One month following the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), the year 2024 is in full swing. With a fresh mind, we take a moment to reflect on the importance of this global gathering in Dubai. How did COP28 resonate with our dedication to environmental innovation and sustainable solutions?

Fostering Global Partnerships

Together with the EU and its member states – including Belgium – VITO actively participated in COP28. The conference delved into crucial topics such as Global Stocktake, mitigation, adaptation, and climate finance. The objective was straightforward: to contribute to the collective efforts addressing climate change challenges. All this to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5°C, as outlined in the Paris Agreement.

In the context of this global dialogue, VITO concentrated on fostering partnerships with nations and international organizations. The primary objective?  Cultivating collaborations centered on international climate services, providing support for climate-informed decision-making. Our expertise encompasses not just climate adaptation, but also mitigation and climate monitoring services based on real-time data, emphasizing the importance of remote sensing technologies.

A significant collaboration took shape when VITO entered into an agreement with PureHealth Research at COP28. Together, they will conduct joint research on trends related to air quality and heat stress in the UAE. This strategic partnership aligns seamlessly with the objective of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, concurrently addressing the impact of climate change on public health.

Key highlights

As a visionary pioneer, VITO actively participated in several sessions during COP28. Our CEO, Inge Neven, played a crucial role in guiding our presence, emphasizing VITO’s commitment to sustainability, innovation, and global collaboration. In a noteworthy session, Inge Neven led a discussion featuring Tinne Van der Straeten (Belgian federal government), Rashid Abdallah (African Union), Guangzhe Chen (World Bank), and Jean Van Wetter (Enabel). Together, they delved into opportunities for local communities and governments in the southern hemisphere to accelerate the global energy transition.

In total, our VITO experts graced the stage a remarkable 14 times throughout COP28. Among their contributions, they engaged in a panel discussion on the various applications of remote sensing in addressing climate issues. Furthermore, VITO hosted a session on the Technology and Innovation Stage, and was invited by the European Space Agency (ESA) to present the WordCereal Platform.

VITO seized COP28 as an interactive platform to connect with global leaders and other influential figures, including Prime Minister Alexander de Croo. The discussions with our Prime Minister highlighted the relevance of VITO’s presence at COP28 and the role we play in advancing sustainable solutions on a global scale.

Yet, our dedication went beyond the professional aspect. Full of enthusiasm, we engaged in citizen science initiatives and capacity-building activities, involving youth and students. Through these efforts, VITO’s valuable work in Africa and India was brought to the forefront, emphasizing the pursuit of positive change within communities.

Reflecting on COP28, we view our participation as a contribution to global sustainability that aligns seamlessly with the core values of our organization. We strive not only for climate solutions and environmental innovation, but also for a greener, more resilient future.


Want to delve deeper into VITO’s participation at COP28 after reading this article? You can find more details on our dedicated webpage.

If you want to learn more about our International Climate Services, we invite you to explore our website for further insights.

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