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COP27: What’s at stake

Hand-drawn poster with a globe and text that reads "one world"
Markus Spiske/Unsplash
Nov 19, 2022

Taking place this month in the Egyptian city of Sharm El-Sheikh, COP27 has to be met with a renewed urgency. WGSN breaks it down.

This year’s summit is focused on following through on COP26 goals and setting actionable frameworks for accomplishing global climate initiatives. Bringing together 198 countries that have signed the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, COP27 will tackle five key issues: nature, food, water, industry decarbonisation and climate adaptation. 

The climate emergency

Having failed to meet the two-degree goal set at COP21 and the commitments set at COP26, it is imperative for world leaders and stakeholders to accelerate their climate action plans especially as these existential threats become more compounded by the current energy and financial crisis.

“Businesses can also benefit from an active sustainability agenda in multiple ways,” says Boris Planer, Head of Consumer and Market Insight, DACH WGSN. “Two key aspects are the efficient use of resources, which will translate into price-competitiveness in times of high inflation; the other is credibility with eco-conscious consumers to build long-term loyalty.”

Person holding globe in two hands
Anna Shvets/Pexels

Action must meet aspiration

According to the US National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, 2022 will rank among the 10 warmest years on record. As UN climate change chief Simon Stiell recently stated: “We are in a state of emergency and the biggest challenge is turning aspirational goals into reality.”

Key topics at this year’s event include establishing ‘loss and damage’ funds to compensate low- and middle-income countries that are disproportionately affected by climate change, creating strategies to scale climate-resilient food systems and investing in climate adaptation so that buildings and infrastructure can withstand increasingly stronger storms. 

For the first time ever, a Food Systems Pavilion will host at the event, representing the entire food value chain with the goal of setting strategies towards healthier, more resilient and more equitable food systems.

Farmers wearing Asian conical hat picking tea leaves
Quang Nguyen Vinh/Pexels

How you can action this

The time to act is now. Make a commitment and invest in scalable manufacturing processes that reduce waste and lower CO2 emissions. Avoid greenwashing, which is a red flag for climate-conscious consumers and could lead to serious backlash.

Read the full Sustainability Bulletin: November 2022 for a round-up of the key sustainability happenings this month, or download WGSN’s White Paper: Create Better.

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