COP27 and what it means for ESG in business
The 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is abbreviated to COP27. In November 2022 important stakeholders come together to take stock of the progress made towards the Paris Agreement and how the outcomes of the previous COP have been acted on. Although there is a large focus on policy-makers like governments or cities, industry representatives (CEOs), civil society (NGOs, activists), and other stakeholders are also present.
Where it all started
The Paris Agreement is the foundation to the COPs. The UNFCCC provides the following summary:
“The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change. It was adopted by 196 Parties at COP 21 in Paris, on 12 December 2015 and entered into force on 4 November 2016.
Its goal is to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.
To achieve this long-term temperature goal, countries aim to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible to achieve a climate neutral world by mid-century.
The Paris Agreement is a landmark in the multilateral climate change process because, for the first time, a binding agreement brings all nations into a common cause to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects. “The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change. It was adopted by 196 Parties at COP 21 in Paris, on 12 December 2015 and entered into force on 4 November 2016.”
Outcomes of a COP
To get a good idea of what the outcomes of a COP are, or can be, read the ‘What was agreed’ and ‘New deals and announcements’ section in this article about the previous COP. Examples include:
- Over 30 countries, six major vehicle manufacturers and other actors, like cities, set out their determination for all new car and van sales to be zero-emission vehicles by 2040 globally and 2035 in leading markets.
- 137 countries took a landmark step forward by committing to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030.
These examples are clearly related to business. The manufacturing industry is involved in the first commitment, while protection forests can be relevant to businesses’ sourcing practice by, for example, sourcing only FSC-certified products.
Businesses will be on the look out for outcomes related to financing made available to finance the transition to more responsible business practice and announcements targeting specific (polluting) sectors.
Governments, cities, and civil society organisations are all present at this event. The outcomes will be interesting to you as a global citizens so it’s worth keeping an eye on the COP27 outcomes!
Find all information on this important global event on the dedicated website of the UN.