Trench Rossi Watanabe once again participates in major global climate-related discussions. This time, we are at the Climate Week NYC and side-events organized around the 77th Session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.
Following our first alert about the Brazil Climate Summit in New York (here), in the past couple of days we attended the main event organized by the Climate Group. The opening ceremony and hub live discussions were very intense, and counted with the viewpoint of several stakeholders, such as: Petteri Taalas (World Meteorological Organization), Laura Corb (McKinsey & Company), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (World Trade Organization), Francesco La Camera (International Renewable Energy Agency – IRENA), David Miliband (International Rescue Committee), Catherine McKenna (United Nations, High-Level Expert Group on the Net-Zero Emissions Commitments of Non-State Entities – HLEG), Andrew Steer (Bezos Earth Fund), Werner Hoyer (European Investment Bank), Kate Brandt (Google), Alok Sharma (President for COP26), Andre Fourie (Anheuser-Busch InBev), Franco Piza Rondon (Bancolombia), Edward Palmeiri (Meta), Emma Stewart (Netflix), among several others.
The event this year revolved around the premise-statement that current climate leadership is not working well enough, emissions aren’t peaking and are not on course for the 50% drop the world needs by the end of this decade. The big question posed is: how do we get it done?
Although there is no simple answer, it was a common feeling among the panels that we need real, tangible and meaningful changes, at the right pace, to getting it done. We need bold climate leadership, accountability, transparency and reporting. Pledges and commitments, although important, are not good enough anymore.
We need to decarbonize, capture and remove carbon from airspace, transition to clean energy, stop deforestation, and improve transportation. Standards need to be more rigorous, reports need to be more transparent, and disclose need to occur more often.
Given the escalating climate risk, companies and governments need to lead by example, and plan and invest in adaptation and resilience.
The private sector needs to implement systemic changes and become a trustable advisor of its own supply-chain, as well as bring a green lens to all business functions: design elements for sustainability, strategy, marketing, operation, risk intelligence, capital allocation, product development, procurement etc.
The public sector needs to acknowledge and tackle the fact that while politics are local; economics and risks are global. Collaboration and partnership are essential. We need to work together.
This transition, however, will only be considered a successful transformation if done in a fair, just and inclusive way, improving social benefits and minimizing social costs. The affected communities need to be consulted and listened, not simply imposed. Informed and prior consent is key to a health conversation.
The main challenges appointed by the speakers are: (i) scaling the projects and goals, (ii) building adequate infrastructure, (iii) getting rid of friction in the system, (iv) accelerating permitting, financing and market support mechanisms, (v) leveling the plain field among all players, (vi) communicating the sensibility of the issue to local population.
Particularly regarding Brazil, the Undersecretary of Environment for the State of São Paulo, Eduardo Trani, highlighted that we need investments not only to the Amazon region, but also to tackle projects that can address the issues in other biomes: Pampa, Cerrado, Pantanal and Atlantic forests.