Lula heads to COP 28 in Dubai, visits three other countries

The delegation's itinerary includes Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Germany

Published on 28/11/2023 - 10:36 By Andreia Verdélio - Agência Brasil - Brasília

On Monday (Nov. 27), President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva embarked on an international journey to attend the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 28) in Dubai, UAE. His itinerary includes visits to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Germany, where he will discuss matters of national interest and engage with business leaders in pursuit of investments for Brazil. Consequently, Vice President Geraldo Alckmin will assume leadership responsibilities.

"On my way to Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, for a series of agendas of national interest, focusing on opening up markets and attracting investment, especially in renewable energy. Then, we're off to Doha and COP 28 in the United Arab Emirates. A lot of work to put our country back on the international stage and attract investments that generate jobs and development for Brazil," wrote the president on social media.

COP 28 will assess the progress of the Paris Agreement established at COP 21 in 2015. Brazil is expected to affirm its commitment to limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Additionally, Brazil will advocate for resources for reparations and a just energy transition for developing countries.


At COP 21, each signatory country set its own targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, called Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC). The Brazilian NDC, updated in 2023, establishes that Brazil must reduce its own emissions by 48 percent by 2025 and 53 percent by 2030, compared to 2005 emissions.

In addition, in 2023, Brazil reiterated its commitment to achieving net-neutral emissions by 2050. In other words, everything the country still emits must be offset by carbon capture sources, such as planting forests, restoring biomes, or employing other technologies.

Post-COP 28, the focus shifts to COP 29, where expectations center on defining new levels of financing for climate action. Subsequently, at COP 30, to be hosted in Brazil, countries are anticipated to present their new NDCs.

COP 28 is scheduled to take place between November 30 and December 12. President Lula is expected to attend the summit on December 1 and 2, alongside 140 heads of state and government. Brazil will be represented by a delegation of approximately 1,500 participants, including individuals from civil society, private companies, the National Congress, state governments, and the federal government.

Bilateral agendas

Before reaching Dubai for COP 28, President Lula's first stop is in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he will engage in discussions with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, acting as the head of state. Lula will also participate in a meeting with Saudi businessmen and an event to promote the products of the Brazilian aviation company Embraer. Increased Saudi investment in Brazil is anticipated in the coming years.

In Qatar, Lula will leverage his connections with political and business leaders to enhance and diversify bilateral relations. Additionally, the president will engage in discussions regarding the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian political and military group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip. Qatar serves as an intermediary in negotiations with Hamas on this matter.

Although COP 28 doesn't conclude until December 12, Lula is scheduled to depart from the UAE on December 2. From the Middle East, the president and a part of his entourage will travel to Germany, where he will meet with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

The agenda in the European country is extensive, with the expectation that a series of memorandums of understanding, joint declarations, letters of intent, work plans, and agreements for the exchange of information—discussed for months—will be signed. These acts cover areas such as the environment, bioeconomy, health, science and technology, and innovation.

Germany is also among the countries advocating for the signing of the Mercosur-European Union agreement. As the world's third-largest economy, trailing only the United States and China, Germany holds significant importance as a partner for Brazil, particularly in the technological and industrial fields. Over a thousand German companies operate in Brazil, and, according to the Brazilian Central Bank, Germany stands as the eighth-largest source of investment in the country.

Lula's international journey follows a two-month hiatus due to hip joint surgery. During this period, the president only had appointments in Brasília.

Upon his return, Lula is set to welcome the heads of state of Mercosur at the summit to be held on December 7 in Rio de Janeiro.

Translation: Mário Nunes -  Edition: Aline Leal

Latest news