COP28 and Indigenous Peoples

COP28, the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference, takes place in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from November 30 to December 12, 2023. Given the thematic organization of the conference, Indigenous Peoples are highlighted on the sixth day of the conference. Meanwhile, Indigenous advocates are working to place Indigenous rights and self-determination at the forefront of all discussions.

The first two days of COP28, following the launch day, are devoted to the World Climate Action Summit, where a Global Stocktake response will be presented, as mandated by the Paris Agreement, and accountability will be sought from countries. After the opening Summit, COP28 is organized by thematic areas, where each day is focused on a set of themes:

  • Health/Relief Recovery, and Peace
  • Finance/Trade/Gender Equality/ Accountability
  • Energy and Industry/ Just Transition/ Indigenous Peoples
  • Multilevel Action, Urbanization and Built Environment/Transport
  • Youth, Children, Education and Skills
  • Nature, Land Use, and Oceans.
  • Food, Agriculture, and Water

The last two days of COP28 are devoted to final negotiations.

Indigenous Peoples are concerned that the COP28 talks will lead to an expansion of false climate solutions rather than nature-based solutions to climate change. World Indigenous leaders will continue to shed light on “how resources needed for sustainable energy threaten Indigenous land and people.” Indigenous Climate Action (Canada) intends to put Indigenous rights at the forefront of COP28 talks, while drawing from their 2021 Report Decolonizing Climate Policy in Canada. Furthermore, enhancing Indigenous participation in decision making at COP 28 will remain a priority for Indigenous advocates.


By Leela Viswanathan


(Image Credit: Kevin Long, Unsplash)