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COP28 learning from COP27

What really happened and where was the progress?

Daniel Truran reports with a very personal summary of his second experience at a COP summit and what we can take into COP28 for the urgently required progress to happen.

Roy Steiner COP27 Rockefeller Foundation © Renske van GrinsvenThere are two overarching parallel reasons for COP (the Conference of the Parties) to exist:
Reason 1 The main official one where nations are called to bring and agree on ambitious climate action.
Reason 2  When leaders from around the world of business, civil soceity and goverment, come together in one place, tens of thousands of them, it becomes easier to form partnerships and action initiatives to progress what governments on their own are not able / willing to move forward.

1. How countries move forward (not much)
All world nations are represented and are called to move forward urgent climate action with three most pressing focus areas: 
  • Emissions reduction
  • Helping countries to prepare for and deal with climate change
  • Securing technical support and funding for developing countries for the above
Part of that main official stream is the finalization of the famous article 6, which would be the actual implementation plan of the Paris agreement of 2016 with the aim of limiting the temperature growth to a maximum of 1.5 Degrees.

In this separate location is where the representatives of all nations meet to try and finalize and ratify Article 6. The process is a little surreal andshows the challenge of the spirit of consultation wishing to include all world parties to a final show of unity without an authentic desire for unity:
The president of the (large) table offers the floor to each seated member who "lifts their hand” wanting to offer a revision to the text.

If the president accepts it, a debate opens … with the entire huge table and rounds of comments are floored.

In the end, an attempt is made to reach an agreement if this or the other word can be edited or not.

Of course, not everyone speaks English, so there are representatives of the president who are going to talk to the people who offer the proposal to understand the exact words he wants to include.

What we witnessed was a consensus-driven system often diminished by the interests of groups of nations that try to block progress that is against the short-term interest of their nation. Negative in the short term because in the long term we are all going to pay the consequences of this absurd system.

2. Where COP does progress
Maja Groff and Mary Robinson © Renske van GrinsvenOutside of that big tent and also in the thousands of side events is where progress is achieved. Specially through the power of coalitions.
Three examples from three participants.

Roy Steiner from the Rockefeller Foundation attended no less than 12 panels and a number of side events and commented on how much stronger the emphasis was this year on rethinking food systems.

Formal presence in Blue zone events and panels of Roy Steiner

Informal presence in one of the thousands of side events in this case the COP Solutions Dialogues

Maja Groff had a similar series of official blue zone and inspiring side event activities, specially focused on Policy and Governance. Much needed and currently in search of direction. Maja Groff hosting one of the most inspiring sessions at COP side events with Mary Robinson

Joachim Monkelbaan representing the WEF in the We Mean Business Coalition
And then Joachim meeting with other participants in more informal settings. These most informal of meetings are what creates the most interesting conversations and progress amongst the diversity of leaders.

Whilst walking along the huge span of the COP27’s maze of halls and exhibition booths and conference centers, an excellent balance of gender and diversity was evident, however at the very top, this image of leaders published towards the end of the COP made evident where the issues lies.

In our opinion the lack of Female Leadership in these top levels is where most of the potential for success and progress fails. A very male and win or lose competitive attitude and a basic lack of unity is what is stifling the progress that we need so urgently.

What really worked and will work
And we close this brief report with two emerging trends that we feel are the key success stories from which to build the future:
Coalitions and emerging Spirituality
The increasing role of spiritual uniting values
Daniel Perell was one of an important BIC representation that made the most of the highest number of Interfaith and Spiritually inspired events both in the main Blue Zone and in the many side events.

A coming together in a deep and elevated way, tapping into the profound and unifying spiritual values that are in all of us is the fastest way forward towards profound progress.

From indivitual efforts to coalitions
Interreligious Dialogue with Daniel Perell © via Daniel TruranBusiness has traditionally been the most effective at providing solutions. Most often solutions that are detrimental to the planet, now increasingly aware that its efficiency needs to be accelerated in a very different way.

We have never witnessed so many coalitions, bringing together arch competitors towards a common goal. Using and developing all of their powerful innovation and potential for global impact … in a new green way. A range of new business models were proposed and solutions dialogues that offered concrete ways forward, that have already started and will progress.

One of the many coalitions that are creating traction the coalition of the main global semiconductor producers the semiconductors climate consortium.
From the searing heat of Sharm El Sheikh a reminder that we are able to come together and create the most global reaching solutions. In just a few months we did that finding the vaccines that halted the COVID wave.

True progress will only be achieved when from the grassroots to the global leadership, we all take ownership of our own individual role, as part of a collective effort as a global world community.”

Daniel Truran
Strategist, impact innovator, speaker, enabler and business schools professor. More than 20 years leading global and local organizations to implement impact innovation. Director General of the ebbf, co-founder Impact Hub, Madrid. B Corp Ambassador. EOI Impact Innovation Academic Director and Professor.

Gesellschaft | Pioniere & Visionen, 01.10.2023

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