#ISWAatCOP: Marc’s Musings for Day 1 in Dubai

Dec 1, 2023 | ISWA blog, ISWA news, Working Groups

Marc Tijhuis

Marc Tijhuis

Managing Director, ISWA

Photo Credit: Kiara Worth | UN Climate Change


During last year’s Climate Conference in Egypt I sighed, unfortunately, that we need a circus like this to solve the problems we caused ourselves.

This year’s circus, with 70.000 delegates, can be called impressive. I wonder – is it a good thing as more people are taking the devastating effects of climate change more seriously? Or is it a result of indecisiveness of global leaders?

I have no clue and no judgement, but I stay worried as a world citizen.

The reality of the 2023 UNFCCC COP28 is that ISWA is not only a spectator of the show, but becoming more and more a part of the show with our first ever Waste & Resources Pavilion.

The run up to the event was hopeful as the U.S. and China agreed to back a new global renewables target and work together on methane and plastic pollution. As the world’s two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, we’re off to a promising start.

The first day brought another surprise as delegates agreed on the operationalisation of a fund that would help compensate vulnerable countries coping with loss and damage caused by climate change

It looks like a major breakthrough on the first day of this year’s UN Climate Conference as some major countries, including Germany and United Arab Emirates, also committed to US $100 million towards this fund.


For ISWA, the first day was a great day, with meeting our dedicated partners and celebrating the launch of our extensive program, amplifying the voice of the Waste and Resource Management Sector.

This was not an easy task with so many ‘competitors’ around the Pavilion, all shouting for attention.

On the other hand, as this is the first Pavilion of it’s kind, an easy task spreading the message that the link between waste and resource management to tackle climate change is direct and undeniable. It cannot be said enough, and research tells us that strategic waste and resource management can mitigate global greenhouse gas emissions by 15 – 20%.


With all our partners and invited honourable speakers, we will definitely show that it’s more than mentioning meaningless numbers. This is showing our commitment towards transformative actions aiming to revert the adverse impacts of climate change.

We are not just shouting from the side, but serving the audience with solutions, convincing stakeholders that sound waste management should be at the heart of a circular economy we are heading for.

COP28 is telling us we are waiting on the world to change with a promising tag line: ‘actions starts here’.
It won’t be up to us, but ISWA is ready.

share this article

ISWA’s latest

All news