COP26 – The Role of Businesses in the Fight Against Climate Change

 

The UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) is a crucial step in the fight against climate change. Many see it as the last chance to get climate change back under control. The entire world will watch the conference, yet governments alone cannot address the climate crisis. Businesses will play an important role, as will public-private partnerships.

Climate change is arguably the biggest threat we face as a society. Climate experts warn that the effects of climate change are catastrophic; we are not working fast enough. Countries must come together to deal with this crisis.

This blog discusses what COP26 is, why your business should care about it, and how it can support sustainability.

What is COP26?

COP26 is the 2021 global United Nations (UN) climate change summit where countries discuss tackling the crisis. Postponed due to Covid-19, the conference will take place in Glasgow between 1st-12th of November 2021. It’s set to be the most significant summit the UK has ever hosted. The summit will welcome negotiators, government representatives, business owners, citizens and world leaders gathering. The 26th summit is described as the most significant climate event since the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Over the last three decades, the UN has brought together almost every country to reach an agreement on tackling the issue head-on. Governments are likely to propose ambitious emission reduction targets for 2030. These targets aim to achieve zero by the middle of the century, and we must work together to do this.

Why should your business care about COP26?

By 2100, the world is on course to warm by 3-4 degrees Celsius, with potentially disastrous consequences. Large regions of the earth are becoming uninhabitable due to rising sea levels. There are significant corporate dangers to ignoring climate change – not only environmentally but commercially too.

Research in 2019 found that 77% of consumers want to buy from companies devoted to making the world a better place. 73% of investors say environmental and societal activities influence their investment decisions. Yet, many will overlook the importance.

Businesses must pay close attention to their activities’ impact on climate change and develop long-term sustainable value. How companies can create goals that help achieve sustainability is the central theme of COP26 in Glasgow this year.

What can your business do to support sustainability?

While most businesses recognise the importance of a sustainability plan, only a quarter of them have produced a clear business case for driving sustainability.

At IREP, we remain dedicated to helping our clients become more sustainable. We are keen to form partnerships across the region and spearhead vertical farming in the Middle East. Our partnership with IGS supports the delivery of vertical farming solutions in the Middle East. This partnership will support the region to reduce carbon footprints, reaching sustainability goals.

If you’d like to become a more sustainable business, a first step is identifying an area of focus within your company. You can then choose the methods and perhaps, form partnerships to achieve your sustainability goals.

Sustainable practices may not immediately impact your bottom line but sticking to them will benefit your company (and society) in the long run. At IREP, we believe in the long-term efficiencies that sustainable practices offer. When it comes to our planet, complacency is not an option.

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