Will COP28 disappoint - or are we at a turning point?

Turning Point 1200X673px
For financial professionals only

Chris Hegarty, Chair of Parmenion’s Ethical Oversight Committee can understand why global climate initiatives like the United Nations Climate Change Conference provoke cynicism.

But could COP 28 be a turning point?

“As a veteran of a few COPs, it's hard not to become at least slightly jaded and frustrated by them. In my experience they are, in the main, dismal affairs held in anonymous, cavernous conference centres, filled with delegates staring bleakly into their phones, eyelids propped up by awful coffee".

But much more important than their atmosphere is their impact, or rather, their lack of it. It's easy to keep track of how long the world has been trying this - 'COP28' means this is the 28th annual gathering at which the world collectively recognises the urgent, unquestionable need to cut greenhouse gas emissions, yet simultaneously fails to do so. That the world's annual greenhouse gas emissions have continued to rise steadily throughout those near three decades, despite their damaging effects becoming ever more obvious, is an indictment of the COP process, international diplomacy and our so-called leaders.

But - given the global nature of climate change, and its increasing urgency - if there were not something like COP, it would have to be invented. And we might just be at a major turning point: a recent report by Berlin-based Climate Analytics suggests that 2024 is likely to be the year in which global emissions finally start to fall. In other words, perhaps COP28 will go down as the 'Peak Emissions COP', and it's all about the speed of progress in the right direction from here on in. Wouldn't it be wonderful to move into a 'race to the top' phase, in which individuals, companies, investors and governments all place sustainability as the overarching priority that it has to be?”

Find out more about Parmenion’s approach to ESG investing and the role of our Ethical Oversight Committee.

Speak to us and find out how we can help your business thrive.