What will be the focus of COP28?

STORY: Here are the key issues countries will discuss at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai.

The biggest task facing COP28 is the global stocktake. That's the name of a process where nearly all countries in the world get together and assess the progress towards tackling climate change.

They'll look at what they've already done and what they need to do to get on track to limit global warming to 1.5 or 2 degrees, which countries agreed to do under the Paris Agreement.

Countries already know they're not on track for either of those goals. So the task facing COP28 is to produce a plan to bring them towards those targets.

One of the toughest issues facing the COP28 talks is the future of fossil fuels. And countries will discuss whether to agree for the first time to phase out the use of coal, oil and gas.

Around 80 countries are heading to COP28 asking for a deal on phasing out fossil fuels, including the U.S., the EU and climate-vulnerable small island states.

However, other countries are opposed. The G20 failed to agree on this issue at a meeting earlier this year, and countries including Russia, have publicly said they will oppose a phase out deal.

The issue is particularly prominent at this year's COP because COP28 takes place in the United Arab Emirates, a major oil producer. The head of the climate talks this year, Sultan al-Jaber, is also the head of the country's oil and gas company.

Finance is a major issue at every UN climate summit, and it's particularly high on the agenda at COP28 because there countries will try to launch a new climate damage fund to help vulnerable countries with the costs they're suffering from climate impacts.

The EU and the US have both said that they will contribute to this fund at COP28. But how much? We don't yet know. They are also pressuring countries like China and the UAE to also contribute to the fund.

Other issues countries will discuss at COP28 include pledges to triple renewable energy this decade and what role carbon capture technologies should play in meeting climate goals.