What the tech sector can expect from COP28

COP28 comes at a decisive moment for international climate action. This summer saw temperature records broken, and several floods and wildfires across the world. COP28 in December marks an opportunity for leaders to put the world on a more sustainable footing.

COP, also known as the ‘Conference of Parties’ brings together world leaders, ministers and negotiators to tackle the most pressing challenge of climate change. This comes following the signing of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement. For the last 7 years, COPs have revolved around implementing the Paris Agreement and limiting the rise of global average temperatures to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

What’s new about COP28

The focus of COP this year will be different and will be much more on implementation. Indeed, COP28 marks the ‘Global Stocktake’ year. This will see new measures put in place to accelerate climate action and put world on the right track.

The UN Global Stocktake Synthesis report released on 8 September marked a broad assessment of global climate action to date. It identified problems to meeting the Paris Agreement goals, from lack of preparedness for the impacts of climate change to the lack of finance to deliver climate action at pace. Along with this, it outlined findings and recommendations to address gaps and accelerate action to meet the Paris Agreement.

At COP28, world leaders will have the chance to respond to the Global Stocktake, setting out their stall for future ambitions and action. Key issues likely to receive attention in Dubai, and which may be reflected across several negotiating streams, include climate finance, energy transition and building resilience to climate change impacts.

What to watch for the tech sector

COP28 has thematic days covering areas such as Climate Finance/Trade/Gender Equality/Accountability (Dec 4), Energy/Industry/Just Transition (Dec 5), Multilevel Action, Urbanisation and Build Environment/Transport (Dec 6). Most notably, all with cross cutting themes that underpin effective and interconnected delivery, on which is ‘technology and innovation’. It is clear that technological and innovative solutions will drive forward climate action and net zero ambitions.

The COP28 UAE TechSprint (open since 11 September) calls for solutions to address challenges in sustainable finance using innovative technology solutions. Core problem statements focused on AI Technology, Blockchain Technology and IOT and Sensor Technologies of the initiative were developed. The best technology solutions to problem statements will be shortlisted and announced at COP28 UAE.

techUK’s action arount COP28

techUK is pleased to announce that we are partnering with the UN, standards bodies, the World Bank and leading businesses to showcase how the global ICT sector can lead the way with bold action to support the climate agenda. This will be through a COP28 ‘Green Digital Action’ campaign on how digital tech can accelerate climate ambition and decarbonise itself.

techUK will also be there on the ground in UAE, reinforcing the message that tech and innovation plays every day at COP28 and feeding back the most important, and relevant, announcements to our members.

techUK will continue to promote the work that industry continue to do to lead the way in developing the innovative and technological solutions towards reaching the Paris Agreement ambitions through our upcoming Campaign week.

Finally, we will continue to advocate and disseminate our UK Tech Plan across key government stakeholders. This Plan calls for greater action from the UK government across areas of resource and energy efficiency, biodiversity, and transport infrastructure ahead of the Autumn Statement 2023 and general election. techUK also calls for the Prime Minister to stay on course on net zero policies following recent weakening of targets.


Join techUK at our Tech and Net Zero Conference, 5 October

The second annual Tech and Net Zero Conference will take place on 5 October. This year’s conference will be focused on operationalising Net Zero for tech firms, as well as looking forward to COP28, specifically the sectors’ role in decarbonising the wider economy.

The agenda includes:

  • COP 28 keynote: UK priorities and how they are approaching the talks. Our panel of experts will look at what the COP 28 process means for UK tech.
  • What does COP 28 and the global stocktake mean for tech? With COP 28 being a ‘global stocktake’ year, this panel will discuss the risks, operational issues, and opportunities to deliver tech sector led decarbonisation across the economy.
  • The tech sector’s own net zero journey. This panel will discuss how they are approaching decarbonisation and the problems they’ve faced. Topics will include transition pathways, standards, frameworks, Scope 3 / Scope 4, offsets, and leadership.
  • Policy and regulatory roundtables. Delegates can attend one of three breakout sessions on some of the key regulatory and policy developments impacting tech, including an overview of the latest climate related regulations, greenwashing and green claims, and disclosure requirements for tech (SDRs, CSRD, CS3D).
  • Making the UK a clean tech leader in the face of increasing scepticism, the US IRA and EU Green Deal. With increasing climate scepticism ahead of the General Election, this panel will discuss what needs to happen for the UK to become a ‘clean tech leader’. The discussion will include the role of public funding and subsidies, green finance, and creating a market for tech.
  • Tech sector decarbonisation roundtables. Delegates can attend one of three breakout sessions that will look at how the tech sector itself can decarbonise, including how to procure renewable electricity, developing green digital skills, and green software development and decarbonised data infrastructure.
  • Building a resilient tech ecosystem. The climate crisis is already impacting communities and businesses. This panel will look at how the tech sector can become more resilient, including, how to measure and declare risk, protecting infrastructure and business critical operations, the role of insurance, and contingency planning and future risk planning.
  • AI and Climate. AI is set to transform all sectors. This discussion will look at how AI can make an impact on decarbonisation.

You can register here.

techUK - Committed to Climate Action

Visit our Climate Action Hub to learn more or to register for regular updates.

techUK is a crucial source of advice for decision-makers responsible for the delivery of climate and sustainability considerations into their organisation. Our climate and sustainability focused working groups and networking forums are valuable peer-learning opportunities where members can discuss current projects, consider the most pressing topics, and identify common challenges and solutions. For more information on how to get involved in our forums, please visit our Climate Action Hub and click 'Join forums'

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Weronika Dorociak

Weronika Dorociak

Programme Manager, Sustainability , techUK

Craig Melson

Craig Melson

Associate Director for Climate, Environment and Sustainability, techUK

Lucas Banach

Lucas Banach

Programme Assistant, Data Centres, Climate, Environment and Sustainability, Market Access, techUK