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Thursday 28 July 2022 |
Event type

100 days to go to COP27

GC expert panel with Lorna Ritchie, Practice Director, Climate & Sustainability; Geoffrey Norris, Senior Adviser; and Jasbir Basi, Senior Associate, discussing what COP27 means for the transition to net-zero; Egypt’s priorities for COP27; and why corporates should engage and how they can get involved.

It was a lively and informative discussion, with some key conclusions:

  • COP27 incoming presidency Egypt are framing this as an “African COP”, with a significant focus on climate finance, adaptation to the impacts of climate change and water. This is the first UNFCCC COP (Conference of the Parties) in a developing country since 2016, so COP27 will be an important COP for developing countries and Africa in particular. Although the role of the Presidency in climate negotiations is one of neutral broker, host countries often drive political ambition forward through climate campaigns alongside the UNFCCC process. As Africa is one of the of the world’s most vulnerable regions to the impacts of climate change, the Egyptian Presidency are placing a greater prominence on delivering on issues such as mobilising climate finance for developing countries, action on adaptation, and loss and damage. 
  • While the geopolitical context may affect climate action in the short-term, it is likely to boost green transition in the long-term. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has brought concerns around energy security to the fore, as countries delay coal phase-out commitments and boost investment in fossil fuels. This has sparked concerns whether the crucial goal of limiting global temperatures to 1.5 degrees can be kept to within reach. Yet the economic and security imperative to diversify from fossil fuels is likely to drive further investment in renewables and innovative technologies for the green transition.
  • Businesses should be engaging with COP27 and think about their COP28 engagement plans now. COPs are key platforms where the main policy changes to drive economy-wide transitions to net-zero are determined. Thus, there is a key role for businesses and investors to play in shaping regulation with policymakers upstream before they are determined at a national level. To have maximum impact, businesses should engage with key initiatives led by the High-Level Champions, plan their engagement early, be flexible, and take advantage of each aspect of the process. Private sector engagement will be particularly important in run-up to COP28, where the scheduled global stocktake is likely to also focus on how the business community has made progress towards goals under the Paris Agreement.

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The views expressed in this event can be attributed to the named author(s) only.