The Road to COP28 - Uganda

November 29, 2023

UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Ms. Sheila Ngatia (Centre) takes a photo with youth and climate change experts during the youth climate summit

UNDP Uganda/Joel Akena

As the world grapples with the escalating climate crisis, Uganda stands poised to play a pivotal role in shaping global climate action at the upcoming 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). With the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Uganda has actively prepared to engage in this crucial event, held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from November 30th to December 12th, 2023.

COP28 represents a critical juncture in the global fight against climate change. It is an opportunity for nations to not only recommit to ambitious climate goals but also to concretize strategies for achieving them. The year 2023 is on track to be the hottest on record, underscoring the urgency of immediate and decisive action. With every passing minute, the window for averting catastrophic climate impacts narrows. COP28 must be the turning point where countries move beyond mere pledges and translate words into tangible action.

Uganda, like many nations across the globe, has already experienced the devastating consequences of climate change. From extreme weather events to disrupted agricultural cycles, the effects are far-reaching and deeply felt. UNDP's support in preparing Uganda for COP28 is therefore invaluable, empowering the country to effectively advocate for its climate priorities and contribute to a global climate action agenda.

At COP28, Uganda will emphasize the importance of inclusive and equitable climate solutions, ensuring that the most vulnerable communities are not left behind. The country will also advocate for increased financial support for developing nations, recognizing that they bear the burden of climate change despite contributing the least to its causes.

As the world convenes in Dubai, Uganda stands ready to play its part in shaping a climate-resilient future. With UNDP's support, Uganda is committed to fostering a COP28 that marks a turning point in global climate action, where countries not only agree on the 'what' but also define the 'how' to achieve a sustainable future for all.

UNDP has been supporting Uganda prepare for the global event in the following ways.

  1. Empowering Youth for Climate Action:

a) Youth and innovation expo 2023

Skills development, innovation, and entrepreneurship offer promising solutions to youth unemployment in Uganda. UNDP’s Youth4Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship Facility (Y4BF) launched by the President of Uganda, promotes impact-driven entrepreneurship and innovative business solutions to address this challenge.

UNDP, Makerere University, and MTN Uganda partnered to organize the Youth and Innovation Expo 2023 which took place from the 6th to 7th of October. The expo attracted the Deputy Speaker of Parliament - Rt. Hon. Thomas Tayebwa and was an opportunity for youth to showcase their creative ideas and development solutions to address 21st-century challenges.

A side event on youth in climate action was also held during the expo and aimed to:

  • Amplify youth awareness of climate action opportunities.

  • Unleash youth potential in climate action.

  • Showcase youth-driven climate action innovations.

The event successfully engaged a diverse group of youth participants, fostering a vibrant atmosphere of learning, dialogue, and collaboration on the road to UNFCCC’s COP28.

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b) UNDP youth climate summit

UNDP organized a youth climate summit from the 11th to 13th of October 2023, to enhance the capacity of young people in climate change negotiations and increase their understanding of the COP processes.

The summit managed to:

  • Provide information on climate change negotiation topics.
  • Share information and create awareness on Uganda's Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) and youth engagement opportunities.
  • Strengthen youth participation in climate change negotiations.
  • Showcase youth-led projects in various sectors. and
  • Explore opportunities for youth engagement in COP processes.

The summit successfully engaged a diverse group of youth participants, empowering them to contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts.

Youth Voice

2.   Supporting Uganda’s national pre-COP28 workshop 

On Thursday, the 2nd of November 2023, UNDP supported the organization of a pre-COP28 workshop in partnership with the Ministry of Water and Environment. This workshop was officiated by the 1st Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of East African affairs – Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga. It also brought together over 100 climate experts from across the country. Uganda’s position paper was also one of the outcomes of the event. The paper which highlights Uganda’s current position in all climate change sectors will be used as Uganda’s advocacy tool during COP28 and will be disseminated at Uganda’s pavilion.

Here were some quotes from participants

“I advise participants of COP28 from Uganda to accept that Uganda is highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, and I urge all to press hard on loss and Damage negotiations” Rebecca Kadaga, 1st Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East Africa Affairs.

“Gathered here is a community of experts and change makers united by a common purpose, addressing the pressing issues of climate change, the Conference of Parties is the highest decision-making body of the UNFCCC, and it meets annually to adopt decisions, review progress and consider further actions.” Hon. Beatrice Anywar, Minister of State for Environment.

"In preparation for COP28, developed nations must address the urgent need for increased climate finance for developing countries. A shift from loans to grants is essential to empower developing nations to effectively combat climate change and build resilience." Biyika Lawerence Songa, Member of Parliament, Ora County in Zombo district.

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3.   Stakeholder consultation on carbon markets

UNDP is supporting Uganda in developing a framework for participation in carbon markets under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement and the voluntary carbon market. The framework includes guidelines and regulations that will enhance the country's participation in these markets and help it achieve its NDC targets. As part of preparations for COP28, UNDP organized a stake holder consultation which brought together over 100 carbon market specialists and also stakeholders from the Justice ministry of Uganda.

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