels. 

  • peak fossil fuel consumption well ahead of 2030.  

But the EU’s commitment goes beyond that: it is the largest contributor of public climate finance to economies in the Global South, actively supporting these nations in their efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change. The EU also integrates climate action into its official development assistance, emphasizing its dedication to addressing this global phenomenon on multiple fronts.  

EU side events at COP28 

Although COP is first and foremost about the negotiations, the EU will also host 90+ side events on the most pressing climate-related issues. Side events can range from discussing the energy transition to how citizens can drive forward climate action, and will feature an array of high-level speakers and expert voices. 

The events will be held in-person onsite in Dubai, in Brussels and online-only, and will all be livestreamed for free from this platform.  

It doesn’t matter whether you are at COP28 in Dubai or at home – you can be part of the discussions on climate change and share your questions with our speakers via 

Check out our full EU side events programme and register today to watch all events live on this platform.