SBC’s take on upcoming COP28

Executive Director Mike Burrell and Head of Climate & Nature Antonia Burbidge discuss this year’s Conference of the Parties, which they’ll both be attending in Dubai over November/December. Listen as they discuss why this year’s COP is a special one for business, what you can expect from the event, the opportunities New Zealand has to lead at COP and more.

Interview takeaways

  • This is a business-centric COP. The UAE have made it very clear they want to hear the business voice coming through and that business has a leadership role to play in the transition.
  • This COP is significant because this year marks the beginning of the process of looking back on how we’re tracking against the Paris Agreement for the first time. Because there are so many businesses going, it’ll also be a great opportunity to share knowledge and learn from others in the private sector – it’s an opportunity for SBC and CLC and our members to go out and be inspired by others, as well as inspire others.
  • Antonia’s advice for those going to COP: find any time you can to eat, drink water and sleep! COPs are very big and busy events, so it’s important to make sure you’re staying fed, hydrated and rested.
  • New Zealand is seen by other countries as a bit of a ‘laboratory’, a place where we can get things done pretty quickly – because we’re small and have a tight knit business community, it’s possible to stand up big ventures like CLC here more so than in is larger countries.
  • Our voice counts! When you follow through and you’re transparent, you have credibility – and we’ve shown that through CLC.
  • It’s pointless for NZ to go on this journey on our own. We might be able to get to net zero ourselves, but we’ll still deal with the effects of climate change if other (larger) countries don’t also decarbonise. That’s why it’s important for us to go overseas and use our voice and work with our global partners to go further together. If we can help larger countries implement initiatives like CLC, the impact will be huge – so it’s key for us to use our (disproportionately) large influence to the best of our ability.
  • The WBCSD Council Meeting (which Mike is attending a few days before COP) will help SBC take the pulse of how some of the largest global businesses are doing on climate. The focus of this meeting will be on ‘getting ducks in a row’ for COP28. Mike is hoping to get some bold statements from the global business community to keep the momentum up in the face of so many other challenges.

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