November 2, 2022

What to watch at COP27

The year’s highlight UN climate conference – dubbed ‘Africa’s COP’ – is set to be historic. We take the temperature on the main topics at COP27 with Ramboll’s Managing Directors for Markets.

27 years have passed since the first UN climate change conference in Berlin. Since then, we have seen milestone achievements like the Paris Agreement, but also a relentless rise in global emissions.
This year, world leaders will meet from 6-18 November in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, focusing on four goals for the conference: Adaptation, mitigation, finance, and collaboration.
The summit follows last year’s conference in Glasgow, where global leaders committed to phasing down coal use, curb methane emissions and fund adaptation finance.
“The time to act is now,” says Neel Strøbæk, Senior Group Director for Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility at Ramboll.
“If we needed more data, the just released UN gap report confirms that there is no credible pathway to 1.5°C in place. Only an urgent, system-wide transformation can avert climate disaster. In the private sector, we can make a difference towards that goal,” she adds.
Against that backdrop, we asked Managing Directors for Markets at Ramboll what they see as the biggest agendas at this year’s seminal climate event:
Finance: Transparency in climate funding
“I’m keen to follow the outcome of the session on financial regulatory bodies. That is, what role these bodies play to facilitate climate finance. The session is expected to focus on increasing transparency of reporting, clearer taxonomies, and firmer regulations.” “The notion ‘follow the money’ also applies to sustainability. We need to swiftly steer investment and new capital to decarbonising our societies without risking greenwashing. The EU Commission has led the way in recent years, but I would hope to see more traction at a global scale.” – Markus Diederich, Market Director, Ramboll Management Consulting.
Energy: Spotlight on green hydrogen
“I look forward to the sessions on green hydrogen and new energy systems and technologies. These topics will play a key role in the challenge to fulfill the Paris Agreement targets.”
“It can be difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel while we navigate a global energy crisis, but solutions exist. COP27 will act as a forum for vital negotiations since the need to drastically reduce carbon emissions has never been more apparent.” – Hannes Reuter, MD, Ramboll Energy.
Biodiversity: Nature-based solutions take centre stage
“One of the key discussion points at COP27 will be around nature-based solutions – working with nature to prevent the worst impacts of climate change and biodiversity and ecosystem loss. “To address the linked challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss, we must change the way we eat, live, grow, build and power our lives to achieve a carbon neutral, nature-positive economy. Nature-based solutions build resilience and are cost effective. They can also realise co-benefits, such as improving coastal resilience, improved air quality and enhanced health and wellbeing.” – Jesper Dalsgaard, MD, Ramboll Environment & Health.
Water: adaptive solutions
“Speed of action is crucial, and since the consequences of climate change are predominantly related to water, as either increased flood-risk or water scarcity, I am especially excited to see how the delegates will deliver on target two of formulating ‘a transformative adaptation agenda’. That means investing in sustainable and long-lasting adaptive solutions that leave no one behind. When doing that, decision makers should make sure to actively involve the communities at risk.” – Esther Bosman, MD, Ramboll Water.
Transport: Address the gender gap
“Only by understanding the needs of women can we create truly equal transport systems and mobility services. In the transport sector, we need to include gender mainstreaming as a strategic approach, and implement targeted measures to include women on all levels. A better gender balance on all levels of the transport sector is a prerequisite for more equal, safe, inclusive and sustainable transport and mobility.” – Marianne Weinreich, Market Manager, Ramboll Transport.
Legacy of Hope
At COP26, Ramboll and partners gifted the Hope Sculpture to the people of Glasgow. Made from 100% cement free concrete, it stands as a monument to how the construction industry can speed up the transition to a net zero future.
Read also our detailed commentary on the main agendas at last year’s COP26. And check out how Ramboll believes companies can step up climate action beyond the Glasgow conference.