COP28: Stay informed on crucial climate summit

Ecus and the Cura Terrae Group are committed to staying at the forefront of the initiatives that shape the future of our country, society and planet, and the 28th Conference of the Parties is fast approaching.

More change for businesses and industry is on the horizon – so we’re here to summarise and give insight into the news and activities from COP28.

COP28: A Crucial Milestone for Global Sustainability

The 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) is poised to be a pivotal moment in the global sustainability landscape. More than 500 business and humanitarian leaders and policy makers are expected to attend the forum to hasten climate action.

COP28 represents a unique opportunity for nations, businesses, and individuals to come together and accelerate efforts towards greater sustainability and resilience. The decisions made at this conference will play a significant role in shaping the global response to climate change, biodiversity loss, and social equity.

Key Focus Areas for COP28

As COP28 unfolds, we will delve into the critical discussions and negotiations taking place across various thematic areas.

Day 2 – 1/12/23

Theme: World Climate Action Summit 

Friday’s Headlines: 

  • We “cannot save a burning planet with a fire hose of fossil fuels” – UN secretary general Antonio Guterres 
  • In a COP first, the leaders of more than 130 countries have reached an early and significant agreement on the future of food and farming. This is the first time that there has been recognition that what people grow and eat is a significant contributor of global warming. 
  • This is on the back of yesterday’s equally important and unexpected agreement which saw countries commit $420m towards a fund designated towards countries suffering from the effects of climate change. 
  • Further funding of $30bn (£23.7bn) has been agreed for “global climate solutions” geared towards providing funding for countries in the Global South 

Summary of Friday: 

A big day for food and farming.  

134 world leaders agreed and have signed the COP28 agriculture, food, and climate action declaration. Over 70% of the world’s food comes from those nations who have signed which included the UK, US, China, and Brazil. Crucially greenhouse gas emissions released from food and agriculture will now be included as part of national climate change plans. This is significant when you consider that GHG emissions from food and agriculture made up around 33% of total GHG emissions in 2015. 

The announcement has been initially well received but there has also been concern expressed around nations adhering to the promises made and to a lack of detail. 

Today also saw the UK Prime Minister speak at COP28. In his speech Rishi Sunak announced a £1.6bn commitment to climate project funding in the UK for renewable energy, green innovation, and forests, saying that “We can’t stop climate change without nature”. He also announced a deal to build the world’s largest wind farm at Dogger Bank at a cost of £11bn. 

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, in her speech, told the summit that “global emissions must peak by 2025”. 

What does this mean for UK businesses? 

Today’s announcements and agreements will have a meaningful impact on the UK’s natural environment. A sharper focus on land use, food production, forestry, and the building of the world’s largest windfarm. There will be employment and work opportunities related to today’s announcements and a renewed focus on climate related regulation, legislation, compliance, and reporting. 

What to expect for the day ahead 

The World Climate Action Summit continues over the weekend and will cover a wide range of climate related topics including health, relief, recovery, and peace. 

Useful links 

COP28 Schedule & Agenda – Thematic Program – COP28 UAE 

Climate crisis | The Guardian 

The World Economic Forum (weforum.org) 

COP28: Live coverage | United Nations 

Climate – Latest news on climate change and the environment – Sky News 

 

Day 3 – 2/12/23

Theme: World Climate Action Summit 

Saturday’s Headlines

  • 118 Nations have pledged to triple the world’s renewable power by 2030.  
  • A pledge to triple nuclear power capacity has been signed by 22 nations including the UK and the USA.  
  • The USA has committed to closing coal fired power plants and reducing methane emissions by 80% before 2030.  
  • The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, called for rapid global action and emphasised the EU’s full commitment to the fight for climate neutrality. 

 Summary of Saturday

The World Climate Summit continued on Saturday and a speech from Pope Francis was read by the Vatican’s Sectary of State. It stated that “the destruction of the environment is an offence against God” and it urged for “us to choose life” and for us to “choose the future”.  

In addition to this was the formation of many new pledges, with a focus on the increase and advancement of nuclear and renewable energy.  

USA Commitments 

The USA, a major carbon polluter, made multiple commitments across the day. This included a commitment to address their high methane emissions, specifically a reduction of 80% by 2030, as well as joining other nations in an alliance to phase out coal-fired power plants. These commitments will play a crucial role in mitigating the substantial GHG emissions produced by the USA. 

Additionally, the Vice President of the USA, Kamala Harris, announced a $3 billion pledge for the Green Climate Fund. This is the world’s largest climate fund created to support developing countries achieve their nationally-determined contribution ambitions for climate change mitigation 

UK Commitments 

Energy Secretary of the UK, Claire Coutinho, announced that the UK will pledge over £85 million of funding for climate initiatives. Taking a focus on protecting global rainforests and cutting UK methane emissions, Coutinho stated “the UK is a world leader in the drive to net-zero”.  

What does this mean for UK Businesses? 

Energy sourcing will inevitably affect every area of business. The commitments made are steering business away from the global reliance on fossil fuels. It is therefore imperative for all businesses to actively engage in initiatives aimed at reducing carbon emissions within their operational frameworks. 

Useful Links: 

https://www.worldclimatesummit.org/ondemand2022

https://unfccc.int/cop28/daily-programme

 

Day 4 – 3/12/23

Theme: ‘Health Day’, Recovery, and Peace

Sunday’s Headlines

  • The Declaration on Climate and Health was signed by 123 countries who are committed to sourcing finance for climate health solutions and ensuring the inclusion of health targets when developing national climate plans.  
  • A report from the Cross Dependency Innovative found that 1 in 12 hospitals worldwide could be closed due to extreme weather. 
  • The World Health Organisation stated that “the climate crisis is a health crisis”.  
  • Brazil highlights over 200,000 of diarrheal diseases caused by droughts and poor water quality are due to low river levels.  
  • A report by the Potsdam Institute of Climate Research confirms a fossil fuel phaseout is essential for reaching the targets of the Paris Agreement. 
  • 70 states and 39 organisations supported a declaration by the UAE on Climate, Relief, Recovery and Peace to increase action taken to help regions affected by conflict.  
  • A number of protests were held at the UN climate conference, including one calling for a ceasefire in Gaza 

Summary of Sunday 

COP’s first ever ‘Health Day’ drew a focus towards the links between climate change and our health.  

The World Health Organisation, scientists, health ministers, and human rights experts shared case studies and statistics in attempts to encourage policymakers to have health at the forefront of their negotiations. Health professionals called for urgent action to be taken to address the effects that burning fossil fuels has on air quality. In addition to discussion around the increased risks of life-threatening diseases caused by climate change, lesser-discussed health consequences of climate change were considered, including the rise of climate anxiety. 

The signing of the first ever Declaration on Climate and Health has set out a clear roadmap that prioritises the reduction of various climate-related health conditions and ensuring that public health is incorporated into national climate plans.  

The annual high-level ministerial roundtable on a just transition has underscored the need for a dedicated section in the Global Stocktake to prioritise measures that safeguard developing nations from having to defer their development goals in the pursuit of climate action. 

What does this mean for UK Businesses? 

In the realm of global business operations, maintaining a robust international workforce becomes vital. Climate change, with its multifaceted impact on health, underscores the need for businesses to assess their behaviour and contributions to the environment. It is imperative to recognise the ripple effects on public health when evaluating the environmental impacts of companies and industries. Consequently, reducing CO2e emissions and modifying operational behaviours not only aligns with environmental goals but also promises broader benefits that extend to global well-being. 

Useful Links: 

https://unfccc.int/cop28/daily-programme

https://www.who.int/teams/environment-climate-change-and-health/climate-change-and-health/advocacy-partnerships/talks/health-at-cop28   

https://www.cop28.com/en/health-events/relief-to-climate-resilient-development 

 

Day 5  – 4/12/23

Theme: Finance, Trade, Gender Equality, Accountability 

Monday’s Headlines

  • COP28 President, Sultan Al Jaber, defended his role in hosting this year’s UN climate summit insisting he does understand and respects the science of climate change. 
  • The UK made a landmark announcement of the first ever climate-resilient debt clauses in Africa for Senegal. This aims to pause debt when countries are hit by natural disasters. 
  • The UAE banking sector united to commit to collectively mobilise more than $270 billion in sustainable finance by 2030. 
  • Protests continue in the blue zone (the area for accredited party and observer delegates) this morning calling for a fossil fuel phaseout. 
  • A report from CARE International UK finds that women’s rights institutions are being ‘shut out of’ climate finance and are receiving minimal funding.  
  • Small Island states are calling for a complete phaseout of fossil fuels.  

 Summary of Monday – 4/12/23

Today touched on an array of climate action topics, with finance emerging as a significant topic of discussion and negotiation. 

The Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, opened today with a warning about extreme weather reports stating, “our finance systems can’t cope”. She called for banks and members of the finance sector to be considered during climate negotiations. She said, “you cannot say that it’s 1.5C to stay alive, and we continue to play with voluntary commitments”. Mottley often speaks on behalf of small island nations most affected by rising sea levels and has encouraged countries to consider the implementation of taxes to cover climate funding.   

Human rights were discussed at the Climate Action Network daily briefing, emphasising the profound repercussions that the climate crisis could have on billions of individual’s fundamental human rights across the globe.  

Meanwhile, a coalition of nearly 1500 scientists have written an open letter expressing that they are “terrified” for our future, pleading with the public to take collective action immediately to slow the onset of climate change. Throughout the day, calls for more climate finance have been made by a range of experts stating the necessity of sufficient climate funding being key to ensuring the continued efforts required to achieve net-zero targets.   

What does this mean for UK Businesses? 

The private sector is under increasing scrutiny. Enhanced legislative measures will focus on increased levels of transparency when reporting through robust verification processes. It is imperative for businesses to proactively monitor and adopt ethical and environmentally conscious work practices within their operations. Similarly, businesses must also assess the broader impact of their activities, particularly concerning supply chains that often extend globally.  

What to expect from the day ahead: 

Energy and Industry/Just Transition/Indigenous Peoples will be the theme of tomorrow. 

‘The Road to Net-Zero’ will be discussed with talks covering the many aspects of Energy and Industry. Events will outline:  

  • The elimination of methane emissions by 2030 
  • The importance of hydrogen 
  • Decarbonising the heating, steel and iron industries 
  • The necessary role of nuclear 
  • The phasedown of coal and the impact of local organic farming 

These discussions will incorporate the principles of the Just Transition, aiming to safeguard both the rights and livelihoods of workers, as well as the rights of indigenous people worldwide. 

Useful Links: 

https://unfccc.int/cop28/daily-programme

https://www.who.int/teams/environment-climate-change-and-health/climate-change-and-health/advocacy-partnerships/talks/health-at-cop28    

https://unfccc.int/gender/cop28 

https://www.careinternational.org.uk/press-office/press-releases/cop28-only-15-out-of-133-world-leaders-attending-are-women/ 

 

Day 6 – 5/12/23

Theme: Energy and Industry/Just Transition/Indigenous Peoples 

Today’s Headlines: 

  • The most recent draft of the negotiating text for the Global Stocktake has been released today, indicating notable progress yet emphasising that pivotal decisions are still to be made.  
  • A significant number of fossil fuel lobbyists at COP28 this year – outnumbering passes given to the 10 most climate-vulnerable nations and surpassing the representation of Indigenous Peoples sevenfold.   
  • The European Investment Bank’s (EIB) development arm commits to integrating Just Transition principles into its operations by early 2024. 
  • Market leaders of the dairy industry have joined together, launching the Dairy Methane Action Alliance to reduce and report on methane emissions.  
  • UAE joins Powering Past Coal Alliance to transition away from unabated coal-fired power generation.  

Summary of today: 

Global Stocktake

The Global Stocktake is an important component of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, in assessing countries’ progress in achieving its goals. The draft text underscores concerns about insufficient emissions reduction efforts, urging a swift increase in commitments to cap global warming at 1.5C. However, it lacks specificity on phasing out fossil fuels and addressing crucial biodiversity issues like nature-based solutions. The warning is evident: nations are falling short of meeting climate mitigation and adaptation ambitions. 

Just Transition

The concept of Just Transition has gained momentum concerning the achievement of climate goals by ensuring inclusivity across the entirety of society – encompassing all communities, workers, and social groups – in the transition towards a net-zero future. As EIB begins its Just Transition, it seeks to finance both mitigation and adaptation efforts in vulnerable areas, prioritising marginalised groups. Initial pilot programs will begin in nine nations. A Just Transition ensures inclusive climate action, and acknowledges the essential role of indigenous communities in climate stewardship to attain a sustainable future.  

Powering Past Coal Alliance (PPCA) 

Both the UAE and Malta have joined the PPCA today. PPCA brings together governments at various levels, financial institutions, and businesses to commit to and advocate for transitioning away from uncontrolled coal-fired power generation to clean energy. The PPCA now includes 59 countries including the USA and UK. The Alliance also calls for a commitment to phase out coal in alignment with 1.5C in the decisions of the Global Stocktake. 

What does this mean for businesses? 

The decisions made today carry substantial implications for businesses. Particularly as net-zero status extends to more companies through evolving legislative mandates. Achieving a Just Transition requires a conscientious and deliberate approach from businesses.  In doing so, the Just Transition can position better businesses to meet societal expectations, minimise risks, and position themselves for long-term success in an evolving business landscape.  

Businesses can support the goals of the PPCA and commit to powering their operations without coal. Instead, using clean power generation through their policies and investments as they transition to low-carbon alternatives. 

What to expect for the day ahead: 

Multilevel Action/Urbanisation and Built Environment/Transport will be the topics for tomorrow.  Multi-level action focuses on ensuring that every capable person on the planet is doing their best to fight climate change.  

Conversations on fashion, sport, transport, wildlife, technology, finance, and inclusivity throughout the day will all relate back to the theme of multi-level action. Expansion will be made on various ideas such as: of ‘Nature Positive and Water Smart Cities’, ‘Sustainable Urbanisation’, and ‘Ecosystem Restoration’ to cover the topic of Urbanisation and Built Environment, again linking back to the theme of multi-level action.  

Transport talks include changing infrastructure to improve support for electric vehicles to help accelerate the transition to zero-emission transport. Formula E will be sharing their pioneering ideas on their all-electric motorsport championship allowing them to create the world’s most sustainable sport. 

Useful Links: 

https://unfccc.int/cop28/daily-programme 

https://www.worldwildlife.org/stories/recognizing-indigenous-peoples-land-interests-is-critical-for-people-and-nature 

https://climatepromise.undp.org/news-and-stories/what-just-transition-and-why-it-important 

https://www.euronews.com/green/2023/12/05/cop28-record-number-of-fossil-fuel-lobbyists-at-un-climate-conference-campaigners-say 

https://www.businessgreen.com/news/4153020/cop28-push-fossil-fuel-phase-continues-draft-text-emerges 

https://www.edie.net/uae-joins-powering-past-coal-alliance/ 

https://www.just-food.com/news/cop28-nestle-danone-among-six-food-signatories-to-dairy-methane-alliance/ 

 

Day 7 – 6/12/23

Theme: Multilevel Action, Urbanisation and Built Environment/Transport 

Today’s Headlines: 

  • Scientists confirm that 2023 will be the hottest year on record.  
  • UK Transport Sectary announces a £70 million scheme to increase the number of ultra-rapid electric vehicle charge points.  
  • A roadmap was set out by the Zero Emission Vehicles Transition Council with a holistic package of actions to target the 2030 net zero targets.  
  • The Cement and The Buildings Breakthrough was launched, aiming to accelerate the transition to sustainability in the building and construction sector.  
  • The Airports Council International (ACI) expressed their support for cleaner sources of energy for the worldwide aviation Industry. The Global Sustainable Aviation Forum was also held, calling for more investment in SAFs.  
  • The UN Climate Chief Simon Steill tells negotiators to not focus on ‘’point scoring or lowest common denominator politics.’’  
  • Calls were made for UN support in the process of decarbonising in-land transport.  

Summary of today: 

At the midpoint of COP28, a report out from the UK’s National Audit Office highlights that the UK is not adequately prepared for climate disasters. This report is a timely reminder of the main motivations of the conference and places pressure on the upcoming Global Stocktake to provide some successful conclusions. 

Electric Vehicles 

Transport talks focused on improving infrastructure for electric vehicles. The UK government announced a £70 million pilot scheme to increase the number of rapid electric vehicle charging points across motorway service stations. The scheme attempts to aid the transition to electric vehicles, whilst encouraging the private sector to keep expanding charging point network infrastructure. 

Formula E delivered two masterclasses at the innovation centre sharing how their groundbreaking net zero sport and technologies prove sustainability can be integrated into our lives without compromising enjoyability. Emphasising that collaboration and innovation should be the driving forces of the climate agenda.  

Urban Climate Action 

During the Local Climate Action Summit, 250 mayors and governors announced $467 million of funding for urban climate action. They reunited today to continue driving multilevel action, accelerating local climate finance and fostering collaboration to achieve climate solutions. 

What does this mean for businesses? 

City planners and local governments face the crucial challenge of managing urbanisation while minimising its impact on the surrounding environment. This undertaking has far-reaching implications for businesses within cities, particularly in the construction sector. Concurrently, the role of transportation is pivotal in shaping our interactions with the built environment, serving as a critical component in the larger net zero puzzle.  

UK businesses have an opportunity to be at the forefront, developing the technologies required to drive innovation and delivering impactful climate solutions in both of these important sectors. 

What to expect for the day ahead 

Tomorrow is rest day.  

Friday focuses on placing children’s rights at the forefront of climate action. ‘Planting the Seeds of Tomorrow’ will help ensure the continuation of positive climate action. Investment will be made in Youth-Led Climate projects, as well as prioritising nurturing the skills of tomorrow’s work force to ensure the sustainability of the future. Higher education institutions will collaborate through the Universities Climate Network Roundtable and the Higher Education Global Climate Networking Event to advance collective climate action. Additionally, discussions will revolve around re-imagining school meals for children’s health and enhancing the sustainability of school meal programs. 

Useful links 

https://unfccc.int/cop28/daily-programme 

https://globalabc.org/news/buildings-forefront-cop28-programme 

https://www.constructionnews.co.uk/sections/long-reads/opinion/what-might-cop28-mean-for-the-construction-sector-05-12-2023/ 

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/live/2023/dec/06/cop28-uae-latest-news-climate-crisis-live-updates 

Transport Secretary announces £70 million boost for more rapid electric vehicle chargers at COP28 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) 

 

Day 9 – 8/12/23

Theme: Youth, Children , Education and Skills 

Today’s Headlines: 

  • UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs commits $220 million to bolster healthcare resilience and enhance youth health outcomes in Africa. 
  • RewirEd 2023 Summit took place, aimed at reshaping education. 
  • Protests call for more progress on adaptation and financial support to poorer countries on the frontline of the climate crisis. 
  • The COP28 presidency requested Canada’s assistance to develop language on the role of fossil fuels that is agreeable to all participating parties. 
  • Over 250 global organisations released a letter urging the USA to withdraw its backing for liquefied natural gas (LNG). 

Summary of today: 

Youth Day at COP28 focusses on young individuals worldwide, providing a chance to actively engage in the dialogue and assume a central role in climate activism. Youth Climate Champion Shamma Al Mazrui stated that this is most inclusive youth COP ever, declaring that all thematic days have had a youth element this year.  

RewirEd Summit 

The RewirEd Summit’s second edition began at COP28 today. In the opening segment, H.E. Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer & Vice-Chairman of Dubai Cares, declared the establishment of the RewirEd Summit as a separate independent platform under the guidance of a global board. The RewirEd platform aims to reshape education for an inclusive, sustainable, and innovative future. It places education at the core of human development, encouraging collaboration among diverse allies. 

Declaration on Children, Youth, and Climate Action 

During the Bulgaria-UNICEF event, countries from across Europe and Central Asia joined over 40 other signatories globally by signing the Declaration on Children, Youth and Climate Action.  

“It is encouraging to see growing momentum behind the Declaration. It shows an acknowledgement that children and young people, who are the least responsible for climate change, are carrying the heaviest burden of its impacts” – Regina De Dominicis, UNICEF’s Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia. 

Global Stocktake 

There have been further discussions around the importance of the Global Stocktake. A letter, signed by over 1,000 individuals including scientists, CEOs, indigenous peoples, mayors, governments, youth, health professionals, and faith leaders was issued. It collectively urged parties to unite for a rapid response to the Global Stocktake. 

What does this mean for UK businesses? 

Fostering the skills of tomorrow’s workforce is essential for securing the sustainability of both the future and business. By actively investing in the development of key skills, you not only prepare your workforce for upcoming challenges, but also secure your business to thrive in a rapidly evolving landscape. As the dynamics of working environments evolve, cultivating a skilled and agile workforce becomes imperative. Contributing significantly to the enduring success and sustainability of your business. 

What to expect from the weekend ahead: 

Saturday – Nature, Land Use and Oceans Nature 

The focus on oceans will highlight coral conservation successes and the formulation of Sustainable Ocean Plans (SOPs). Expansions will be made in the monitoring of oceans, with a focus on how this partners with climate sciences. Observations on the role of technology and its link with ocean biodiversity and the safety of fishermen will be made, creating a plan for the sustainable future for our oceans. Explorations into the relationship of ocean health alongside human well-being will reinforce COP’s commitment to robust ocean conservation. The subject of nature will draw attention to the importance of The Amazon Ecosystem building on COP26 agreements to halt and reverse forest loss by 2030. A talk on Wildlife Crime will prioritise species protection. Additionally, conversations on water management in developing countries will centre on water security and quality. 

Sunday – Food, Agriculture and Water

The farming industry will innovate to promote ‘water-resilient food systems’ and develop ‘drought-tolerant’ foods. Addressing food waste reduction, ensuring sustainable, healthy, and affordable food for all, and providing food education to every school child will be focal points. Advancements in restorative farming and ‘fixing soil to fix carbon’ will aid discussions for the future of farming. Food security will be an important factor throughout discussions linking to the idea of ‘Climate-Smart Agriculture’. A panel on Alternative Proteins will offer insights into sustainable food solutions. A zero-emissions water production roadmap and a roundtable on freshwater ecosystem protection and restoration will be featured. 

Useful Links: 

https://unfccc.int/cop28/daily-programme 

https://www.euronews.com/green/2023/12/08/indigenous-children-in-colombia-were-given-cameras-to-capture-climate-change-here-are-thei 

https://rewiredsummit.org/registration/ 

https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/green-groups-cop28-demand-us-halt-support-lng-2023-12-08/ 

https://bteam.org/our-thinking/news/statement-the-transformation-is-unstoppable 

https://www.unicef.org/eca/press-releases/more-countries-affirm-commitment-declaration-children-youth-and-climate-action 

Day 10 – 9/12/23

Theme: Nature, Land Use, and Oceans 

Today’s Headlines: 

  • Over USD $186 million has been committed to support nature and climate initiatives focusing on forests, mangroves, and the ocean. 
  • 21 countries formally endorsed the Mangrove Breakthrough aiming to protect 15 million hectares of mangroves globally through USD $4 billion of finance. 
  • Membership to the Mangrove Alliance for Climate (MAC) has risen to 37 countries – covering over 60% of the world’s mangroves. 
  • 15 governments launched the Forest Carbon Results and Credits roadmap, emphasising Forest Carbon markets’ potential to scale payments for climate and environmental services. 

Summary of today: 

H.E. Razan Al Mubarak, the UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28 stated “there is no path to fulfilling the Paris Agreement and keeping 1.5°C within reach without protecting and restoring nature, land, and the ocean. We must work in partnership especially with the indigenous peoples and local communities who steward these critical assets”.  

Commitments and Pledges 

COP28’s Nature, Land Use and Ocean Day saw leaders endorse commitments and pledges of over $186 million. This adds to the $2.5 billion mobilised for the protection and restoration of nature during COP28’s World Climate Action Summit (WCAS) on December 2. 

A joint statement between the COP28 Presidency and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), chaired by the People’s Republic of China was made. This was endorsed by 18 countries who lead climate, nature and 11 biodiversity partnerships across forests, mangroves and the ocean. This signalled a new commitment for countries to coordinate and simultaneously implement their nature and climate strategies. 

 Business Commitments 

Over 150 companies and financial institutions revealed their intentions to establish climate and nature objectives through the Science-Based Target Network and Science-Based Target International’s Forest Land and Agriculture frameworks. Within these, organisations commit to enhancing investments into nature-based solutions and initiating the assessment, management, and disclosure of their nature-related impacts, dependencies, risks, and opportunities as per the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) framework. 

What does this mean for businesses? 

Businesses, through their operations and supply chains, directly impact nature. So businesses are increasingly required to disclose their carbon emissions through legislative mandates. Businesses and financial sectors are also to incorporate nature into decision-making processes, to help foster a global transition in financial flows from outcomes that harm nature to outcomes that benefit nature. 

 Useful links 

https://unfccc.int/cop28/daily-programme 

https://www.instagram.com/ifawglobal/      

https://www.ifaw.org/uk/news   

https://climatechampions.unfccc.int/a-breakthrough-for-oceans-scaling-nature-based-solutions-for-ocean-based-climate-policy-at-cop28/ 

https://www.unep-wcmc.org/en/news/5-facts-about-mangroves-and-why-we-must-protect-them 

Day 11 – 10/12/23

Theme: Food, Agriculture and Water 

Today’s Headlines: 

  • The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation launched a roadmap aiming to feed the world’s population, whilst remaining within the terms of the Paris Agreement.  
  • The Alliance of Champions for Food System Transformation (ACF) was signed by 5 countries with the collective goal of improving resilience in the agriculture sector.  
  • A roadmap was created for Zero-Emissions water systems. This focussed on reducing the emissions released in the treatment and movement of water.   
  • The first ever ministerial dialog on building water-resilient food systems was held.  
  • The Sharm-El Shiek Support Programme was launched aiming to help farmers, food producers and local communities unlock finance.  

Summary of today: 

Freshwater Challenge 

The Freshwater Challenge was a key event attended by over 30 countries. Goals were set to ensure that 300,000 kilometres of degraded rivers and 350 million hectares of degraded wetlands are restored by 2030.  

Food  

The UN released targets in a roadmap on food emissions, with aims of reducing methane emissions from livestock by 25% by 2030. Other targets included reducing food waste by 50% and providing safe and affordable drinking water for everyone by 2030. The final intended outcome of this roadmap aims to lift 150 million people out of hunger. 

Higher income countries were encouraged to reduce the amount of animal products in their food systems. An emphasis was placed on the higher levels of sustainability in more plant base diets as well as highlighting the additional health benefits of these diets. 

Food and Water security 

Discussions on agriculture and farming took place with efforts being made to protect farmers most affected by climate change. Linking back to food security, soil health and water quality were discussed with attempts to preserve and restore the world’s natural resources.
The UK Government committed £10 million to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation. They also pledged £39 million to The Just Transitions for Water Security, aiming to assist the management of water resources now and in the future. 

 What does this mean for businesses? 

The agricultural industry heavily relies on water and is increasingly vulnerable to water-related risks. It is the largest consumer of water and a significant contributor to water pollution. Outcomes from today will help impact water management which is crucial for establishing a sustainable and productive agri-food sector. Not only this, but how agriculture is managed and how consumers behaviour is targeted will change how this industry will work in the future. 

 The next two days 

The last two days of COP28 are when the final negotiations are made over a summit agreement. This focusses on how much can be achieved before the gavel comes down in the final plenary. 

 Useful links 

https://unfccc.int/cop28/daily-programme 

https://wwf.panda.org/wwf_news/press_releases/?10384916/COP28-food-day-wrap-up-WWF-responds-to-key-announcements-on-transforming-food-and-freshwater  

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/live/2023/dec/10/cop28-live-focus-on-food-and-agriculture-as-climate-change-summit-continues?page=with:block-6571dc0c8f0848ff947d3dda&filterKeyEvents=false#liveblog-navigation  

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-backs-work-to-protect-global-water-and-food-supplies-at-cop28 

Day 12 – 11/12/23

Theme: Final Negotiations 

Today’s Headlines: 

  • The UN Secretary General calls for the ‘end of the fossil fuel age’.  
  • A report from the UK Health Security Agency finds the climate crisis will create health inequality in the UK.  
  • USD $94 million of funding has been secured for the Amazon Fund provided by Norway and the UK.  
  • New Global Stocktake draft mentions fossil fuels but does not feature the phrases ‘phase out’ or ‘phase down’.  
  • The closing of the Global Climate Action agenda took place – this will provide an opportunity for reflection on where negotiators stand in alignment with the Paris Agreement.  
  • Azerbaijan announced as the hosts of COP29.  

Summary of today: 

As the conference draws to a close, today and tomorrow will provide time for negotiations to take place as well as finalising the outcomes from the Global Stocktake. Stakeholders, world leaders, businesses, NGOs, and other delegates will begin the long process of final negotiations. The negotiations are expected to be lengthy and tense with the main argument expected to be on the phase down or phase out of fossil fuels. The latest Global Stocktake text refers to fossil fuels and plans for a phase out. However, the language and commitments are much more vague. It is uncertain whether this will be in alignment with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5C or confined to unabated fossil fuels. Meanwhile, the UN Chief Antonnio Gutteres states, “we’re out of road- and almost out of time”. So, the days ahead will be crucial.   

What does this mean for businesses? 

As COP28 comes to a close, it will be a pivotal moment for addressing the climate crisis. Businesses must pay attention to these final days of COP as the decision taken on the remaining key topics will influence national policies and supply chains. 

What to expect for the day ahead 

The COP President, Al Jaber, announced that the conference is to end by 11am on 12 December. However, there are many unresolved issues, including support and implementation guidance for the Loss and Damage Agreement made on Day 1 of COP. Also, the Global Goal on Adaptation lacks details on financing expectation and targets for the funding required to improve infrastructure of poor countries for adapting to climate change.  

Al Jaber said ministers and negotiators must be prepared to compromise in the crucial final meetings and requires “everyone to rise above self-interests”. 

Useful links 

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/live/2023/dec/11/cop28-live-time-to-be-ambitious-says-president-as-summit-enters-final-days?filterKeyEvents=false#top-of-blog  

https://unfccc.int/cop28/blogs  

https://unfccc.int/sites/default/files/resource/High-Level_Closing_CN.pdf  

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/david-carlin7_cop28-climatenegotiations-climateaction-activity-7139623980709093376-CBkK/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=member_ios 

Day 13 – 12/12/23

Theme: Final NegotiationsLatest News  

Today’s Headlines: 

  • Countries battle to save climate deal 
  • Original draft did not mention phasing out fossil fuels 
  • UK, Europe, USA, Canada and Australia amongst those nations angry at draft COP28 text 
  • COP28 Director General: “draft is just a starting point” 
  • Some nations describe the climate deal proposed as “weak” 
  • Representatives from the EU call the proposed draft deal as “unacceptable” 
  • All 198 countries must agree or there will be no deal 
  • COP28 President says they will attempt to finalise a deal overnight 

Summary of today: 

The Status of COP28 Negotiations 

The climate talks are still hanging in the balance and did not end at 11am this morning as expected. It is thought that around 80% of almost 200 countries at COP28 want to strengthen the latest Global Stocktake draft conclusions which currently propose only voluntary reductions in fossil fuel production and consumption. 

The table below summarises some of the topics that have been agreed, not agreed, postponed, or are without draft text.

Table of COP28 topics
Table of COP28 topics

The chart shows the latest status of COP28 agenda items as negotiated by all 198 countries across the last 2 weeks.

COP 28 status of agenda items
COP28: Status of agenda items

Useful Links:  

 

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