30 November 2023 to 12 December 2023
COP28 logo


The 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) will take place in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, from 30 November to 12 December 2023. As an Observer at the Conference of the Parties and a prominent European ground-based observation network, ICOS will participate in COP28 to demonstrate the ineluctability of a science-based approach to mitigating climate change. It will share its insights for a reliable measurement-to-model strategy on greenhouse gas observations. 

This page links to the six key messages ICOS is bearing at COP28 and links to events organised by ICOS or involving ICOS scientists and topics that interest the ICOS community. We will regularly update this page. Stay tuned! 

Six key messages from ICOS at COP28

ICOS key messages COP28

1. ICOS data shows that atmospheric CO2 concentrations are still dangerously rising: there is no other way than to reduce emissions. 
2. Ground-based observations are essential to the Earth Observations value chain.
3. We need reliable, independent, science-based Monitoring, Reporting and Verification systems for greenhouse gases to fight fraud and greenwashing claims.
4. The ICOS measurement-to-model strategy and its framework can be replicated beyond Europe.
5. In situ ocean observations need to be developed, and existing structures need to be preserved.
6. The people behind ground-based observation data are a vital part of climate science. 

▶ Read all the six messages in detail here


Connect with ICOS representatives at COP28

Werner Kutsch, Director General of ICOS, and Emmanuel Salmon, Head of Strategy & International Cooperation, are participating in COP28. Werner Kutsch can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@icos-ri.eu. Emmanuel Salmon can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@icos-ri.eu and by phone at +358 50 428 8166

ICOS-related side events at COP28

"Trust through Transparency - A German contribution through the Integrated Greenhouse Gas Monitoring System (ITMS)"

COP28 side event, 1 December 2023, 10:00-11:30 UTC+4
German Climate Pavilion and online

Reaching climate goals requires emission verification. In this session, experts from emission inventory, earth observation and modelling communities will provide insights into how scientific methodologies add transparency at the German, European, and global levels. More details here.

Speakers: Werner Kutsch, ICOS (Finland); Tobias Vosen, UBA (Germany); Andreas Becker, DWD (Germany); Richard Engelen, ECMWF (United Kingdom); Christoph Gerbig, MPI-BGC(Germany) & Oksana Tarasova, WMO (Switzerland).

▶ The event will be streamed and can be viewed online through the German Climate Pavilion website. 


"North Atlantic Carbon Observatory – A needed starting point for climate strategies and climate mitigation solutions"

COP28 side event at the Ocean Pavilion, , 1 December 2023, 17:00-18:00 UTC+4
Ocean Pavilion and online
Panel discussion organised by Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI)

The North Atlantic has absorbed about 30 per cent of anthropogenic carbon. It is particularly vulnerable to climate change. Despite relevant initiatives, an integrated and coordinated international observing system does not exist today. A North Atlantic Carbon Observatory (NACO) would connect and enhance ocean observation and modelling efforts to allow for more measurements of the ocean’s ability to absorb and store carbon, creating stakeholder-relevant information.

Moderator: Emmanuel Salmon, ICOS ERIC (Finland)
Speakers: Toste Tanhua, GEOMAR (Germany); Ed Hill, National Oceanography Centre (United Kingdom); Anya Waite, Ocean Frontier Institute (Canada); Wilfried Rickels, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (Germany)

The event will be streamed and can be viewed online through the Ocean Pavilion's YouTube channel. More information: https://oceanpavilion-cop.org/pavilion-programing/

"Global Greenhouse Gas Watch in support of transparency"

COP28 side event, 4 December 12.15-13.15 UTC +4
Science for Climate Action Pavilion, Building 88 and online

Global Greenhouse Gas Watch will provide a valuable tool to support the transparency of global mitigation action. The system will be built on three components: an integrated global observing system, global modelling with data assimilation and international data exchange. Open and unrestricted access to data will ensure a full transparency of system outputs. The ultimate goal is to produce a global distribution of monthly fluxes for carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide at a 100x100 km resolution. The quality of the outputs will be ensured through the participation of several modelling centers. The observing network will build on the existing efforts of WMO and IOC UNESCO, while the design and gap-filling in support of the GGGW will be done more systematically. The outputs will provide globally consistent information that will feed multiple applications including supplementary information to the traditional inventory reporting. Unlike traditional inventory, GGGW will consider climate feedback in the carbon cycle in the net flux estimates.

Moderator: Oksana Tarasova, WMO (Switzerland)
Speakers: Lars Peter Riishojgaard, WMO (Switzerland); Lesley Ott, NASA (USA); Werner Kutsch, ICOS ERIC (Finland); Jocelyn Turnbull, GNS Science (New Zealand)

▶ The event will be streamed on the WMO's YouTube channel


"The Future of deep ocean observation to service climate forecasts and solutions"

COP28 side event at the Ocean Pavilion, 6 December, 15.30-16.30 UTC +4
Main Theater and online
Panel discussion organised by Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI)

Any attempt to manage our planet’s carbon dioxide must start with the ocean. Join us for an insightful discussion on global ocean and carbon observation and the opportunity to improve climate forecasts, enrich climate policy, and enable climate solutions. Our panel will provide insights on current challenges and initiatives across different regions, the role of ocean observation in climate policy and how improved coordination and governance will drive environmental and economic value.

Speakers: Anya Waite (OFI, moderator), Kendra MacDonald (Canada's Ocean Supercluster), Tony Worby (Minderoo Foundation), Werner Kutsch (ICOS) 

The event will be streamed and can be viewed online through the Ocean Pavilion's YouTube channel. More information: https://oceanpavilion-cop.org/pavilion-programing/


"Transformative climate services for decision-makers based on observational data"

COP28 side event, 6 December 2023, 16:45- 18:15 UTC+4
SE Room 6 and online

Full programme here (PDF)
See the concrete impact of local climate action in this Resilience Academy video

Transformative climate services are crucial to leverage efficient climate mitigation actions. By mobilizing available knowledge, resources and skills, accounting for local realities and using actual data from observations, these services provide decision-makers with tools to tackle their climate-related issues. Drawing, amongst others, on their experience in the KADI project (kadi-project.eu), our speakers will share their insights and experiences on co-designing and implementing climate services, showcasing African and European success stories as transferrable references.

Speakers: Clement Albergel, ESA (France); Niina Käyhkö, University of Turku (Finland); Joyce Kimutai, Kenya Meteorological Department (Kenya); Werner Kutsch, ICOS ERIC (Finland); Joanna Masic, GFDRR, World Bank; Zakaria Ngereja, Ardhi University (Tanzania) ; Tuukka Petäjä, University of Helsinki (Finland)

▶ Live stream (no registration needed): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MiOttUQHmI 


"Earth Observations to assess nature-based carbon removals"

COP28 side event, 8 December 2023, 17:00-17:45 UTC+4
Finnish Pavilion and online

Have you heard about credits for carbon removals? Have you wondered how these removals would be reliably measured and certified before the credits can be transformed into money? This is the task for a new kind of certification system for credible carbon removals! Such a system should strengthen the climate mitigation chain by empowering crucial stakeholders while deterring greenwashing and preventing fraud. But what is a reliable system? And how exactly does it work? Come and listen to our experts to discover how Earth Observations play a crucial role in carbon markets and protect essential natural co-benefits.

Speakers: Anna Ikonen, Finnish Association for Nature Conservation (Finland); Sassan Saatchi, NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory (USA); Emmanuel Salmon, ICOS ERIC

▶ The event will be streamed and can be viewed online through the Finland Pavilion website



ICOS Cities' CO₂ module presented at the RewirED Summit

RewirED Summit at COP28, 8 December 2023

The CO₂ module, a pedagogical tool part of the ICOS Cities project, was selected by the "Teachers for the Planet" initiative to be presented at COP28 during the RewirED Summit. The CO₂ module aims to provide teachers with a ready-to-use pedagogical package to explain to teenagers how greenhouse gases affect global warming. The module was designed by Astrid Hügli, a teacher from Switzerland, as a learning component for ICOS Cities. You can read more about the module here.  

▶ The event is only accessible in person 



"Monitoring and verification of ecosystem carbon absorption"

COP28 side event, 9 December 2023, 11:00-12:30 UTC+4
Korea Pavilion and online

This side event will present an innovative hybrid approach that combines in situ observations, modelling and remote sensing to monitor cropland production and carbon stock changes at a large scale and high resolution, towards an operational MRV system. This system has been developed and validated using ICOS flux data over cropland from several ICOS stations, allowing for the production of annual carbon budget maps at an impressive 10-meter resolution. 

Speakers: Gayoung Yoo, KHU (Korea); Jean-Francois Soussana, INRAE (FRANCE); Ahmad Al Bitar, CESBIO-CNRS (France); Jeehwan Bae, KHU (Korea); Jun Ge Hyun, KHU (Korea); Chaerin Park, SNU (Korea); Sujong Jeong, SNU (Korea)

▶ The event will be streamed and can be viewed online