COP27 kicked off this week, and after just a few days, we’re already seeing strong signs and significant shifts in the global climate change conversation.
The highlights so far:
The changing face of climate finance
“Loss and damage” is again high on the discussion list at COP27. Developing countries continue to push for a fund from more wealthy nations to help front the costs of climate change. For example, to help ease the burden in Pakistan from flooding this year, which resulted in a $40 billion economic loss (11% of their GDP), not to mention thousands of lives lost and millions left homeless.
Along those lines, John Kerry announced a plan to incentivize American corporations to fund renewable energy projects in developing countries as offsets. It’s a move that has received criticism from climate groups.
Climate tech used for the public good
The UN unveiled a plan to create an early warning system against extreme and dangerous weather. “Countries with limited early warning coverage have disaster mortality [rates] eight times higher than countries with high coverage,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Coincidentally, Google announced that its AI-powered flood prediction tool could issue forecasts seven days in advance, up from 48 hours. The tech and search giant expects this service to remain free forever.
New net-zero guidelines from the UN
The UN released practical recommendations for companies setting net-zero targets. They state, for example, that companies cannot claim to have net-zero commitments if they still invest in fossil fuels or deforestation and prohibit the use of offsets to reach climate targets.
Key announcements from the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) about making emissions reporting easier
The ISSB announced a new framework that addresses capacity gaps in developing and emerging economies to unify global climate disclosures and drive adoption. Practically speaking, this consolidates the reporting requirements for companies and eases the reporting burden.
In a strong signal of early and widespread adoption of IFRS disclosures, CDP will incorporate the ISRS S2 Climate-Related Disclosures into its global environmental disclosure platform, meaning its 17,000+ voluntary users will disclose data structured to IFRS S2 in the 2024 cycle.