Gains and Losses: a happy ending for human kind?

2050

A huge gain for climate change combating: the corporate world.

Our economy has been based on capitalism, consumption and money, an economy where there was no room to take on climate change. But nowadays it seems there is a shift taking place. A shift towards a new era of action, approaching climate change and sustainable development, not just by governments but by the corporate world as well. Copp22 has shown an unstoppable global momentum on climate change actions by governments, businesses, investors, sub-regional government and cities.[i]

It is a quite new, interesting and important tendency that for profit organizations and big capitalistic leaders are committed as well to stop climate change.  More than 100 high-level business leaders and investors met with leaders from Governments, civil society and the United Nations at Cop22 to show their support and commitment to taking action on the climate agreement developed in Paris last year. [ii] You can say that we are at the beginning of a macro economic shift from profit maximization to an increasing importance of going beyond just focussing on money. Executive Director of the UN Global Compact, Lise Kingo mentioned this tendency during Cop22 as: “The climate movement is unstoppable. More and more companies are taking action, and seeing new opportunities for growth and innovation.”[iii] Climate change has clearly shifted from having a ‘tree hugging’ and not ‘sexy’ image to being at the center of international relations. Last year, 195 countries adopted the Paris Agreement, a binding arrangement that aims to limit global warming to 2 °C.[iv]

More and more business opportunities occur with the growing global acknowledgment of the importance of climate change. As a result, the global community is becoming more and more committed to countering climate change. We can see here an interrelation between the two. Because of climate change more business opportunities appear and because of these business opportunities the needs and resources of countering climate change rapidly increase. Isabelle Kocher underpinned this phenomenon at COP22 by saying: “Affordable solar for all is our best option to tackle emission issues”[v]

It is clear that businesses increasingly commit to climate change prevention. At Cop22 the UN Global Compact and its partners released the 2016 Status Report on the Business Contribution to Global Climate Action, an assessment of the impact of business initiatives on achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).[vi] Moreover, there was a ‘business and industry day’ during Cop22. The outcomes underline as well the growing commitment of companies. An example of the outcomes: 200 companies representing USD $4.8 trillion in market value and responsible for 627 metric tons of CO2 equivalent emissions per year have committed to set targets aligned with the Paris climate agreement and this number is growing. Amongst these companies are Walmart, Mars Inc. and Sony.[vii]

 

A terrible loss for climate change combatting:  Developing countries

The biggest fail of this year’s climate summit was the unanswered question for finance for developing countries. The $100 billion per year, by 2020, promised by developed countries, in the Paris climate agreement, to help the most vulnerable countries cope with the effects of climate change, has not been implemented.[viii] Until now there is no solution or concrete method in how to implement this highly important aspect of achieving the Paris agreement goals. It is key to the global deal for climate change commitment to provide developing countries with the tools they need to tackle climate change challenges. Moreover, the countries that suffer the most from climate change are developing countries. They need the money to pay the damages climate change causes.                                                        

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Bangladesh (6th on the CRI) is one of these developing countries that suffers extensively from climate change. I have seen the huge effects of global warming in this country. Villages are over flooded everyday so millions of people are forced to leave their homes and become climate refugees. Most of these refugees flee to the capital Dhaka. This in itself is a huge global warming issue but the problems that come with it are just as horrifying.

 

What’s next?

Cop22 has shown the great sense of urgency for combating climate change and the commitment amongst all participants, as well as corporations. The fight against climate change is gaining more and more ground. It has become an unstoppable movement and a global top priority. But what has almost been forgotten in the process is the great importance for helping developing countries, the countries that suffer the most climate change.

The highest importance should be addressed to developing a sustainable plan and actually implementing it. Because without having the developing countries on board, the global climate change movement will be a never-ending story. Or the worst scenario will be that the story will end but not with a happy-ending for humankind. Earth will survive, earth has been here for billions of years. So we need to take care of our home, not in the first place for earth itself but for the happy ending of humankind.

 

Sources

[i]http://unfccc.int/files/meetings/marrakech_nov_2016/application/pdf/marrakech_action_proclamation.pdf

[ii] https://www.unglobalcompact.org/take-action/events/891-cop-22-cmp-12-high-level-meeting-on-climate-change#overview

[iii] https://www.unglobalcompact.org/news/3811-11-14-2016

[iv] http://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/international/negotiations/paris_en

[v] http://www.engie.com/en/innovation-energy-transition/isabelle-kocher-solarcop-marrakech-terrawatt-initative/

[vi]  https://www.unglobalcompact.org/library/4851

[vii] https://www.unglobalcompact.org/docs/news_events/COP22/Business-Events-During-COP22.pdf

[viii] https://www.euractiv.com/section/climate-environment/news/cop22-climate-finance-pushed-back-to-2018/


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