101 days since COP 26 and we decided to take a closer look at what has happened around the world since November 2021. COP26, gathering in Glasgow where hope was pinned on securing global mitigation and adaption policies around climate change. And yet, despite round table discussions on how to keep temperatures from rising above 1.5 degrees C, extreme weather events have been a stark reminder since then of what is to come if action is not taken.
2021 saw the very first population dubbed ‘climate change refugees’ in Madagascar, with a further 45,000 estimated people to have been displaced by the latest cyclones in Madagascar February 2022. Australia has experienced its hottest December ever on record and the US suffered extreme rare devastating spate of storms and tornadoes decimating populations in the USA through December 2021. The strongest storms have been felt across Europe in over 50 years and are being tracked more regularly than ever before. Malaysia, Brazil and Ecuador have experienced storm surges and massive flooding bringing to light the need for resilience for global megalopolis.
We took the opportunity to attend discussions over breakfast at MSQ Covent Garden HQ for the first of 2022’s Sustainability Sessions, bringing together a number of brand and business clients, to meet and discuss the post-COP theme of 'Turning Words into Action', with key note speech from Justin Adams - from the World Economic Forum, and Special Adviser to COP. Justin shared his views on both ‘A Glass half full, half empty’ on opportunities and shortcomings, and what could be done to insight more collective will for a positive drive towards nature based regenerative solutions and resilience. A GLASS HALF FULL
To get 196 countries to agree to anything is quite extraordinary and so the U.K. Gov and Sharma deserved credit for having successfully pulled off COP26 during the pandemic
COP26 brought multiple coalitions to fruition- methane pledge/ coal pledge/ forest pledge (with 141 countries signing the forest pledge)
The private sector showed up en-masse, recognizing both the consumer and buyer
This year’s role of the “high level champions” group was astounding : the Marrakesh partnership led by current U.K. champion Nigel Topping, now shared with the Egyptian presidency, was a great tool to mobilise companies to sign up to race to zero/ race to resilience
Within the financial sector, Mark Joseph Carney (former head of the bank of England), led the finance sector to unleash USD$130 trillion worth of assets from around the world for net zero, pulling together a seismic shift alliance
Just this week we have seen a huge pushback from US banks around regulators, climate risk built into how banks are evaluated and regulated
Signing of the Paris Rule book was one significant positive outcome of COP26, establishing an annual ratchet mechanism, on how to ratchet our ambition over the years
A GLASS HALF EMPTY
HOWEVER- as change happens and regulations are imposed, one must remember the ‘S’ of ESG, the social component, and how as countries phase out from coal towards more sustainable solutions, people on the ground are still struggling with food security and sanitation / education. This is becoming increasingly hard for the global south.
A lot of positive momentum came out of COP26 but with the current targets laid out, we forecast being more realistically on a roadmap towards 2.4•c above historical levels
The science is unequivocal that things are likely to get worse rather than better, especially methane
“Keeping 1.5 alive” is only just about feasible as a target but it would require pretty heroic approaches on what countries need to do. The tide should have already turned yesterday
The Voices from Outside and protests on the streets were never heard as strongly as in 2021, but seemingly unheard from within the Blue Zone, creating an ever-increasing divide.
These groups seem to demand more than any democratically elected leader is happy to act on, calling for deep rooted change with a general consensus that capitalism isn’t fit for purpose
Politically, a decade after the pledge to mobilise USD$ 100 billion per year for developing countries to address the climate challenge, we have fallen short of our pledges.
2022 will see the first upcoming African COP where the largest focus will be on the topic of RESILIENCE: injustice, inequity, food security and agriculture. The question will be to assess whether anyone across the global north hears or cares about the impact on vulnerable populations in the global south, who is doing what, and those who take the risk to take a deep dive into global solutions, looking at addressing the 6th mass extinction we are experiencing, where we are losing our biodiversity at the highest rate possible, analyzing how this will impact businesses and infrastructure.
The impact of climate change is coming now and fast, with more regulators looking at disjointed ways of creating a regulatory system of decarbonization.
‘Net Zero’- the reality of these two words becoming our next goal translates into the need for science-based targets. How can we support our elected leaders and representatives to understand data and science pointing to the need for ever increasing food security, resilient cities and social systems?
Purpose sits behind everything and the real questions to answer now are how can we really commit to the urgent need, our time and energy, and where do we place our money and voice. LACONIC is committed to transforming policies into action to make these needs happen.
Director of Communications