Stop Bending The Rules For Millions 1st call to action for a better COP28.



comments no comments

COP28 in Dubai is being held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from November 30th to December 12th. It is the 28th Conference of Parties (COP) to be held as part of an international treaty called the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

COP28 matters.  It will determine how far countries have come with the 2023 Stocktake. It is an opportunity to engage with oil and gas companies to accelerate the transition to clean energy. It will hammer out the funds to help vulnerable communities to adapt to the effects of climate change. It aims to be the force to keep alive the goal of limiting long-term global temperature rises to 1.5°C to avoid the most damaging impacts of climate change.  It is bold and radical under a storm of controversy and scrutiny.

COP is the world’s most important climate meeting attended by the biggest gathering of world leaders. Christiana Figueres, the UN’s former climate chief and architect of the Paris climate agreement explained that “COP was designed to deliver multilateral agreements of all national governments coming together to decarbonize the economy.” On carbon emissions, she said, “it is now time to move that on to national-scale efforts and corporate efforts. That is where action needs to take place.”


The business of COP is business, but it should not be business-as-usual. COP summits have increasingly grown and resembled a business fair with big business sponsors claiming to be climate leaders with slick marketing campaigns. More companies are allowed to set up stalls and pavilions to leverage commercial opportunities. More lobby groups financed by deep-pocketed fossil fuel companies are allowed to attend. COP sponsorships involve big financial “contributions” in exchange for visibility, access and influence, to sway or convince opinion for political and commercial gain.

At the COP27 in Egypt, 90% of sponsors have ties to fossil fuel companies according to an analysis by CEO and Corporate Accountability and their influence undermined the credibility and success of the climate talks.  Egypt’s choice of Coca-Cola as a major sponsor after it was named the world’s leading polluter of plastics angered many climate activists.

The UAE COP28 Summit offered multi-million dollar sponsorship opportunities promoted by international PR Agencies. Its sponsorship criteria required companies to be a member of the Race to Zero pathway and make a public Race to Zero pledge with credible net-to zero transition plans by 2030 and 2050 based on Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). Local sponsors can also join the UAE Capacity Building Pathway.

The COP28 Principal Partner sponsorship package ranging up to US$8.2mn (Dh30mn) offered 25 UN-accredited passes for company executives with “privileged access” to the exclusive Blue Zone, provided an opportunity to speak in a presidency event, host a reception and an event, network with government officials and global business leaders, display presentations and feature accomplishments, and as a partner recognised on the trophy wall.  The Industry Partner sponsorship package is less than US$7,000 USD and comes with 5 UN-accredited passes to the exclusive Blue Zone.


Spendwell analysis revealed that companies sponsoring COP28 are NOT committed to cutting their greenhouse gas emissions in line with globally recognised Net Zero targets. Most do not have a Net Zero commitment with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), as a bare minimum.

Spendwell analysis also scrutinised the climate action of global accountancy firm EY, formerly Ernst and Young, chosen to verify the climate commitments of the sponsors. EY has not set targets with SBTi and no action is taken towards its commitment to produce a decarbonisation target.

The 2023 Spendwell report identified the 24 companies sponsoring COP28 and revealed that

– Just 1 of the 24 companies have set net-zero targets with SBTi, the collaborative climate commitment initiative anchored by the United Nations.

– Just 6 of these companies have committed to setting net-zero targets with SBTi.

– Only 5 of these companies have set enough targets for the initiative to effectively grade their commitments on a future-temperature alignment scale.

– Just 2 of these 24 companies have made a commitment to 100% renewable energy through Science Based Targets or the RE100 initiative.

– Just 2 of these 24 companies have set targets with Climate Group’s EP100 energy efficiency initiative.

Trust is earned and easily lost, and people have little to no tolerance for hypocrisy, greed and conflicting values of leaders that lack integrity.

2023 global survey on trust revealed a weakened social fabric amid deepening divisions and a lack of faith in societal institutions triggered by economic anxiety, disinformation, mass-class divide and failure of leadership has brought us to where we are today – deeply and dangerously polarized.


At these most urgent of times, a skeptical and worried world is watching.

NOW is calling for a better COP28 with integrity and accountable actions without greenwash or creative PR.

Join us tomorrow for our second action call for a better COP.


Do you care about sustainability? Please leave a reply here.