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The much anticipated COP26 held in Glasgow will see world leaders gather to discuss how best to tackle rising global temperatures and pollution. It is the first meeting since the 2020 deadline passed for several aspects of the landmark Paris Agreement, agreed at COP21 back in 2015. This vital collaboration will see ambitions turn into much needed action, as countries and businesses strive towards their emissions reduction targets.
COP26 will cover an agenda that could seriously impact the emissions reduction targets of governments, large corporations, SMEs and individuals alike.
In the run up to the conference, we take a look at what is needed to progress towards a sustainable future.
Following COP26, the world must come together during the Earth’s time of need. Governments, large corporate businesses, SMEs and society as a whole must work together to secure a stable future for generations to come.
The UK and its businesses have a significant part to play in the move towards sustainability. Despite making up less than 1% of the global population, the UK is historically the fifth-largest contributor of carbon emissions in the atmosphere.
For the private sector, this will most likely result in a greater emphasis on science-based targets. Science-based targets aim to reduce emissions, through concrete, corporate objectives. These shorter-term goalposts are designed to track progress for businesses, providing greater transparency on the road to net zero and beyond. By working together to set and reach these targets, larger corporations and SMEs will be able to track their progress and push themselves to reach their goals.
The Paris Rulebook was adopted by the majority of countries in 2018. But some issues were left unresolved. Completing the Rulebook is essential if countries wish to communicate their net zero targets and track their sustainability progress.
Three of the most pressing issues to be addressed are:
It is crucial that each issue is discussed and resolved, while ensuring that every voice is heard. This is the only way to understand and meet the needs of every country, whether they are vulnerable or more advanced. Giving everyone a fair start to reach their net zero targets.
The biggest advantage of reducing carbon emissions is the resulting impact on depleting ecosystems. The IPCC report warns that, even with global decarbonisation efforts, it will take decades for the planet to recover. Global CO₂ emissions need to decrease by about 45% below 2010 levels, by 2030. Otherwise, if they continue to rise at the current rate, global temperatures are projected to increase by more than 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052.
Countries across the world are experiencing extreme weather abnormalities, such as flooding, wildfires and hurricanes. These events have shone a light on the depleting climate conditions, serving as a warning that change is urgently needed. In particular, the need to prioritise adaptation measures, among both governments and large businesses.
Adaptation methods involve adjustments to ecological, social, or economic systems in anticipation of climate change. These can range from building flood defences and early warning systems to changes in government policy and redesigning communication systems. These methods can coincide with mitigation methods, which focus on reducing emissions.
While many businesses have acknowledged climate change in some form, many are yet to create adaptation strategies. If businesses don’t adapt and mitigate to become more sustainable, the world will experience more natural disasters, extreme weather events and loss of life.
Becoming carbon negative is good for everyone. Being eco-friendly and efficient brings great environmental, economic and social advantages.
At EIC, we understand that preparing for the future is vital for the progression of your business. We offer a range of comprehensive services, from carbon management plans to intelligent procurement. With our tailored solutions, we can ensure that your business is transparent and accountable regarding its carbon emissions.
We aim to support our clients as they begin their journey towards net zero. With our market insight, expert guidance and vast range of energy and carbon services, we are confident that we can provide the most effective solutions for your business.
To learn more about how EIC can help you reach your sustainable goals, contact us today.