Cop28 diary: video games, solar-powered yachts and colossal fossils

<span>Photograph: Sunreef Yachts/Facebook</span>
Photograph: Sunreef Yachts/Facebook

Game on: Dubai police get creative

One of the strangest tie-ins to the climate conference must be the Cop28 Adventures mobile game that was released by Dubai police before the event.

The game lets users “explore stunning UAE locations, make impactful decisions and compete for the highest cooperation score”. Playing as a conference delegate, you can “craft policies, solve environmental challenges and collaborate with players worldwide”.

The game is credited to the Dubai police, whose previous offerings include:

  • My Rights and Duties (“learn about your rights in a fun and simple way”).

  • My Child, My Friend (“aims to enhance communication and friendship between parents and their offspring”).

  • Stay Safe (“educating the public in all its categories of positive behaviours that must be adhered to and some negative behaviours that must be avoided”).

It also appears to have drone racing, which is not usually part of the real-world delegate experience. Perhaps it will inspire future hosts to consider whether gamifying the negotiations may be what is needed to speed up climate action. AE

‘Responsible’ superyachts up for grabs

If you have ever wanted to glide around the increasingly superheated seas on a yacht but worry about feeling guilty, then rejoice: “responsible” yachting has come to Cop28.

Sunreef Yachts, a Polish yacht-maker, held an event under the scorching Dubai sun extolling its range of solar-powered vessels. The company’s representatives acknowledged the rather ungreen image of superyachts, admitting that the 300 biggest boats in the world cause as much emissions as 10 million people.

“We have to realise at first that yacht-builders have a bad reputation in general in the area of all things sustainable,” said Artur Poloczanski, the PR director of Sunreef.

The emissions from yachts were “scary”, Poloczanski admitted, but “it’s fair to say the yachting environment is very diverse. We are here to discuss the alternatives.”

Several Sunreef yachts contain a solar “skin” that can generate power, stored by batteries. Some can run on hydrogen fuel cells, too. However, the company also sells extremely large vessels that contain private spas, gyms, outdoor cinemas and space for jetskis, powered by tanks holding up to 5,200 gallons of fuel. OM

And the fossil of the day award goes to …

During the conference, the campaign group Climate Action Network (CAN) hands out daily awards for the “fossil of the day” for undermining environmental action. The recipients are voted for by the groups’s thousands of international members.

The first to receive this dubious honour was New Zealand, whose new government plans to expand oil and gas exploration. Next up was Brazil, for its decision as the conference opened to align itself with Opec, and for the country’s planned oil expansion.

Other laureates include the US, the world’s biggest polluter, which CAN criticised for weakening the language of official texts, and the Canadian province of Alberta, whose premier, Danielle Smith, used to work as a fossil fuel lobbyist and who the group accuse of attempting to sabotage negotiations.

The “colossal fossil” award, for the biggest villain at the talks, will be presented next week, where the US will be hoping not to defend its crown. AE