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Active participation in COP28 urged as Asia-Pacific Climate Week wraps up

JOHOR BAHRU, Malaysia — This year’s Asia-Pacific Climate Week concluded Friday after five days of discussion on the region’s climate priorities, with the United Nations urging participants to play an active role in the upcoming COP28 negotiations. 

Around 3,000 participants which included policymakers, experts, and members of civil society organizations gathered in the southern Malaysian City of Johor Bahru to deliberate on solutions to the climate crisis as well as align the region’s priorities ahead of the COP28 climate talks in Dubai later this month. 

Donald Cooper, the director of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s transparency division, called on delegates to actively participate in the “global stocktake” assessing the world’s progress toward the target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

A technical report released in September said that the world was off track on its pledge to curb global warming. 

“We want to hit that curve that puts us below 1.5. The global stocktake is where you are going to establish what is needed and how we are going to do it,” Cooper said during the closing ceremony. 

“Everyone will take their share [of the commitments] to make sure we hit that curve. So be active in the global stocktake, at the Dubai conference. And make sure that those 80,000 people who are going to turn up there all end up heading in your direction,” he added.

Discussions at the climate week covered decarbonizing energy systems and industries, creating more sustainable cities, settlements, infrastructure and transportation, conserving biodiversity and ecosystems, protecting human health, and greening economies.

“As we stand at the crossroads of environmental crisis and opportunity, I trust APCW 2023 here in Johor Bahru has served as an impactful platform for all of us to strengthen regional cooperation, accelerate climate action, and embrace transformative potential of green technologies and sustainable practices,” Johor investment, trade, and consumer affairs committee chair Lee Ting Han said. 

UNFCCC’s Cooper lauded the participation of various groups in the week-long event. 

“From the indigenous peoples, youth, gender,