It’s been the hot story of the month and certainly the tentpole moment in 2021 for the world’s climate crisis but why should we, as a business, care about COP26? And why should you care that we care?
The short answer is that we believe Business can, and should, be one of the catalysts for positive change when it comes to global warming. Not only do businesses have an outsized carbon impact on the planet but we also have an outsized influence. We can influence positive change ‘inwards’ i.e on our supply chain or manufacturing choices or ‘outwards’ i.e on our audience and customers.
Of course, it’s still critical consumers are making more sustainable choices every time they shop but if the brands aren’t there to choose from or the retailers aren’t stocking them then it’s going to be impossible to make those sustainable choices.
The other catalyst for positive change is of course policy and therefore there has been an understandably laser-like focus on the lawmakers’ actions and commitments at COP26. Whilst some of the language has been weakened by a certain amount of watering down there have also been some progressive and impressive commitments and we learned some sobering statistics:
Just 100 companies are responsible for 71% of global emissions since 1988. Carbon Majors Report
The world’s urban population is expected to increase from 55% in 2018 to 68% by 2050. https://www.un.org/development/desa/en/news/population/2018-revision-of-world-urbanization-prospects.html
The richest 1% of the world’s population are responsible for more than twice the carbon pollution as the 3.1 billion people who make up the poorest 50% of humanity.
THERE WERE SOME SEEMINGLY POSITIVE OUTCOMES
Global Leaders Pledge to End Deforestation by 2030
The landmark agreement reflects a growing recognition of nature’s role in helping to address global warming. Still, critics said it wasn’t ambitious enough.
The Global Methane Pledge
World leaders pledge to cut methane emission levels by 30% by 2030 in 'game-changing commitment'. An international initiative put forward by the US and EU to reduce methane emissions, an effective way to slow warming in the short term.
India’s pledge to triple renewables by 2030 is more important than its goal of net-zero carbon emissions.
AND SOME PRETTY WEAK COMMITMENTS
The Glasgow Climate Pact
At the last minute India blocked language around ending the use of coal.
The agreement does not answer the crucial question of how much and how quickly each nation should cut its emissions over the next decade.
Wealthy countries failed to provide the $100billion to poorer nations most affected by global warming.
Whilst this doesn't appear to have been a hugely successful COP there have been some serious improvements and some ambitious commitments made. We have also been encouraged by the fact the next audit on the Paris agreement will be next year in Egypt instead of waiting another 5 years as previously planned 🌎