69% believe COP28 is more about political posturing, only 10% aware of COP28 objectives

However, nearly half of UK respondents (48%) think COP28 is a step in the right direction for addressing climate change

Research just released reveals as little as 38% of Brits believe COP28 will lead to tangible change in the global fight against climate change. That’s according to a survey by Varda, the agtech startup, which determined attitudes towards the most recent United Nations Climate Change Conference and the upcoming COP28 in Dubai this year.

The survey of 1,000 UK consumers revealed that 57% don’t have an in-depth understanding of what COP is, and a further 10% don’t know what objectives COP27 set out to achieve. The majority (63%) are not aware of – or didn’t remember – the theme from COP27.

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When looking at the effect COP27 (which took place in Egypt in November 2022) has had on UK citizens, it appears that consumers are yet to feel its impact. Sixty five percent of respondents stated that they haven’t noticed any changes to the country or communities since the event. In addition, only a minority (5%) felt COP27 was effective in addressing pressing climate issues, and 6% felt that it reflected the needs of ordinary people.

The findings provide some understanding into the UK’s negative perception of the upcoming COP28. Sixty nine percent of respondents go as far to say that they believe the event is more about political posturing than the fight against climate change, and half of respondents believe that the UK Government isn’t committed to the objectives of COP.

Davide Ceper, CEO at Varda, commented: “It’s clear that there is skepticism regarding the effectiveness of COP. However, it’s heartening to see that many still view it as a vital platform for instigating change. At Varda, we are steadfast in our belief that collaboration is key to safeguarding our collective future, and this collaboration needs to encompass everyone; from the political establishment to the corporate world, from activists to NGO to common citizens. While the aspiration is clearly present in all sectors, the conviction, according to survey respondents, seems lacking. This underscores the pressing need for more education and involvement of all communities in the concerted efforts to address this global issue.

Looking ahead to COP28, despite some of the reservations, there is still a lot of optimism heading into the event. Nearly half of consumers (48%) still think COP28 is a step in the right direction for addressing climate change. Almost half (47%) believe comprehensive media campaigns on TV, radio, and in newspapers would strengthen awareness around COP. Twenty five percent believe mandatory transparency reports on decision-making processes, and 21% binding legal consequences for not meeting set targets or promises, would help with overall accountability.

“Generating more awareness and more engagement from everyone will be pivotal for us making positive strides towards our goals. COP28 can be a tremendous catalyst for this and we must make sure that the messages reach far and wide,” Ceper added.

The 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference, more commonly referred to as COP28, will be the 28th United Nations Climate Change conference, held from November 30 until December 12, 2023, in Dubai. This year’s thematic program is designed to unite a diverse range of stakeholders – all levels of governments, youth, business and investors, civil society, frontline communities, indigenous peoples, and others.

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