COP 28: A Pivotal Moment for Climate Action

COP28 > 1st December, 2023

As the Conference of the Parties (COP28) kicks off in Dubai, GFG Alliance’s Global Head of Risk & Sustainability, Marian D’Auria, takes a closer look at one of the world’s largest and most important international gatherings: what's at stake, and what the decisions made there could mean for all of us.

COP28 in Dubai arrives at a pivotal moment in our fight against climate change. The world is experiencing unprecedented climate-related events like wildfires, floods, storms, and droughts. Yet, the consequences of climate change extend beyond the visible physical impacts like extreme weather and rising sea levels; they also encompass the policies and market responses that affect regulations, as well as the prices of goods and services we rely on. Therefore, this COP is a crucial opportunity to chart a more sustainable course for our planet.

What are the main themes this year?

One of the main things to watch closely this year is the conclusion of the UN’s inaugural Global Stocktake report. The Global Stocktake is a critical tool for gauging our progress toward the Paris Agreement's goal of limiting global warming to well below 2oC. Scientists emphasize the urgency of dramatically cutting emissions this decade, if we are to have any hope of meeting that target.

The 2023 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) also paints a concerning picture, projecting greenhouse gas emissions for 2030 that suggest a high likelihood of global warming exceeding 1.5oC, during the 21st century.

At GFG Alliance, we have committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030 precisely because of this urgency. The imperative to reduce carbon emissions is immediate – action is needed now, across industry, governments, and finance sectors.

Aside from progress on emissions, the other things that are likely to get attention are:

  • Energy transition and the pathway to developing the huge volumes of renewable energy needed in a net zero world.
  • Food systems transformation, including both emission and biodiversity impacts – what targets and technology do we need to reduce the impact of feeding the planet.
  • Climate finance: how can we ensure funds flow towards projects and locations where it is needed to reduce emissions, but also to build the adaptations and resilience that is going to have to be developed, to cope with climate change.

What should we be hoping for from COP28?

The urgency surrounding climate change necessitates a swift and resolute commitment from participating nations to slash greenhouse gas emissions.

However, it is clear that current emissions trajectories will lead to warming, and this underscores the importance of a focus on adaptation and resilience against the impending impacts of climate change, particularly in the global South.

Additionally, I hope for substantial progress in developing the climate finance agenda. Financing is an indispensable driver for achieving the necessary outcomes, and fostering stronger collaboration between governments and the financial sector is imperative. COP28 offers a pivotal opportunity to move forward decisively in these critical areas, ultimately steering us toward a more sustainable and resilient future.

What GFG Alliance is doing around COP28
Our company's leaders are actively engaging in COP28, with a multifaceted presence across the event. We are proud to sponsor the World Climate Summit, often referred to as the 'investment COP', and our involvement extends to presenting case studies at the WorldSteel conference in Abu Dhabi.

Our leadership team will be participating in a range of roundtables, pavilions, and panel discussions spanning the green and blue zones. Moreover, we are excited to host our exclusive 'Cut to the Future' reception at the Museum of the Future.

I am looking forward to sharing reflections and outcomes from COP28 in January, highlighting the potential implications for the steel industry, our businesses, and the people we serve.

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