Heads of states, delegates, ministers, environmental advocates and businesses gathered from November 30 through December 12, in the United Arab Emirates to discuss and negotiate how to mobilize collective action to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, or lower.  All eyes were on the UAE, to see if the 28th Conference of Parties (COP28) could pull off an agreement to help fund countries affected by climate, and transition to a future powered by a different kind of energy than fossil fuels.

Fast-forward 12 days later, into the aftermath of COP28 – the gathering of leaders was in fact a historic COP – and the result was a COP of action, with much being accomplished. But it wasn’t just the presidential discussions that made it a success; it was the pavilions, the school visits to Dubai’s Expo City and related events on the fringe that brought forward collective awareness and partnerships that are essential to a sustainable future.

But what did all this mean for participants, including a large number of Page members? 

Organizations including Mubadala Investment Company were keen to show their support to the UAE’s commitment to net zero by 2050 and highlight tangible actions and contributions towards that goal. As communicators, we took on that challenge and did what we do best – story-tell. This was an opportunity to unpack a complex global challenge and showcase the various solutions to demonstrate impact.

As a showcase Participant of COP28. Mubadala had a pavilion in the Green Zone, which housed Mubadala and its group of companies. Across the 12 Days, our assets displayed their various portfolio contributions to decarbonizations and net-zero. There were 47 programs with more than 125 speakers across a range of disciplines from green energy, finance, environmental science, conservation, gender equity and youth engagement at the Mubadala stand at COP 28. Complemented with three MOU signings and press releases that reinforced our commitment to conservations and partnerships.

Experts, advocates and employees discussed, debated and collaborated at the Mubadala Pavilion. At-capacity, audiences watched and engaged with leaders from across Mubadala and around the world. Discussions and lessons centered on interconnectivity between the financial, technological, environmental and commercial ecosystems. Our biggest learning? That we are all profoundly connected and interconnected on this journey to keep the rise in Earth’s temperature below 1.5 degrees.

Page members also played their collective part, as communicators came together for a Page@COP28 event on December 5th to talk shop, share notes about what was going well (or not quite) and the overall experience of 110,000 people gathered to focus on the future of the environment.  We hosted Tim McDonnell from Semafor, the publication’s Energy and Climate correspondent, to get a sense of how he ‘translates’ COP lingo into language everyone can understand – and the stakes for regulators and elected officials in capitals around the world.

The end result was a COP that will be seen as the most significant since Paris in 2015, in three areas: for the first time, including the words ‘fossil fuels’ into language discussing the transition into a new energy future and away from hydrocarbons; tripling the renewable investments worldwide; and addressing the climate inequalities through green financing to countries which are bearing the brunt of climate change, but not producing emissions.

The pledges and promises now move to action, and in the era of scrutiny of ESG, the hard work awaits.  As communicators, COP was a call to action that every company now needs to live up to its commitments to expedite the energy transition and stay focused on its business goals around innovation and investment.  As the Page Principles would suggest, tell the truth and reinforce it with action.