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This was how the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, summed up the current state of affairs, when he addressed world leaders at the start of this year’s COP.
Whilst his language was intended to shock, he is not mistaken.
There lies a vast challenge ahead of us in seeking to achieve a just and equitable energy transition worldwide, whilst simultaneously conserving and restoring our natural environment. The scale of this challenge has not been materially lessened by the outcomes of COP27.
Plentiful headlines critiquing the lack of progress at this year’s summit have put the spotlight on the disappointing failure to reach agreement on the phasing out of fossil fuels, putting at risk the Paris Agreement’s goal to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.
Nevertheless, there were a few beacons of hope and significant breakthroughs, with a selection of these detailed below.
This year’s COP centred around themes of implementation and counteracting loss and damage from climate change.
Reviewing these two themes through a nature lens, Climate Asset Management’s Caroline van Tilborg spoke at several events, showcasing the progress our Partnership with the Global EverGreening Alliance’s Restore Africa Programme has made since its announcement at COP26.
The programme has moved from ambition to implementation in three out of the six participating countries (Kenya, Uganda & Malawi). More broadly, Climate Asset Management’s mission to invest in nature can help alleviate loss and damage caused by natural catastrophes such as flooding. Mangroves are one of the target focus areas within our Nature Based Carbon Strategy, which offers companies access to investments in nature based carbon projects, in return for high impact carbon credits.
There is increasing recognition that we are facing the twin and interlinked crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. Nature is integral in mitigating climate change – acknowledged at this year’s COP, with a reference to nature-based solutions included for the first time in the COP27 decision text.
Hopefully this momentum will continue as we approach COP15, the Biodiversity COP. Climate Asset Management’s Megan Reilly Cayten and Leo Murphy will be on the ground in Montreal, assessing the key outcomes.
Like COP, I too was born in 1995. As our collective thirties wink menacingly at us from over the horizon, I am both fearful and hopeful, but mostly hopeful.
For my generation in many developing countries, who have grown up in the shadow of climate change, there is tangible frustration, over the lack of significant movement on climate equity and justice.
Whilst fully acknowledging at COP27 the sheer scale and urgency of the challenge ahead, it was equally inspiring to take stock of the momentum, ambition and passion in the room. A continuation of this spirit will be key as we look to address these issues and drive forward further action at COP28 in Dubai.
I feel privileged to be working for a company like Climate Asset Management, laser-focused on catalysing private capital into restoring and conserving our natural ecosystems at a landscape scale, and surrounded by colleagues who are all equally passionate about making a difference regarding the climate crisis.
The 2020s have been designated as the decade of delivery for action against climate change. I am sure that Climate Asset Management will play a significant part as we scale our Natural Capital and Nature Based Carbon Strategies, implementing as we grow.