Topics discussed at COP28

Since BioLogos is at COP28 I thought it might be cool to discuss some of the science that is being discussed there.

This was from an email I got today from colleagues who are also observers. I know a lot of you like learning about innovations that enhance sustainability, so here is a neat one:

Agriculture uses lots of energy and lots of water for irrigation. Today, one innovation was highlighted at the COP Food Systems Pavilion: agrivoltaics. Agrivoltaics is a method of putting solar panels in the same fields above where crops are grown or animals are raised. The solar panels generate energy, and the partial shade provided by the panels reduces the water used by the plants or grass. It has been shown to decrease the need for water, and provide electricity, all without a reduction in the quality of the food grown. Agrivoltaics also avoids competition for land use between food and energy production, because it can be done on the same plot. See examples of agrivoltaics here.

This agrivoltatic plant in the wine-growing area in Piolenc, in Hérault, was set up as part of a program to test how agrivoltaics perform in specific crop cultures. For the pilot program, 600m² out of 1,000m² of vines planted were covered by their dynamic agrivoltaic system. As a result, water demand was reduced by 12-34% for the PV-sheltered vines thanks to a reduction in evapotranspiration. Additionally, the aromatic profile of the grape was improved in the agrivoltaic set-up, with 13% more anthocyanins – red pigments – and 9-14% more acidity. Basically, energy was produced, water was saved, and the grapes tasted better! In some situations the solar panels themselves performed better because they were not overheated by concrete around them, instead the plants and grasses cooled them and helped them operate more efficiently


Okay, that surprised me.

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Thanks Christy, that is so interesting and encouraging.

I would like to know what others think of the speech made by our new king, Charles the Third, at COP28. Here is a link to what he said:

King Charles III speaking at COP28

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I appreciate his awareness and focus on vulnerable populations around the globe and his commitment to partnerships between NGOs, faith-based groups, and governments to find and implement sustainable solutions.

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Thanks Christy,

I thought it was generally a good speech.

As a Christian I believe that, in the words of Psalm 24, “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it” so, I would have worded his closing remark somewhat differently.

Still, I hope people will take heed of what he said.

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It is encouraging to hear reports from the conference about how many organizations and initiatives are recognizing the need to center Indigenous people and their rights and worldviews. I liked how King Charles even referenced that at the end.


There is an emphasis at this year’s COP on faith-based groups and collaboration between government and scientific entities and religious humanitarian aid groups. My colleagues wrote about a meeting promoting Christian and Muslim collaboration on creation care. She said the Muslim scholar who presented made three points about how “faith-full” ecological work differs from environmentalism.
He was addressing the question “What is the difference between a faith-ful (i.e. full of faith) observer and those who are non-faith-ful?” She clarified he was highly respectful towards those whose care for creation is not faith-motivated, but he proposed three distinctions:

  1. That faith-full observers are attuned not just to things but to signs. We see the earth not just for its material qualities, but also that it shows us something important about God himself.
  2. That faith-full observers are attuned to creation being a gift. The result is thankfulness and thanksgiving.
  3. The faith-full observers see creation not as “my things” or even “our things” but as “God’s things”

I thought that really resonated with the mission of BioLogos and many of the orientations of people here. We see creation as God’s revelation, God’s other book. We stand in awe and wonder and give thanks to God as the source. And we see ourselves as stewards not owners.


Maybe @jstump can chime in while he’s over there, but you can also follow along at his substack:

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Jim’s Substack posts from COP28 have been excellent.


Where does this end? Can we ever reconcile with each other? Can we even understand each other and these different allegences?

Actually, I found this disappointing after Jim referred to his friend as a “friend”

As for those who destroy the Earth, it’s something when destroying the Earth amounts to having more kids.

Not sure where we go from here, but if anyone is interested, Rachel Slade, a journalist who had an exceptional interview with Daniel Dennett, wrote a fantastic book on the sinking of the El Faro. I was about a quarter of the way in and began to wonder what happened to the survivors… no survivors.

Tragic on multiple levels. And no single cause. Like watching a disaster in slow time, various pieces like poor government oversight, corporate greed and a captain with a glass ego came together to form a perfect cyclone.

I was at that same meeting with the Muslims, and the speech you’re referring to was amazing. I got to have lunch with the speaker. He was born in Libya and his family’s property was confiscated by Gaddafi, so he was sent to America. He went to high school in Iowa, and then grad school in Canada and at the Vatican. He was introduced as the 50th most influential Muslim scholar in the world.


You’re disappointed that I put friend in quotations referring to a Facebook friend?? I don’t know the man at all, so the quotes are only indicating that it is a stretch of normal language to say we are friends.

Furthermore, by the positions has taken, we are actually enemies. As such, I will do my best to love him. If that troubles you, please read this really thoughtful (and long) piece by one of the CCOP leaders about loving our climate enemies.


I read it as someone who was a friend and not a random person online. Probably when the subject changes he is someone you’d count as a friend

Yesterday I put some pictures on Instagram and Facebook about going to COP28, and that brought out one of my “friends” who took it upon himself to explain why this is a giant waste of time and money. There was a lot of virtue signaling to make sure everyone knew which team he is on…

I saw this exchange on Facebook. The “friend’s” comments seemed ideologically driven. One guy in the know, who is telling everyone else working on a project that they’re wrong and people who believe them are fools. It makes for some exciting movie plots. Sometimes.

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I had to look. Yep just one more angry, irrational loony tilting at windmills. That wasn’t very Christian of me I realize but then …


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