Top COP28 Takeaways: What it means for business?

BITCI News - Jan 18, 2024

The annual UN Climate Conference is a major milestone to take stock of what has been achieved and to renew the global ambition towards decarbonisation. Dubai’s COP28 in December 2023 leaves a lasting legacy on key issues that will enable decarbonisation.

For businesses in Ireland, the key takeaways are:

Accelerating Fossil Fuel Phase Out:

COP28 shifted the dial by compelling countries to triple their renewable energy capacity by 2030. For businesses, this translates into accelerated timelines for change on operations and supply chains. Fossil fuel phase-out is non-negotiable. Businesses need to set clear, achievable and science-based carbon reduction targets and transition to renewable energy sources.

Increased Regulatory Pressure:

Stricter regulations and compliance measures are in place such as the EU’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive. Ireland’s Climate Action Plan outlines how we have expended 47% of our emissions for the first carbon budget period but also the corrective actions required get back on track.

Green Innovation:

COP28 showcased a commitment to fostering innovation across industries. Businesses that invest in sustainable technologies, renewable energy solutions, and eco-friendly practices such as regenerative agriculture will not only contribute to a healthier planet but also position themselves as leaders in their respective sectors.

Supply Chain Resilience & Collaboration:

COP28 emphasised the importance of sustainable supply chains. Companies must reassess theirs to mitigate climate-related risks. This involves greater supplier engagement, reducing dependency on carbon-intensive sources and embracing circular economy principles. Companies should engage in partnerships, knowledge-sharing, and collective initiatives such as our Low Carbon Pledge to address these challenges.

Investor & Consumer Expectations are Evolving:

COP28 reinforced the shift towards sustainable investment albeit with questions remaining on how the transition will be funded. Companies that align with climate goals are more likely to attract funding and demonstrate long-term viability to investors. Similarly, adaptation to consumer demands for eco-friendly products and responsible practices is essential for long-term success.

Social Responsibility Integration:

COP28 highlighted the interconnectedness of environmental and social issues. Businesses are expected to address their carbon footprint and their social footprint such as inclusivity, and fair labour practices. A holistic approach to sustainability is now a business imperative.

Climate Risk Assessment is Paramount:

COP28 underscored the importance of understanding and disclosing climate and nature-related risks. Companies need to integrate climate risk assessments into their decision-making processes, disclose this information transparently and required transition finance.

In conclusion, the COP 28 takeaways for businesses are: prioritise sustainability, act urgently, collaborate widely, and integrate environmental and social responsibility into every facet of operations.

Tomas Sercovich, CEO 

Business in the Community Ireland