The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

COP27 – Reflections from Planet Mark – Part 2

COP27 – Reflections from Planet Mark – Part 2
20 December 2022
 

In part two of their COP27 roundup, our partners at Planet Mark outline their reflections from the climate conference and hopes for future global action.

 

READ PART ONE OF PLANET MARK’S COP27 ROUNDUP HERE

 

Andrew Griffiths, Director of Community and Partnerships at Planet Mark

Decarbonisation

 

COP saw the announcement of the Breakthrough Agenda. An international collaboration covering 25 new priority action areas – including clarifying plans for ending the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles. Elsewhere, a new report from the United Nations emphasised the importance of rapid and large-scale action to address emissions from the most energy-intensive countries. Whilst it is important to acknowledge these agreements – it is vital we shift from dialogue to action. Net-zero is the goal, and the key to net zero is decarbonising not only at the company level but ensuring country level actions are done in a timely manner. Government must prep grid, heating and rail decarbonisation to allow businesses to reduce emissions, such as electricity, gas and train travel. That is the big sticking point for the UK. 

 

Dr Rima Trofimovaite, Head of Certification at Planet Mark

Energy

 

Today, only 29 per veny of global electricity generation comes from renewables, but given electricity generation represents 23 per cent of worldwide emissions, we must move further and faster. Under the recently launched Sharm-el-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda, the initiatives for energy must meet the needs of the 733 million people still living without access to electricity. 1.5C can only be achievable with the rapid transformation of the global electricity system from coal to renewable energy. And this must be achieved with India, one of the world’s top emitters, announcing that coal will play an important role in its country until at least 2040. 

COP27 and its legacy must be a time to prioritise implementation. It is a time for concerted effort across sectors, alongside international dialogue on energy markets. As businesses, we must pick up where governments have failed to act.  

 

Scott Armstrong, Chief Operating Officer at Planet Mark

Finance

 

Unlocking climate capital for developing nations represented a pivotal agenda point for COP27. From deploying mitigation and adaptation measures to ensuring the green transition is fair for developing countries – good policy and good finance must work together. At COP, we were glad to see finance sector alliances on net-zero, (collectively representing more than $32T of assets) announce new members. Elsewhere, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry launched a new Energy Transition Accelerator (ETA) in a bid to finance the decommissioning of coal and the acceleration of clean energy. 

However, it is important to recognise the task ahead. In 2020, around 83 billion dollars was globally collated for climate finance. By 2023, this is expected to cross the 100-billion-dollar mark. Even if this momentum is maintained and we reach the pledge of 1 trillion dollars a year by 2030, for climate change to remain under 1.5 degrees, an estimated 1.6-3.8 trillion must be raised in climate finance, meaning current pledges are insufficient. It is crucial that there is a scaling up of finance from all sources, both private and public. 

 

Lilly Miller, Chief Financial Officer at Planet Mark

Governance and Greenwashing

 

COP27 started under the shadow of Coca-Cola’s sponsorship and Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg announcing she would skip the talks in Egypt, criticising the global summit as a forum for “greenwashing”. In light of this, we were encouraged to see the completion of a new set of guidelines published at COP, establishing standards for the pathway to net-zero, by the International Standards Organisation. Alongside this, the UN Net Zero Group released a report outlining ten practical recommendations to bring integrity, transparency and accountability to net zero by establishing clear standards and criteria.  

As Antonio Guterres rightly said, “We must have zero tolerance for net-zero greenwashing”. We hope these recommendations, developed with participants from civil society, industry, government and academia will keep organisations in line and close any loopholes. 

 

Dr Zoe Lee, Senior Strategy and Member Communications Manager

Regeneration

 

My fundamental hope for COP27 is that it would help create a greater appreciation of our interdependence with the natural world, allowing for decisions to be made that keep 1.5C alive. 

This year’s summit was dubbed the ‘implementation COP’ and whilst a few of the conversations have been constructive, many have not met the need to work collectively to address the urgency of the climate crisis. The work to accelerate radical reductions in carbon emissions has not achieved the desired outcome. Adaptation remains stalled by procedural affairs. Language was also weaker this time about the need for nations to update their Paris Agreement plans within a year. 

That’s not to say there has been no progress made at this year’s summit. Brazil’s incoming president has vowed to end deforestation in the Amazon by 2030. Young people have had a more powerful voice than ever, and an unprecedented loss and damage mechanism to compensate developing nations particularly affected by climate change has been announced. 

While progress on climate action lacks the urgency the world needs, keeping a sense of hope and optimism is essential in fixing the challenges we face. So, while the emotions of frustration, disappointment and anger must be felt and lived, let’s not slip into doom-ism. Far better to use our emotions to find the hope that we can and will keep warming to a limit of 1.5C and ultimately ease it down. 

Given the shortfalls in policies, agreements and tangible actions made, it is essential that we, as businesses, harness what momentum that has been generated and bring the very best of people, technology and nature to drive climate finance, climate justice, climate action and halt the destruction of our ecosystems.  

To give you a sense of what the Planet Mark community is doing to deliver action, we are proud to report we have certified the 500th company so far this year. As every company must cut carbon emissions to hold the Planet Mark, I think this gives a strong sense of optimism for the commitment of business and institutions. 

The world is demanding climate leadership. At Planet Mark, we are seeing that business can provide the leadership we need, and politicians will follow. We help mobilise businesses to create their own credible net zero targets and action plans as part of the UN-backed Race to Zero. If you’d like to join this race and demonstrate your commitment to net-zero, get in touch to find out how we can help your journey.  

To learn more, watch Planet Mark’s COP27 Business Debrief webinar recording here.

Picture: a graphic showing a hand holding a small globe with shoots and leaves sprouting from it. Image Credit: Pixabay

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 20 December 2022

Share



Related Articles

Why Sustainability and Business Go Hand in Hand

ThisWeekinFM Partner Planet Mark explains how to embed sustainability into your business to strengthen its commercial resilience.  In recent years, sustainability...

 Read Full Article
Five Tips for Adopting Sustainable Business Practices

TWinFM partner Planet Mark has created a list of top tips for adopting sustainable business practices to achieve commercial resilience and help combat climate...

 Read Full Article
COP27  – Outcomes and Takeaways from Planet Mark – Part 1

COP27 was hailed as “a make-or-break moment” and an opportunity to move from targets to implementation. Our partners at Planet Mark have shared some key...

 Read Full Article
What is the Aim of COP27?

COP27, held in Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt, is the 27th United Nations Climate Change conference, with around 40,000 people expected to attend. Over 100 heads of states...

 Read Full Article
Planet Mark Launches Free Sustainability Toolkits 

Planet Mark, the sustainability certification, has created a series of free toolkits to help any size of business start on their sustainability...

 Read Full Article
BM Celebrates Planet Mark Accreditation for Third Year


BM has been awarded Planet Mark accreditation for a third successive year after it achieved a 26 per cent absolute carbon reduction, and committed to a further five...

 Read Full Article
Sustainability Excellence – 2021 Planet Mark Award Winners

Where can you find organisations that are succeeding when it comes to carbon reduction, supply chain engagement and social responsibility? The Planet Mark Awards is the...

 Read Full Article
Contract Caterer Fooditude to Feature in Google’s Sustainability Training

Fooditude, a London-based contract caterer, is to be featured in sustainability training developed by Google and The Planet Mark, for the UK Government’s Together...

 Read Full Article
Net Zero Week – The Carbon Battle Continues

Its Net Zero week in the UK, highlighting the ever-increasing urgency to reach climate-conscious targets surrounding the carbon footprints of our organisations and...

 Read Full Article
Have Your Say in the UK Net-Zero Business Census

ThisWeekinFM Partner Planet Mark has launched its UK Net-Zero Business Census, the largest private sector sustainability research initiative of its kind. Delivered by...

 Read Full Article