COP28 officially begins today (Nov 30), with the world’s gaze focused on Dubai for the next two weeks as leaders look to make progress on global environmental pledges. Yet while the high-level discussions will generate the most column inches, there is plenty more going on besides, with more than 70,000 delegates expected to attend.
Sustainable Future News has asked several of its contributors, from the worlds of business software, sport and consultancy, what they are doing at the event, and what they are looking and hoping to see.
Tom Verity, Transition & Innovation Manager at SailGP
COP28 is the biggest opportunity there is to highlight the need for global climate action. At SailGP we’re planning to be the leading sports voice at COP28. We’ll have a presence throughout the Blue and Green Zones where athletes such as Hannah Mills will use their voice to inspire action. I’m looking forward to attending and taking part in the various panels and joining athletes in affecting change.
We also have a unique opportunity with our Dubai Sail Grand Prix happening at the same time as COP28. Sport has the power to inspire the action I’m talking about, and we’re going to be highlighting our ongoing commitment and passion to climate action with the first of many Race For The Future takeovers.
At SailGP we have established a presence and a voice as a global leader in sport, passionately campaigning for a better sport and a better planet. We want to use COP28 to challenge other sports to embed sustainable action into their DNA, like we have done with the world’s first-ever Impact League.
Julia Pallé, VP, Sustainability at Formula E
While attending COP28, we will showcase to the global community how high-performance sport and sustainability can exist together without compromise. Elite sports hold a unique position, reaching global audiences every single day, so we should leverage this influence for the benefit of people and planet. As a sporting collective, we have the potential to make positive changes for a more sustainable future and encourage fans to do the same. Which is why we are calling upon elite sports, including federations, clubs and even athletes to give it everything in their sustainability efforts, because their actions matter.
Formula E’s ecosystem continues to develop cutting edge sustainable technology for both race cars and road cars alike, which highlights the impact of working as a collective with a clear mission in mind. As we are continually working to be the most sustainable sport in the world and the first sport in the world to be net zero carbon since inception, it is not only our responsibility to outline the standards we hold ourselves to, but to encourage and inspire others to do more too.
Janina Bauer, Global Head of Sustainability at Celonis
COP 28 is a time for politicians, business leaders and decision makers to take meaningful action to combat the climate crisis. Technology and innovation is and will be an important method of effectively making strides when it comes to sustainability – especially to decarbonise industries and supply chains. However, there are some key barriers which are holding businesses back and slowing down meaningful change.
If businesses are serious about making a positive impact on the climate, then sustainability must be central to their business objectives and decisions. Too often, sustainability – and decarbonisation in particular – remains secondary, or is perceived as expensive and overly complex for organisations to focus on. Harnessing sustainability data is a challenge, as it is often scattered and stuck in unconnected systems.
The data required for a real-time view of a company’s carbon footprint – including Scope 3 where most of the emissions occur – is already there. However, it’s often buried in transactional data in ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software and Excel spreadsheets or siloed tools. For leaders, the first step is to extract this data across sources using process mining technology, then supplement it with internal and third-party sustainability data, such as emission factors or supplier performance, and use process intelligence and AI to gain insights on where emissions reductions can be made.
Many leaders have the right intention when it comes to sustainability, but will need to back up their pledges at COP 28 with tangible outcomes, harnessing technologies that can turn words into actions. On its own, process mining cannot fully tackle climate change, but the technology shouldn’t be underestimated as a way for organisations to find hidden value opportunities and make great advancements in sustainability without scrutinising business performance.
Jamie Hyman, managing director and co-founder, Snow Hill
Every five years, there’s an assessment of how well the world is keeping commitments outlined by the Paris Agreement, and this will happen during COP28. Although, we already know things are not going well – 2023 broke records as heat and CO2 levels spiked to unprecedented levels. Officially, we’re still waiting for the “climate hero” I wished for last year, but there is finally a spark of hope – the renewed US-China climate deal could be the catalyst the world desperately needs to make meaningful progress in tackling climate change. I’m cautiously optimistic that the deal will become the basis for a global climate agreement, where all countries enact a version of the US and China’s joint commitments on emissions reductions.
Last year, I expressed concern that COP had become all talk and no action, with little evidence of any meaningful actions outside of the conference itself. COP27 may have reached a new low in terms of absence of substance and impact – the only meagre success was a final hours “loss and damage” deal designed to provide developing countries with funds and support to address damage that developed countries have already caused through climate change. Despite a deal being struck, this is still expected to be a discussion during COP28, which is not encouraging given how desperately we need bold and courageous leadership to lead ambitious, widespread climate strategies focused on dramatically reducing the global CO2 concentration.
A successful COP28 needs to settle open questions around climate loss and damage, how the rest of the world can use the US-China climate deal renewal to drive forward their own initiatives, and how future summits will reconcile involvement of countries that are actively working against already daunting climate goals. Failure to address these foundational issues will ensure the continued erosion of COP’s shaky reputation, as the world is already sceptical as to whether our countries’ leaders are capable of doing the hard work required to implement the systemic, sustainable change necessary to save the earth from its inhabitants.
Nithya Das, Chief Legal Officer at Diligent
The UN Climate Change Conference has historically played a prominent role in the creation and implementation of new climate disclosures. For example, the inaugural global standards for sustainability-related disclosures that were released this year by the ISSB, were a product of a process started at COP26.
We can expect disclosures and regulations to play a central role again this year as world leaders discuss how to move to clean energy sources more quickly. More organisations are reporting on climate progress than ever before, but this reporting is inconsistent and sometimes flawed.
Governments play a crucial role in standardising disclosures to give organisations adequate guidance on what and how to report in order to be transparent on their climate goals and progress, and COP28 provides an opportunity for faster adoption of these standards.
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?