How Cipher is covering COP28, the climate change talks in Dubai

Executive Editor
An illustrated Earth rising out of a dessert dotted with businesspeople, with COP28 written in the lefthand corner and a stamp that reads United Arab Emirates in the righthand corner.
Illustration by Samson Awosan.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates—Hello from the beginning of the 28th annual United Nations Conference of the Parties, known from here on out as COP28.  

I’m on the ground here until December 6, and Bill Spindle, our senior global correspondent, is here for the duration of the two-week conference. Are you here? Email us:, and to reach the whole team: 

Whether you’re here or not, you’re likely being inundated with an overflowing amount of information about the official negotiations and the myriad news events swirling around them. 

Our coverage will be succinct and purposeful in the following ways:  

  • We’ll give you state of play coverage in our Wednesday newsletters on December 6 and 13, anchored by Bill. 
  • We’ll keep on top of the news throughout each day through our reader-favorite Top Reads & Hot Takes — our bite-sized news bursts that scroll on the lefthand side of our website homepage. Bookmark our website and our social media pages (find us on LinkedIn and X) to see what we’re following and finding at COP28. 
  • We’ll look to break news wherever we can, and we’ll write additional stories if we have clear news to share. 

The central tenet of these climate talks is money — how to get more of it where it needs to go, especially to lower income countries so they can both adopt cleaner technologies and adapt to the impacts of a warming world already underway.  

The climate finance stakes are massive but complicated, which is why Cipher has been publishing a six-part explainer series on the efforts to close the energy investment gap between wealthy and poorer nations. Here are those links again so you can get caught up fast: 

Clean energy investment is ramping up fast, but most of it is still not reaching beyond the world’s richest countries. 

Low- and middle-income countries will need an estimated $1.7 trillion a year in clean energy investments; last year, those countries received about a third of that amount.   

Wealthy countries pursuing financial partnerships to help wean lower income countries off coal, the dirtiest of fossil fuels, are running into a host of hurdles despite their general popularity. 

The carbon offsets industry, facing a deluge of criticism, is attempting a major reboot. After years of intense activity by dozens of study groups and implementation committees, the carbon trading industry has launched fresh initiatives to raise the quality of offsets and codify what claims buyers can credibly make after purchasing them. 

Wealthier nations are (finally) able to say they are on track to fulfill their pledge to provide $100 billion in annual funding to help lower income nations address climate change, though most agree today it’s not nearly enough.  

Since big infrastructure projects (such as building new transmission lines) are costly and slow to take off in lower income countries, innovative off-grid setups are gaining traction in the climate financing world as a way of more quickly and efficiently solving an energy access problem affecting hundreds of millions of people.