Counting down to the COP28 Climate Summit

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Text: COP28 UAE Fresh Energy Logo.

2023 has been a monumental year for clean energy and climate policy in Minnesota, and it comes on the heels of exciting federal legislation from last year—which sets a high bar as representatives from Minnesota and the U.S. get ready for the U.N.’s global climate summit, COP28, in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Fresh Energy’s J. Drake Hamilton, senior director, science policy, will be representing Fresh Energy on the Minnesota delegation and will be at COP28 November 30—December 12.

As J. prepares to represent Fresh Energy at COP28, she’s most excited about the event’s magnitude: With as many as 199 countries and 80,000 people registered, COP28 promises to be a springboard for delivering on climate action J. has emphasized the diverse perspectives and innovative solutions that arise from working alongside people of different countries and backgrounds.

J. will be presenting at the America Is All In Pavilion, showcasing Minnesota’s crucial role in the global fight against climate change, highlighting our recent 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040 law that has gained international attention, as well as the roughly 46 other Minnesota clean energy and climate laws signed into law this past spring. We’ll be joined by Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives Melissa Hortman on the global stage on Monday, December 4. Minnesota’s success story serves as a beacon for other states and indeed other nations.

There will be four main discussions being negotiated by the nations who are “Parties” to the global climate treaty. The most important is cutting emissions, and this year will be the first global stocktake since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015, which will inventory the global progress on slashing greenhouse gas emissions. The second main discussion point is scaling up financing for climate action. Third, the U.N. will be operationalizing a loss and damage fund for the most vulnerable in the world. Finally, countries will discuss how some climate damages can be difficult to quantify—like loss of human life, territory, indigenous knowledge, and biodiversity.

“This is really a world event,” said J. Drake Hamilton. “What I’ve found every year of the eight I’ve been at the global summits is I meet many new people from many very diverse countries, from around the world, and they all have thoughtful, thought-provoking and new solutions.”

“What’s really exciting this year is that the U.S. is at the center of the radar screen,” said J. Drake Hamilton. “Because of the actions by U.S. Congress, the United States has passed global warming laws that are the best ever passed anywhere in the world. Everyone will be looking at us, trying to find out how we’ll implement these investments.”

2023 is shaping up to be the world’s hottest year in recorded history—in 125,000 years—and we’re all experiencing extreme weather events including heatwaves, floods, and forest fires. Amidst a backdrop of these climate catastrophes, as well as unprecedented progress in federal- and state-level climate action, countries will be working hard to keep the 1.5-degree Celsius target alive at COP28. Stay tuned to this page for more updates in the coming weeks from J.!

Interested in learning more?

Join J. and Fresh Energy staff for a webinar on December 15 at 9 a.m. Central to debrief outcomes from the Summit and answer questions about the event just days after her return to the United States.

J. also hosted a webinar in November to discuss what she is most looking forward to ahead of the Global Climate Summit. If you missed the conversation, you can tune in to the video below or the audio on Fresh Energy’s podcast, Decarbonize: The clean energy podcast.