How can business respond to the Marrakesh ‘COP of Action’?
After the recent surprising American election result, you may not have been aware of another major event. From 7 to 18 November, Marrakesh was home to the 22nd global conference on climate change. The successor of the 2015 Paris Conference hosted 30.000 delegates of governments, civil society and private sector to discuss how the global temperature will not rise an extra 2°C degrees. While ‘Paris’ answered the what-question, it was up to ‘Marrakesh’ to answer the how-question.
The COP of action
Last Friday all Marrakesh parties agreed to – within 2 years – deliver a ‘Paris Rulebook’. This rulebook outlines specific plans on how to curb emissions to 2°C degrees in 2100 and zero emissions from 2050. Also, 47 climate vulnerable countries (such as The Philippines and Bangladesh) have committed to a transition towards 100% renewable energy. Climate finance remains a more difficult issue. Political willingness from wealthier countries to contribute to the $100bn Climate Fund still remains low, to the disappointment of poorer, climate vulnerable countries. As COP22 president Salaheddine Mezouar baptised the event as the ‘COP of Action’, it is now time to make up the inventory. How can business respond to these outcomes?
1. Develop carbon neutral strategies
‘Paris’ has not fallen after Trump. The US election result has only increased the sense of community and urge for joint action. The feeling in Marrakesh is that climate change is bigger than one country or one election. Marrakesh reaffirms the urgency of tackling climate change. The private sector is key in reaching the global goal. Your business can jump on the train of frontrunners by developing a clearly formulated strategy, with ambitious and specific emission targets.
2. Act & connect
Climate change is not just a risk, but also a business opportunity. Climate change is a universal problem that calls for collective action. Interested in inspiring connections with other sustainable businesses? Want to increase your commitment and catalyse joint action? Then join one of the numerous climate business networks! Consider for example the Carbon Disclosure Project, the Science-based Targets initiative, or the Low Carbon Technology Partnership initiative.
3. Invest in clean technology
An estimated 90 trillion dollars are needed to develop and disseminate clean technologies to prevent crossing the 2°C limit. Marrakesh again showed difficulty of arranging Climate Finance at the governmental level. Private investments are essential. But with a strong business case, cleantech investments are not just socially right, but also strategically smart.
Just take a take a look at how Philips, Akzo Nobel, DSM and Google joined forces in the investment of a wind park. Or Tesla, which is heavily investing in clean energy solutions and recently helped an island become solar-powered in under a year.