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COP27 - The Business of Climate Recovery: Accelerating Accountability, Ambition and Action

Published: 9 Nov 2022
Type: News

Geneva & Sharm El-Sheikh, 9 November 2022 – The world’s leading companies detailed a business implementation agenda for COP27, published today in a new report by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) on the occasion of the conference in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.  

The Business of Climate Recovery: Accelerating Accountability, Ambition and Action provides an overview of some of the most promising ambition and action platforms for business. It also sets out a menu of specific interventions for accelerating the global decarbonization of business, involving business leadership with closer government collaboration to: 

  • Sharpen Accountability 
  • Raise Ambition, and  
  • Deliver Action at speed and scale 

Collectively, these interventions with business can radically advance the international climate change agenda in the next five years. This report hopes to offer a practical response to the COP27 President’s challenge for the climate agenda to move away from launching pledges and toward project implementation at scale. 

In this report, leading businesses put forward proposals and policy ideas to raise the ambition level, scale up action in systems transformation and most importantly move beyond mere commitments and targets to create a holistic corporate climate accountability system that will show the progress business is making against its net zero targets, as well as crystallize the contribution of business in the delivery of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). 

ACCOUNTABILITY

To sharpen business accountability, three priorities have been identified that can all be initiated during COP27 and developed fully towards COP28: 

  1. Create alignment of the corporate carbon accountability system. This includes the promotion of clear and vocal business support for the ISSB Prototype under development to become the mandatory global baseline for climate reporting 
  2. Establish strong foundations for the carbon accounting system, by upgrading the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and developing methodologies and data exchange protocols for scope 3 emissions; 
  3. Develop a Global Corporate Carbon Accounting Aggregation mechanism, to link corporate data into national emission reduction progress reports 

AMBITION

To raise ambition, five practical action areas have emerged as key priorities among WBCSD members, including for work with policymakers:   

  1. Get more companies to set credible targets for emissions reductions, and take accountability for their progress  
  2. Raise NDC ambitions in partnership with business 
  3. Advance partnerships with business to implement carbon pricing  
  4. Accelerate an equitable and inclusive net-zero transition in key business and industry sectors  
  5. Unlock the potential for high-integrity Natural Climate Solutions (NCS)  

ACTION

To deliver on action now, for impact by 2025, WBCSD and its member companies have identified a series of focused interventions to scale progress in key economic systems (Energy, Industry, Built Environment, Mobility, Food and Agriculture and Capital Markets). Key new action areas include:  

  1. Develop transition pathways and investment plans with National Oil Companies  
  2. Develop guidance and methodologies for avoided emissions to accelerate innovation of business solutions

WBCSD and its member companies look forward to engaging with the COP27 Presidency, and all parties and business leaders from around the world to drive the ambition, action and accountability forward and accelerate the decarbonization of business to the levels prescribed by climate science. 

During COP27 – and in the weeks and months that follow – more discussions will undoubtedly advance the suggestions featured here.

To this end, WBCSD is delighted that the Director General of the United Arab Emirates COP28 has formally welcomed WBCSD to host its 2023 Council Meeting in the UAE at the time of COP28, from Friday 3 November to Sunday 5 November 2023.

For context, this work is based on the concept of a corporate accounting aggregation mechanism (framed as corporate determined contributions) as part of the Business Manifesto for Climate Recovery that WBCSD introduced at COP26. Since then, WBCSD has engaged its member companies, UN platforms and other organizations, academia and civil society in a series of multi-stakeholder dialogues to explore and evolve this idea further. Additionally, the Stockholm Action Agenda released at Stockholm+50 further scoped the concept and design of a corporate accounting aggregation framework for commitments on climate, which might also extend over time to aggregating corporate accounting and offering transparency on business progress on commitments to tackle nature loss, pollution and inequality.

For the daily comprehensive program of WBCSD’s presence at COP27, take a look at our COP27 Program.

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