From November 30 to December 12, 2023, the COP 28, officially known as 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC), occurred in Dubai, United Arab Emirates with 200 Parties in attendance. This gathering, which included approximately 85,000 participants, comprised of world and business leaders, young people, scientists, Indigenous Peoples, journalists, international organizations, and various other experts and stakeholders1. The key themes discussed in this year’s COP 28 are the following2:

  • Mitigation Strategies: Discussions on reducing greenhouse gas emissions through various measures, including renewable energy adoption, energy efficiency, and sustainable land use.
  • Adaptation: Addressing the impacts of climate change and developing strategies to adapt to changing conditions, particularly for vulnerable communities.
  • Finance: Negotiating financial commitments to support climate action in developing countries, including funding for adaptation and mitigation efforts.
  • Technology Transfer: Facilitating the transfer of environmentally sound technologies to developing countries to assist in their sustainable development.
  • Loss and Damage: Discussing approaches to address the irreversible impacts of climate change that cannot be mitigated or adapted to, and the responsibility for associated losses and damages.
  • Nature-based Solutions: Exploring the role of ecosystems, biodiversity, and natural resources in climate mitigation and adaptation strategies.
  • Global Climate Policy: Reviewing and updating the global climate policy framework, such as the Paris Agreement, and discussing future commitments.
  • Youth and Public Engagement: Emphasizing the importance of involving youth and the public in climate action and raising awareness about climate change.


In the final negotiations of COP 28, approximately 200 countries reached a consensus on a new climate deal addressing the future of fossil fuels, including coal, oil, and gas. The key elements of the agreement include the following3:

  • Transitioning away from fossil fuels to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
  • Tripling renewable energy capacity by 2030.
  • Doubling energy efficiency by 2030.
  • Developing detailed climate adaptation plans by 2025.
  • Facilitating climate funds from high-income countries to low-income countries to support climate-vulnerable nations in their adaptation efforts.


Various countries and organizations participating in COP 28 also set up pavilions. Pavilions refer to exhibition spaces set up by various countries, organizations, and stakeholders to showcase their side events, initiatives, projects, and contributions related to climate change4, 5. These pavilions serve several purposes:

  • Information and Education: Pavilions provide a platform for countries and organizations to share information, raise awareness, and educate COP attendees and the public about their efforts in addressing climate change. This includes showcasing technological innovations, policy initiatives, and successful projects.
  • Networking and Collaboration: The pavilions act as meeting spaces where representatives from different countries, NGOs, businesses, and other entities can network, exchange ideas, and explore potential collaborations. It is an opportunity for stakeholders to build partnerships and discuss strategies for collective climate action.
  • Showcasing Best Practices: Countries and organizations often use pavilions to highlight best practices and success stories related to climate change mitigation, adaptation, and sustainable development. This allows others to learn from effective strategies and replicate successful approaches.
  • Policy Advocacy: Pavilions may also serve as platforms for countries and organizations to advocate for specific policies, positions, or initiatives related to climate change. This can include promoting certain targets, commitments, or the importance of specific actions.
  • Cultural and Artistic Expression: Some pavilions incorporate cultural and artistic elements to convey messages related to climate change. This can include art installations, performances, and exhibitions that emphasize the cultural dimensions of climate action.


The Philippines is one of the countries and organizations that have set up pavilions at COP 28. The official website of the Philippine Pavilion can be found through this link:


The Philippine Pavilion and Delegates

Due to unforeseen circumstances, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. was unable to attend COP 28. On his behalf, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga led the Philippine delegation at the conference. The delegation consisted of 237 registered onsite delegates representing 16 government agencies and civil society6.

The Philippine Pavilion at COP 28 focused on key themes and highlighted significant information and progress in the following areas7:

  • Protecting Biodiversity: The Philippines has 91 protected biodiversity areas and is home to 25,000 endemic species. Collaborative efforts with local communities and indigenous peoples emphasize sustainable management and conservation of natural carbon sinks and biodiversity hotspots.
  • Building Resilient Communities: Utilizing digital and spatial technology, the government is actively engaged in disaster mitigation and ensuring information access for disaster-prone areas. Climate programs are integrated into 113 national government instrumentalities to enhance community climate-related resilience.
  • Low-Carbon Economic Development: As the 3rd largest geothermal power producer globally, following the United States and Indonesia, the Philippines is actively contributing to low-carbon energy. Commitments include achieving a 35% renewable contribution for power generation by 2030 and transitioning to 100% electric vehicles for new vehicle sales by 2040, as outlined in its National Determined Contribution.


The Loss and Damage Fund

Situated as an archipelago adjacent to the Pacific Ocean, the Philippines is particularly susceptible to extreme climate events, rendering the country highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Consequently, the proposed loss and damage fund, aimed at assisting developing and vulnerable nations in addressing the impacts of climate change—including droughts, floods, and rising sea levels—emerged as a top priority for the Philippines leading up to COP 286. The Philippines has been at the forefront of the negotiations for the fund since the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda, internationally known Super Typhoon Haiyan8. Super Typhoon Yolanda, traversed the Philippines last November 8, 2013, impacting 16 million individuals. Over 28,000 people sustained injuries, and 6,300 lost their lives9.

On December 14, 2023, the DENR Secretary confirmed that the Philippine government has successfully secured a seat on the inaugural board of the loss and damage fund. This provides the country the opportunity to actively influence the decision-making process concerning fund recipients and access. The delegation from the Philippines has officially put forward the nomination of Mark Joven, a former undersecretary of finance, to serve as the country’s representative on the board8.

The nation will serve as a full member representing the Asia-Pacific Group in 2024 and 2026, while acting as an alternate member in 2025, sharing this role with Pakistan during that particular year. Multiple COP 28 Parties have collectively committed to the loss and damage fund, with a total pledge reaching approximately USD 700 million. Additionally, a dedicated UN committee has concurred on proposing the World Bank to act as both the secretariat and trustee for the fund8.


Blue Carbon Action Partnership

Another highlight for the country in COP 28 is that the Philippines became a member of the Blue Carbon Action Partnership of the World Economic Forum (WEF) after the DENR Secretary entered into an agreement with WEF on Sunday, December 3, 2023. The collaboration aims to manage the rehabilitation and protection of coastal ecosystems such as mangroves and seagrasses, with a goal to capture 700 billion metric tons of carbon10. The agreement also encompasses the mitigation of plastic pollution11. This agreement became active upon its signing and will conclude on March 31, 202610.


Carbon Credits and Coal Power Plants

Parallel to COP28 main sessions, a coalition led by the Rockefeller Foundation has launched a pilot project with the goal of using carbon credits to retire a coal power plant in the Philippines before its anticipated lifespan concludes. In the latest proposal presented at the summit, the Coal to Clean Credit Initiative (CCCI), supported by the Philippine energy company ACEN and the Monetary Authority of Singapore, aims to decommission the South Luzon Thermal Energy Corporation (SLTEC) plant in Batangas as early as 2030—a decade earlier than its initially planned retirement date12.



With an intensified commitment toward achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, there is a greater incentive to invest in renewable energy and the restoration of coastal ecosystems. Future ventures in fossil fuels may encounter resistance amid the global climate transition. Additionally, the establishment of the loss and damage fund signals a promising future for climate mitigation and adaptation research and development in the country. Anticipation is focused on upcoming developments in these sectors to gauge the direction of investments in fossil fuels, carbon credits, and renewable energy in the Philippines.



  1. United Nations Climate Change. COP28 Agreement Signals “Beginning of the End” of the Fossil Fuel Era. UN Climate Press Release (2023).
  2. United Nations. COP28 signals beginning of the end of the fossil fuel era. Climate Action (2023).
  3. Nilsen, E. Takeaways from COP28: What does the climate deal say? CNN (2023).
  4. UN Environment Programme. Buildings Pavilion: Building our Future. UN Environment Programme (2023).
  5. United Nations Climate Change. COP 28 pavilions. United Nations Climate Change,of%20the%20formal%20intergovernmental%20process (2023).
  6. De Leon, D. PRIMER: Marcos government’s participation at COP28 climate summit in Dubai. Rappler (2023).
  7. Department of Environment and Natural Resources. PH in COP28. Philippines in COP28 (2023).
  8. Gozum, I. Philippines gets a seat in inaugural board of loss and damage fund. Rappler (2023).
  9. World Health Organization. Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in the Philippines, 2013. World Health Organization
  10. Gozum, I. PH joins Blue Carbon Action Partnership. Rappler (2023).
  11. De Leon, D. PH, WEF ink deal on restoring blue carbon ecosystem, addressing plastic pollution. Rappler (2023).
  12. Carbon credits to be used for Philippine coal power plant’s early retirement. Rappler (2023).