The 28th Conference of the Parties, or COP28, has been billed by many environmental activists and governments as a crucial step in keeping global temperatures within the 1.5-degree C target set by the Paris Agreement. However, despite the hype, there is little evidence to show that those attending will be able to make meaningful progress in combating climate change. In fact, the conference may be doing more harm than good. The COP28 conference has been used as a platform to promote “virtue signaling” – a form of public posturing to express one’s commitment to a particular cause. This has been most visibly seen with the largely symbolic measures put forward by governments, such as funding for climate adaptation schemes. However, this approach has come at a cost. Not only are these measures largely ineffective in tackling climate change, but also they divert crucial resources away from more meaningful and practical solutions. Furthermore, by giving the appearance of real progress, COP28 has created a false sense of security among attendees, masking the dire situation the global environment is facing. Despite the efforts of many governments to strengthen their emissions targets at the conference, the IPCC has warned that current pledges are inadequate to meet the goals set by the Paris Agreement. In the meantime, global emissions have continued to rise to unprecedented levels, highlighting just how far we have to go if real progress is to be achieved. While COP28 can offer a useful platform for countries to discuss a wide range of issues, it is important to remember that it is not the “Super Bowl” of virtue signaling it is made out to be. In fact, its focus on posturing over practical solutions is only hindering our progress in combating climate change. If we are to make any meaningful progress, a shift must be made towards more sustainable and effective measures. Until then, COP28 will remain just another example of empty promises in the fight against global warming.