Blog
November 23, 2022

Key Takeaways from COP27

Was COP27 a major breakthrough? Altruistiq cuts through the noise and outlines the critical developments made at COP27 that corporations need to know about.

The Egyptian presidency had promised an ‘implementation COP’, where pledges would give way to action. However, there is a collective agreement that COP27 was largely chaotic and disappointing. The results achieved more on the impacts of climate change than on the causes. It is widely acknowledged that the peripheral agreements from businesses were much more promising.

What happened at COP27?

  • Loss and damage - the new fund for climate related damages was a welcome breakthrough, with around €340mn in new pledges for loss and damage made. However, these pledges are currently unfunded and all planning deferred to COP28.
  • 1.5 degrees on life support - any language around keeping 1.5 degrees alive was hard fought, and only matched by less than a quarter of countries meeting the COP26 requirement to update their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Realistically it looks like 2.5 degrees is baked in at present.
  • Not phasing out fossil fuels - India made strong moves to add language to phase out all fossil fuels, moving beyond COP 26 on only phasing down coal. These moves were all blocked by petro-states empowered by the Ukraine war-based energy crisis.

4 significant developments businesses should watch:

  1. International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) - set up by the IFRS last year, announced they will release the first set of sustainability standards next year.  CDP is collaborating with them to accept these standards in their carbon disclosure surveys.
  2. UK Transition Plan Taskforce (TPT) - this taskforce is set with the task of creating standards for Net Zero implementation plans. The Taskforce are open for consultation on their draft framework until February 2023. This will tie into FCA regulatory requirements for listed companies and financial institutions by 2024.
  3. ISO Net Zero guidelines - a massive collaborative effort across 1200+ organisations to create a standard for making Net Zero claims, including far-reaching requirements for governance.
  4. Climate data steering committee - committee (established by Macron and Bloomberg) to create a publicly available data platform for organisations’ climate data (the Net Zero Data Public Utility (NZDPU). Will be great for transparency and benchmarking.

COP27 delivered a loss and damage fund but failed on reducing emissions. Keeping 1.5°C alive requires a level of momentum not shown by governments at COP27. However, growing business sustainability ambition gives hope. Progress since COP26 has shown more companies setting credible targets (for example, SBTi announced that 4,000 companies have made SBT commitments and targets, more than double the number at COP26). Private sector collaboration has increased, with companies sharing concrete numbers on green investment and emissions reduction. Together with the policy developments outlined above, business ambition and action are set to continue increasing.

We know the level of action we need. With rising business ambition, solutions like Altruistiq can help facilitate the shift to action. Get in touch if you want to discuss the implications of COP27 on your business by emailing hello@altruistiq.com.

Dan Enzer
On Purpose Associate

Dan Enzer

On Purpose Associate