Finance Finance invitees dominate Cop28 thematic programme By Megha Merani October 4, 2023 Wikimedia Commons/Aleem Yousaf The Citi and Barclays HQs in London's Canary Wharf: Invitees from major banks make up the largest cohort to the Cop28 thematic programme 18% of 205 invitees from finance Barclays and Citi expected to send delegations 3.8% of roll call are celebrities The finance sector dominates a list of those invited to attend the thematic programme of Cop28 in Dubai later this year, AGBI can reveal. The presidency of the UN Climate Change Conference has unveiled a two-week agenda of topics to deliver on a four-pillar climate action plan. It will run alongside the negotiations process and as part of the critical Global Stocktake response. These pillars are: fast-tracking the energy transition; transforming climate finance, protecting nature; lives and livelihoods; and inclusivity. A breakdown of the invitees shows that the finance pillar accounted for 205 invitations, approximately 18 percent of the overall count. The “Nature, Land Use and Oceans” theme made up 16.5 percent of the invitations, while the “Just Energy Transition” track took up 9.8 percent of the invitee list. The theme of “Cities, Regions and Urbanisation” made up the smallest proportion of invitations, representing just 3.6 percent of the list. Celebrities accounted for 3.8 percent of the invitation roll call. The actual list of invitees has not yet been revealed. Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that major banks like Barclays Plc, Citigroup Inc., and Standard Chartered Plc, which were notably absent from the Cop27 in Egypt last year, are gearing up to send large delegations to the UAE, especially since they have offices in Dubai. Climate finance In June this year, wealthy nations finally — three years later than intended — achieved their commitment to provide $100 billion in climate financing to the most vulnerable developing countries. The UAE intends to make financing for climate change projects “more affordable [and] much more accessible”, according to Cop28 president Dr. Sultan Al Jaber. Al Jaber said finance reforms were needed because the world was “way off track” to reach the goals of the 2015 Paris climate accord. Al Jaber is CEO of state-owned oil giant Adnoc, the world’s 12th largest oil company by production. He is also the country’s minister of industry and advanced technology and the chairman of state-owned renewable energy firm Masdar. Al Jaber will retain all three roles in the run-up to the summit. “On climate finance, we simply need more,” Al Jaber said. “We need it to be more affordable [and] much more accessible. We need to ensure every concessional dollar is matched by $2 or $3 of private capital.” Climate finance typically refers to any money spent on cutting emissions. In the context of the UN climate accord, it refers specifically to funds given by developed countries to finance climate action in developing countries. Al Jaber also called for adaptation finance for the global south to be doubled to $40 billion annually by 2025. The UAE will host Cop28 in Dubai from November 30 to December 12 this year.