Blue or Green? COP Zones

For those not familiar with the UNFCC and COP structure and process, the language to talk about the event can be confusing. Even our delegation is learning there’s always so much to learn at every new new COP since they are held each year in a new country!

One thing they have in common is that COPs are organized into two distinctive areas called the Blue and Green Zones.

The Blue Zone is a UNFCCC-managed site that is only open to UN-accredited participants. There is an online registration system for accreditation. People who can attend the Blue Zone are: world leaders, representatives from 198 Parties (countries); official Observers (UN Agencies; IGOs; NGOs); and media.

It hosts the formal negotiations across the two weeks of the conference, as well as the World Climate Action Summit, Global Climate Action Hub, pavilions, presidency events, and hundreds of side events, including panel discussions, roundtables, and cultural events. This is where high level negotiations and discussions are happening.

DECEMBER 5: John F. Kerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate for the United States of America, His Excellency Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, COP28 President and other participants pose onstage in the Blue Zone for a group photo during the Global Cooling Pledge at the UN Climate Change Conference COP28 at Expo City Dubai on December 5, 2023, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by COP28 / Christopher Pike)

While the Blue Zone is closed to non-UNFCCC accredited individuals, the Green Zone is managed and delivered by the COP28 UAE Presidency, and is open to everyone. . It offers a platform for different groups, including youth groups, civil society, NGOs, the private sector, and indigenous people to have their voices heard, promoting dialogue and awareness about climate action. The Green Zone will have curated content programming, aligned with thematic days, conferences, panel discussions, talks, presentations, and more.

It also has a Youth Hub – a place for youth to discuss, collaborate and network on climate change solutions, a Civil Societies Hub that will host presentations, activations and discussion on the part civil societies play in climate change solutions and an Arts and Cultural Programming hubthat will demonstrate climate change and solutions through various art mediums.

This year the Green Zone at COP28 UAE features the first-ever sustainable fashion show at COP offering a platform to both established and emerging designers deeply committed to the causes of climate change and sustainability.

Renowned Italian maestro Alessandro Martire enchants audiences in the Green Zone at the Al Wasl dome during the UN Climate Change Conference COP28 at Expo City Dubai on December 4, 2023, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by COP28 / Anthony Fleyhan)

People interest in learning more about the unique Green Zone offerings in Dubai can read a full article here. 

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