The World Economic Forum (WEF) played a pivotal role at the 28th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP28), held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in December 2023. World leaders, including heads of state, ministers, business, philanthropy, and civil society, congregated to evaluate and invigorate global efforts towards climate action, focusing on key areas such as industry decarbonization, net zero, energy transition, food, nature, and innovative finance.
Global Stocktake and Climate Action
The Forum’s global stocktake revealed alarming trends: global emissions continue to rise by 1.5% annually, starkly contrasting with the 7% annual reduction needed by 2030 to uphold the Paris Agreement’s objectives. This disparity emphasizes the urgent need to intensify international climate action.
Decarbonization and Energy Transition
In response, the Forum and its partners have launched initiatives targeting the acceleration of decarbonization in heavy-emitting industries. John Kerry, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, highlighted the importance of public-private partnerships in this endeavor, notably through the First Movers Coalition. This coalition has become a critical player in driving demand for emerging climate technologies, with commitments potentially leading to significant emissions reductions by 2030.
Food Initiatives and Sustainable Management
The Forum announced new food initiatives and partnerships aimed at sustainable management, particularly in South-East Asia’s coastal ecosystems. These efforts underscore the importance of integrating climate action into various sectors, including agriculture and marine conservation.
On Nature and Biodiversity
The Forum’s engagement in nature and biodiversity was marked by the inclusion of new pledges under 1t.org, aiming to conserve, restore, and grow 1 trillion trees by 2030. Additionally, the Forum’s Blue Carbon Action Partnership, especially in the Philippines and Indonesia, demonstrates a commitment to protecting coastal ecosystems, vital in carbon sequestration.
Health, Adaptation, and Food Systems
Recognizing the interconnectedness of climate change and health, the Forum emphasized the need for climate adaptation. Initiatives like the Food Innovation Hub for the UAE and the First Movers Coalition for Food highlight the Forum’s approach to integrating climate action into food production and health.
Climate Financing and Trade
Finally, the Forum called for increased collaboration in financing climate action. The partnership with Finland’s Trade and Development Minister Ville Tavio, alongside the World Trade Organization and the World Bank Group, exemplifies efforts to mobilize resources effectively.
COP28 showcased the World Economic Forum’s commitment to fostering public-private-philanthropic partnerships for transformative climate action. Børge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum, emphasized the immense challenge ahead but remained optimistic about the collective capacity to effect change. As the world faces this decisive decade, the actions and commitments made at COP28 mark a crucial step toward a sustainable and resilient future.