News and Insights

My Vision for COP28: A Turning Point for Climate and Public Health

November 29, 2023

As the imminent convening of COP28 in Dubai draws near, the profound weight of our shared responsibility in confronting climate change looms large in my consciousness. The latest IPCC synthesis report, sounding the alarm on the imminent breach of the critical 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold set by the Paris Agreement, serves as a dire warning bell, signaling the need for immediate and decisive action.

My aspirations for COP28 transcend the mere averting of climatic catastrophe; they encompass the broader vision of protecting global public health, intrinsically linked to the well-being of our planet. This COP28 marks a significant personal milestone – my very first attendance. With a sense of resolve and purpose, I am committed to seizing this opportunity, determined to contribute meaningfully to this pivotal global dialogue.

The Urgent Need for Action

Realizing that we are progressing towards a 2.8C increase by the end of the century is alarming. This is a number and a potential catalyst for unprecedented health crises. As a senior leader within an integrated marketing agency where I specialize in global public health, I understand the profound implications this has for communities worldwide. The increased frequency and severity of heatwaves, droughts, and other extreme weather events will exacerbate public health challenges, underscoring the need for decisive action at COP28.

COP28’s Crucial Agenda

COP28 is more than just another conference to be held in Dubai. It’s a beacon of hope, an opportunity to alter our current course. The agenda, including reviewing the Paris Agreement and establishing a finance facility for loss and damage due to climate change, is a step in the right direction. But my dream for COP28 is to see it transcend traditional diplomatic negotiations and emerge as a hub for bold, transformative decisions.

The Role of the UAE as Host

The United Arab Emirates, a major oil exporter, hosting COP28 presents a unique paradox. The UAE’s approach to decarbonizing its economy while increasing oil production raises questions about its role in climate negotiations. However, I hope the UAE will use its position to demonstrate unorthodox but effective climate leadership. This would set a precedent and offer a new narrative in the global energy transition.

Addressing the Fossil Fuel Dilemma

A critical aspect of COP28 that I am particularly keen on is the discussion around fossil fuel phaseouts. The latest IPCC report highlights the significant contribution of oil and gas to CO2 emissions. COP28 will address this issue head-on, facilitating a transition to cleaner energy sources without compromising economic development, especially for developing countries.

My Vision for Global Collaboration

My dream for COP28 is to witness a heightened sense of global collaboration. Climate change and public health are global issues that transcend borders, and so should our response. I envision nations coming together, setting aside narrow national interests, and working towards a common goal. This includes reducing emissions and investing in public health infrastructure to mitigate the health impacts of climate change.

A Focus on Public Health

One aspect that needs more attention at COP28 is the direct link between climate change and public health. This COP will be the first to hold a day dedicated to health. Climate change is an environmental issue and a major public health crisis. The impacts are far-reaching, from increasing vector-borne diseases to worsening air quality and food security. I hope to see COP28 address these issues, integrating public health considerations into climate policies and actions.

Financing Climate Action and Health

An important element of COP28 should be the discussion on financing. Adequate funding for climate action is crucial, as is funding for public health systems resilient to climate impacts. Developing countries, in particular, need financial support to adapt their health systems to the changing climate. I dream of COP28 to pave the way for increased investment in climate action and health systems globally.

Innovative Solutions and Technology

Technology and innovation have a significant role in our fight against climate change and its impact on health. COP28 will serve as a platform for showcasing and encouraging innovative solutions, from renewable energy technologies to health monitoring and response systems that leverage technology to address climate-related health issues.

Education and Public Awareness

As someone deeply involved in marketing, I understand the power of communication and education. COP28 should catalyze global awareness about the interlinkages between climate change and health. Educating the public and policymakers about these issues is crucial for driving change.

My Own Six Key Conditions

  1. Global Stocktake, there’s an evident willingness among countries to intensify their decarbonization efforts by 2030.
  2. A landmark agreement has been reached for the phase-out of fossil fuels by a designated date, focusing on future use in specific, challenging sectors. Following the EU’s example from November 2023, developed countries are committing significant financial resources towards renewable energy and energy efficiency targets.
  3. Rich nations are now meeting the $100 billion climate finance goal set in 2009, with an increased focus on adaptation measures. COP28 is set to endorse an ambitious New Collective Quantified Goal by late 2024.
  4. The parties have agreed to and are implementing the transition committee’s proposals for a loss and damage fund, addressing crucial unresolved issues. This must be ratified at COP28.
  5. An ambitious global adaptation goal has been agreed upon, underpinned by a clear, science-based technical framework.
  6. In a significant development, governments are beginning to realign their food and agricultural policies with their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), initiating the decarbonization of this historically overlooked sector.


As COP28 approaches, my hopes are high. This summit is not just about negotiating terms and policies; it’s about securing a future where the planet and its inhabitants can thrive. It’s an opportunity to redefine our relationship with the environment and acknowledge its profoundness. Come back after COP28 to see if my hopes and dreams have been met.

TAGS: Purpose & Social Impact, Health, Sustainability & ESG

POSTED BY: Christopher Nial

Christopher Nial