COP27 concluded Saturday 19th of November, a total of 40 hours after the original deadline outlined in the agenda. The overarching feeling emerging from this year's climate conference is one of anger and vagueness, falling short of specificity and commitment to previous targets. The progress towards cutting emissions has been slow and undermines promises made by leaders of the world. “Our planet is still in the emergency room. We need to drastically reduce emissions now – and this is an issue this Cop did not address. The world still needs a giant leap on climate ambition,” says Antonio Gutuerres, the Secretary General of the UN.
We have outlined below the top-level activity that came from this year's conference and what it may indicate for the future.
- Phasing out fossil fuels - Alarmingly, there was nothing written in the final text about phasing down the use of all fossil fuels, which nations such as India explicitly expressed a desire to do. Unexpectedly, oil-producing nations objected. Instead it referred to reducing the use of all unabated coal power, identified as unimportant to the urgency of the climate crisis at present.
- The 1.5C Target - Hesitancy to retain commitment to limiting global warming to between 1.5C - 2C emerged. Previously outlined in the Paris agreement, it is evident that countries tried to backslide, perhaps due to climate projections evidencing the challenge in doing so. China specifically questioned whether the target was worth retaining. However, the final text promises to keep 1.5C alive.
- ‘Loss and Damage Fund’ - Heralded as the biggest breakthrough was the Loss and Damage Fund, which will see developed nations provide financial assistance to those afflicted by the climate crisis. However, the vagueness is evident as it refused to tie itself to details around where the finance will come from, how much and on what basis.
- A five-year plan to implement climate technology-based solutions in developing nations.
- A $3.1 billion plan to ensure everyone on the planet is protected by early warning systems within the next five years.
COP27 and ESG - What does this mean for the ecosystem?
It goes without saying that extreme weather events and implications will continue to exacerbate under the evident hesitancy and obscurity of COP27’s outcomes. Robust innovation is needed to collaborate on efforts to reduce our emissions and use of fossil fuels.
- This calls for sectors to innovate their decarbonisation strategies and to rethink and continue to stimulate novel ideas around renewable energy.
- Through the Loss and Damage fund, it is clear that focusing on communities vulnerable to extreme climate change will be essential. Forging ingenuity around climate recovery for impacted nations will open up as a sector to tap into.
- Building businesses with environmentally considerate models and systems will be non-negotiable as PwC reports that 76% of consumers will “discontinue relations with companies that treat employees, communities, and the environment poorly.”
- A greater focus on climate-tech markets to focus on mitigating impacts as well as finding ways to scale operations. This also extends to venture capitalists specialising in climate tech, in nations which are currently operating in an underserved market.
- Greater early-stage support to encourage entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs to create businesses that take into account environmental concern.
Our efforts at Startup Discovery School are to highlight innovation that can contribute to the betterment of the climate agenda. We continue to work with partners and startups doing their communal part to move forward the commitment to a net zero 2030.
With that in mind, we look forward to hosting our Rewire Lambeth Panel Discussion. An event centred around climate action within a local, iconic London borough. The discussion will centre around topics such as a responsible business, what that looks like and how we can execute that efficiently to serve our communities and do our part in the climate crisis. We invite and encourage anyone who is interested in building ESG considerate businesses, community members of Lambeth and anyone looking to network with founders, investors and advocates that can help you in your own journey.
Click on the link below to secure your tickets.
*Event: Tuesday 6th December 2022, 6-8pm