On 2-8 December 2023, Dr. Guilberto Borongan and Dr. Ramesh Soysa of the AIT Regional Resource Centre for Asia and the Pacific (AIT RRC.AP) participated in the COP 28 side events and exhibition in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. AIT RRC.AP actively participated in COP 28 by showcasing and promoting through an exhibition booth, jointly organized with ICIMOD. The exhibition, held from December 4 to 6, 2023, attracted around 200 participants. During this event, introductions were made for both the Asian Institute of Technology and RRC.AP, along with showcasing Ministry of the Environment, Japan (MOEJ) Adaptation Tools like FloodS, S8DS, The pseudo Global Warming Downscaling Service and e-learnings on Green Climate Fund-Simplified Approval Process (GCF-SAP). These tools were effectively introduced, marketed, and demonstrated - which is accessible in AP-PLAT.
In addition to the exhibition, networking activities took place with relevant stakeholders from Asia, the Pacific, and African countries. This facilitated the showcasing of work under MOEJ contributions. RRC.AP also had productive meeting with MOEJ and IGES colleagues on the COP sidelines.
RRC.AP interacted and networked with COP 28 Country Pavilions: Azerbaijan, Bhutan, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Türkiye, Vietnam, among other country pavilions.
Colleagues also from AIT visited the AIT booth, among them was Prof. P. Abdul Salam, Dean of SERD and Dr. Faiz Shah, Director of AIT Yunus Centre together with AIT alumni - where AIT camaraderie and AIT’s visibility were showcased.
Key highlights, notable experiences, and insights from COP 28 included noteworthy declarations and prominent side events addressing key themes such as Climate Change and Health, Climate Change and Cities, and Climate Empowerment and the Gender Action Plan. The COP President emphasized that the outcomes of COP 28 serve as a climate action lifeline rather than a finish line. UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell remarked, "While we did not conclude the fossil fuel era in Dubai, this result marks the beginning of the end." Noteworthy moments occurred during the COP closing, where key takeaways for the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA) were outlined. This included the Work programme on just transition pathways (referring to the Global Stocktake and improving resilience among the most vulnerable) for CMA 5, the Sharm el-Shiekh mitigation ambition and implementation work programme for CMA 6, and the Glasgow Sharm el-Sheikh work programme on the global goal on adaptation (including the Youth Climate Champion as the UAE Consensus) for CMA 8.a. Loss and damage funding arrangements and funds were discussed, with parties initiating pledges totaling 700 million USD. Parties unanimously agreed that Azerbaijan and Brazil will host COP 29 and COP 30, respectively, with the dates set for November 11-22, 2024, and November 10-21, 2025.