A view from COP: business and philanthropy climate action

15 Dec 2023
Will Connolly at COP28

Sometimes it feels a very far away notion, but the changes to our climate are affecting us locally, nationally and globally. The conclusion of the COP28 climate talks in Dubai has ushered in a historic moment with the unveiling of the UAE Consensus. Under the leadership of COP28 President Sultan Al Jaber, this groundbreaking deal represents a significant step towards ending the fossil fuel era, marking a moment of celebration despite not fully meeting all the demands of progressive business and climate activists.

While the UAE Consensus may not encompass every aspect advocated by environmental advocates, its impact is expected to resonate across generations as the initiation of a pivotal shift away from fossil fuels. Acknowledging the strides made, it is crucial to recognize the collective effort required to fully embrace a sustainable future.

Highlighted by the We Mean Business Coalition, a prominent business-climate INGO, the private sector's commitment to climate action is gaining momentum. Numerous companies worldwide are taking climate action because it's good for business, recognizing the vast investment opportunities that lie in sustainable practices. The challenge now is to galvanise this momentum, encouraging more businesses to join the cause and facilitating a transformative shift in our economies, aligning with the ambitious 1.5°C goal set by the Paris Agreement.

The COP28 Presidency facilitated a crucial platform for this transformation through the Business & Philanthropy Climate Forum. Simultaneously held with the World Climate Action Summit, this CEO-level inclusive global gathering aimed to unite philanthropists and business leaders. By harnessing their dynamism, practical knowledge, and vast resources, the forum sought to expedite cross-sectoral advancements towards achieving net-zero and nature-positive goals. A comprehensive report detailing the outcomes and commitments from this forum is underway.

COP28 President H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber emphasised the essential role of businesses and philanthropists in meeting net-zero pathways and fostering sustainable development. This acknowledgment underscores the shared responsibility and collaborative efforts needed to drive meaningful change.

The intersection of activism, NGOs, and businesses with policymakers remains a critical aspect of the climate action landscape. Policymakers face the delicate task of balancing national priorities and voter considerations against the imperative for robust climate policies. The upcoming COP29 in Baku is tasked with brokering an agreement on a new quantified goal for climate finance, a pivotal step in building trust between nations from the global North and South.

The COP process, an annual convergence of states, NGOs, INGOs, businesses, and media, provides ample room for climate philanthropy. Philanthropic initiatives possess the potential to further build consensus, foster trust, mobilise communities, and contribute funding and expertise at various levels of climate action. As the world looks ahead to COP29, the emphasis on collaboration, commitment, and innovative solutions remains key to achieving our collective climate goals - here in Bromley and worldwide.

Cllr Will Connolly works as an independent consultant for an INGO at COP


This website uses cookies

Like most websites, this site uses cookies. Some are required to make it work, while others are used for statistical or marketing purposes. If you choose not to allow cookies some features may not be available, such as content from other websites. Please read our Cookie Policy for more information.

Essential cookies enable basic functions and are necessary for the website to function properly.
Statistics cookies collect information anonymously. This information helps us to understand how our visitors use our website.
Marketing cookies are used by third parties or publishers to display personalized advertisements. They do this by tracking visitors across websites.