We Mean Business Coalition statement on the outcomes of COP27
COP27 has closed with vital progress towards channeling financial support to vulnerable communities that are suffering devastating impacts from climate change. This demonstrates that international cooperation is possible, even on the most challenging issues.
However, while countries again agreed that the impacts of climate change will be worse if temperature rise is greater than 1.5°C, this is the very least we should expect from leaders who claim to recognize the scale of the climate crisis. We must move from rhetoric to real action. The best way to limit the scale of loss and damage for vulnerable communities around the world, is to cut emissions as fast as possible.
It is therefore deeply disappointing that the proposal to phase down all fossil fuels, made by India and multiple countries, is not reflected in the text, even though it is the critical action needed right now to get us on track for 1.5°C. The International Energy Agency made clear last year that there is no room in our remaining carbon budget for new fossil fuel supply projects. Business will look to India as president of the G20 to lead the conversation between governments forwards on this ahead of COP28.
Business is ready to play its part. We saw 250 companies and civil society groups come together during COP27 to state that 1.5°C is a limit not a target. These businesses are already working to deliver the level of action required and need government policy to support them to go even further and faster. The deal agreed in Sharm el-Sheikh held the line on 1.5°C, but there is simply not enough in there to suggest nations are serious about implementing the actions needed to deliver emissions reductions.
There are small elements that do give us hope. The recognition from COP27 that a just transition to renewable energy is the best way out of the energy crisis is extremely important for business. If governments follow through on this rhetoric they can support the thousands of companies already switching to clean energy and encourage thousands more to follow their lead in moving away from fossil fuels. There was also strong inclusion of the need for financial reforms of multilateral development banks to be “fit for the purpose of adequately addressing the global climate emergency”. This will be essential to ensure critical finance is redirected into developing countries towards clean energy and to help drive the market shifts required.
In addition, the inclusion of the role of business as active participants in the 2030 Work Program to urgently decarbonize key sectors will help drive emissions reductions in the real economy and ensure that business experience in decarbonization is shared with governments.
Next year, COP28 will be a key milestone on the road to halving global emissions by 2030, with work on the Global Stocktake getting underway. We can’t afford to waste another year with emissions continuing to rise. Countries must be much more decisive on their actions to phase down fossil fuels and scale up clean energy. Business is ready to work with governments in this accelerated transition to ensure more companies can go even further and faster.