COP27 concluded in slightly more dramatic fashion than anticipated, with an extension to the conference to give world leaders additional time to negotiate the landmark ‘loss and damage’ fund for vulnerable countries, arguably dubbed one of the more tangible outcomes of the last few years of gatherings. It’s a significant pledge and acknowledgement of the accountability of the developed world, and the urgent need for financial support for those countries most directly impacted by the mounting effects of climate change.
Despite that, the headlines remain disparaging following the event, with little progress, nor agreement in terms of the road to net zero, curbing global temperature rises and driving a just energy transition. There is no shortage of analysis and insight into the summit, so we’ve collated some of the most relevant insights to share with you, as well as our take on proceedings.
There is no doubt that we are at a turning point, and there is only so much talking that we can do before seriously urgent action is needed. However, in the face of an increasingly catastrophic future, there is some optimism. Now is the time that people can turn to business for the solutions. With disillusionment in global leadership’s ability to lead the way, it’s now in the hands of disruptive businesses and influential commercial individuals to change the mindset and bring change to the system.
Yesterday, in London, the Natural History Museum welcomed the celebration of the UK reaching 1,000 B Corp organisations. Patagonia’s green coup earlier this year is still hitting headlines and it’s abundantly clear that business can pave the way to a greener, more sustainable, lower emitting economy. Consumers are speaking up and pressuring brands to change, and in hand those brands have direct influence on the broader economy and political system to lobby, change habits and behaviours, and drive meaningful change.
“If the markets demand it, the businesses will change, and there’s absolutely no doubt now that consumers want to see sustainable practices put into place across all levels of business” says Linley Lewis, Blue Earth Summit co-founder “Purpose led business is not just for disruptive start-ups anymore. All businesses now need to define their purpose, and the impact that they have on people and planet.”
Over 6 weeks since the Blue Earth Summit, and in the midst of a global energy crisis, ongoing Brexit fall-out and continued political instability, purpose-led business is a narrative that people have to take notice of, before it’s too late.
We have said many times that business has the power to go where politics can’t – or at least, more quickly – and now is the time to empower that change to drive action and make some serious decisions on how we operate in our daily lives. As business leaders and active consumers, it’s not always straightforward to determine what’s next in the face of uncertainty and economic pressure. It’s become more of a course of finding signals amongst the noise, to collaborate in a productive and planet-focused way.
So what’s next? It is clear now that discussion can only drive so much progress – this has to now be about action, changing the narrative and giving business the responsibility to lead the charge.
As the debate continues, we have collated some of the most insightful analyses coming out of the summit: