Three Key Hopes for Climate Action

Written by Malvi Goyal

By Rushil Agarwal, Climate School Market Lead for India and the Middle East

As COP has drawn to a close for another year, businesses have an opportunity to reflect and focus on their climate ambitions for 2024. This is especially true for those operating in the global south where we are striving to achieve climate justice.

In this post, Rushil Agarwal, Climate School Market Lead for India and the Middle East, outlines his thoughts on the actions required to meet the ambitious global warming reduction targets set at COP21 back in 2015.

1- Introducing robust reporting to drive accountability

For the first time since the Paris Agreement, COP28 set out to measure the progress of each nation, aiming to chart a course of action to accelerate climate change and close the gaps needed to keep global warming below 1.5C.

Progress towards achieving sustainability goals needs to be properly assessed using a global framework and reviewed so countries can learn from what they have done and adapt their net zero pathways accordingly. There is a need for more robust reporting and KPI-setting. Ideally, we would see the introduction of a regulatory framework which mandates reporting and sustainability KPIs in line with other parts of the world. This will enable visibility and transparency around climate progress. Without building this knowledge, we are left in the dark with no quantifiable data to support future decision-making.

2- Brokering negotiations to achieve a global balance

Demonstrating momentum around climate justice and finance has become essential. We all know climate change does not affect every country in the same way, and developing nations in the global south need help to move forward. Developed nations in the global north have spoken about allocating capital to help with the transition.

With COP28 held in the UAE, a key intersection of the global north and global south, the region can play an important role as a broker in these negotiations moving forward. COP28 offered a unique platform to set the stage and framework for future commitments and we hope this continues to be utilised.

3- Changing regional attitudes

Successive COPs in the region have been transformative, resulting in growing interest in global sustainability and climate action.

While corporates in the region, especially those listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) and Dubai Financial Market (DFM), have undertaken many sustainability initiatives over the last few years, businesses must ensure that all employees throughout their organisation are committed and aligned with the delivery of climate goals.

With excellent regional representation from the private sector at COP28, and clear signs private companies are ready to carbonise in the region, we hope to see the normalisation of corporate sustainability targets coming from the top to effectively empower, encourage and drive positive climate change.

Ultimately, we hope that the outcomes from COP28 are long lasting to help drive change and regional attitudes, shaping the creation of a more sustainable future, not only in APAC, but globally.


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