On Day 5 of the official COP28 program, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change held a high-level session to discuss the crucial role that the private sector along with innovation and technology must play in the implementation phase after the first global stocktake that was revealed at COP28.
The high-level session convened discussants including Anna Kruip, UN Global Compact; Jason Williams, Citibank; Sarah Penndorf, Google; and Leen Govaerts, VITO; to highlight the contributions of the private sector in terms of research and development, technology innovation, inclusive financial instruments, and collaborative approaches in the first global stocktake process.
In a keynote speech to open the session, Badr Jafar, COP28 special representative of business and philanthropy and CEO of Crescent Enterprises, highlighted the pressing need for the private sector’s active engagement in the COP process, stating: “As the COP28 presidency continues to emphasize, we are clearly not where we need to be in our collective ambition to keep 1.5 celsius within reach, and we must act decisively to get back on track. And this can only happen if business and philanthropy stakeholders play a much bigger role in achieving the ambitions set out in the Paris Agreement.”
Jafar, who chaired the COP28 Business and Philanthropy Forum, further added: “The one message heard consistently during the COP28 Business and Philanthropy Climate Forum, was that the private sector is ready and exited to become a lot more deeply engaged in the COP process. Our objective now must be to harness more of this energy and enthusiasm, and the private sector’s infinite capacity to innovate, and convert it into tangible, targeted and large-scale action.”
The COP28 Business and Philanthropy Climate Forum saw an attendance of over 1,300 CEOs from 106 nations, representing the full spectrum of industry from energy to fashion, and agriculture to space. Five billion dollars in new private capital commitments across the action agenda were announced during the 64 sessions held over two days of the forum.
The first global stocktake process witnessed the invaluable participation of the private sector, showcasing businesses’ contribution in reducing emissions, enhancing resilience, and providing support for climate action. Recognizing the need for mass innovation and cutting-edge technologies to achieve the Paris Agreement’s goals on time, enabled by policies to rapidly scale up solutions, business and philanthropy’s role in accelerating transformative climate action is more essential than ever.
This high-level session showcased practices and lessons learned from the private sector, shedding light on their progress in advancing the Paris Agreement’s goals. It also explored opportunities for enhanced action to bridge the implementation and ambition gaps, fostering collaborative efforts between governments, businesses, and investors.