Climate ambitions and oil realities on the table as COP28 begins

Against a backdrop of environmental urgency and economic complexities, COP28 has begun in Dubai, marking a significant moment for global climate discussions in one of the world’s leading oil states. 

COP28, taking place in Dubai’s Expo City from 30th November to 12th December, brings global attention to the UAE. 

This key climate summit is unfolding in a nation deeply rooted in the oil industry, sparking discussions about its influence on climate change policies. The UAE’s role as host for COP28 highlights the intricate dynamics between reliance on fossil fuels and the pressing demand for environmental action. 

Global leaders gather at COP28 

COP28 is bringing together a remarkable array of global leaders and key figures.  

Sultan Al Jaber is the UAE’s Minister for Advanced Technology and acting COP28 President, but also leads the national oil company Adnoc, highlighting the complex interplay between environmental policy and the oil industry at the summit. 

Other key voices include UN Secretary-General António Guterres, King Charles III of the United Kingdom and Monaco’s own Prince Albert II, who will be there to present the Principality’s commitment to environmental issues from 1st to 4th December.  

Other prominent attendees include: Simon Stiell, the UNFCCC’s executive secretary; Ajay Banga, the World Bank president; John Kerry, the US special presidential envoy for climate; Wopke Hoekstra, the EU climate commissioner; China’s climate envoy Xie Zhenhua; and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. 

Key challenges and ambitious goals 

At COP28, key discussions will centre on enhancing Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to encompass emissions from all sectors, including agriculture, and improving accountability for climate commitments under the Paris Agreement.  

A major focus is on financial support for climate action, with developed nations nearing the goal of providing $100bn annually to assist developing countries. The summit will also address the ‘Loss and Damage’ fund, which was established at COP27 to aid countries affected by climate disasters, with the European Union ready to contribute, though other major economies’ commitments are uncertain.  

Notably, there will be a crucial debate on the future of fossil fuels, weighing options between a gradual reduction or a complete phase-out, especially significant in the context of the summit’s oil-producing host nation. 


Join the Monaco Life community – the largest English media in the Principality.  Sign up for the Monaco Life newsletter, and follow us on  Facebook, Instagram , LinkedIn and Tik Tok. 


Photo via COP28UAEOFFICIAL / Instagram