Development and Climate Days 2023


The Development and Climate Days 2023 (D&C Days) – a day of informal discussion and honest dialogue linking climate change and development – took place on 7 December during COP28

Sofitel Dubai Downtown, Sheikh Zayed Road Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Last updated 11 December 2023
Development and Climate Days 2023 logo

This year's D&C Days will take place in person, in Dubai, at COP28 (Image: IIED/D&C Days)

The UNFCCC climate conference (COP28) in December 2023 is a critical moment for climate action, with the first ever Global Stocktake designed to assess the global response to the climate crises we are facing. 

Early indications show just how far we are from meeting the targets of the Paris Agreement. It stresses the urgency of the situation, emphasising that if we don't step up our efforts we will continue to see global temperatures rise with devastating consequences.

D&C Days 2023 brought together leaders, thinkers and innovators from across the globe united by the challenge of advancing climate action and effecting positive, lasting change. It created a safe space for the uncomfortable yet necessary conversations about the challenges of inaction and shifting the status quo.

Our focus areas

This year participants focused on climate actions across adaptation/resilience, climate justice and climate finance. A space was created where bold initiatives and game-changing solutions confronted the challenges of inertia and slow progress towards meeting the world’s climate goals head-on.

Decolonising climate finance

The collective slow action of these initiatives and institutions means that climate finance is not being accessed by those that need it most, and available funding is fragmented, sectoral and restricted – especially for the most vulnerable countries. How can power and resources shift to the local organisations working on the frontlines? What must be done differently to disrupt the current systems that are failing to deliver climate action and finance at local levels?

Equitable climate partnerships

While discussions about locally-led climate solutions have been ongoing, their implementation has been characterised by unequal partnerships that concentrate power and resources in the global North. D&C Days will delve into how partnerships can be strengthened to be truly inclusive, equitable, and empowering, sharing risks and accelerating climate action. It also explored the knowledge and practice the global North can learn from the global South in meaningful and equitable ways.

Accountability for the Paris goals

Economic disparities rooted in colonial histories persist, allowing powerful companies in sectors like finance and energy to dictate the course of climate action.

D&C Days 2023 examined how actors across governments, the private sector, philanthropies, civil society organisations, businesses and academia can be held accountable to take positive steps within their organisations to address climate impacts and reduce the risk and vulnerability of those most affected by the climate crisis.

Within each focus area, participants addressed uncomfortable truths, tackled big questions, sought effective and practical answers, and worked together on fair solutions that leave no one behind. 

At D&C Days attendees shared learning experiences by engaging, being productive and having fun. The dynamic format encourages dialogue on a range of issues that link policy, knowledge and practice. Innovative approaches encourage participants to interact, challenge existing thinking and generate new ideas.

There was also a tribute to Saleemul Huq, the originator of D&C Days and dear friend and mentor to so many involved in the global fight to tackle climate change, who died in late October. Participants vowed to continue his work of recognising the value of connecting sustainable development and climate, acting as a constant voice for climate action and justice.


The opening and closing plenary sessions were live-streamed. Both sessions, including a tribute video for Saleemul Huq, can be viewed in the playlist below or on IIED's YouTube channel  via the following links:

You can also follow activities and messages from D&C Days on Twitter via #DCDays23.

Organising partners

The 2023 event was organised in partnership by the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre (RCCC), the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), the Anticipation Hub, the Climate Emergency Collaboration Group, the Climate Justice Resilience Fund (CJRF), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Bank.

Contributing partners

Contributing partners to the 2023 event were the Adaptation Research Alliance (ARA), “Generating Ambition for Locally Led Adaptation” core partners, with funding from the Government of the Netherlands, NAP Global Network, hosted by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), and the Least Developed Countries Initiative for Adaptation and Resilience (LIFE-AR).


Katherine Shepherd ([email protected]), project manager, IIED's Climate Change research group