Business leadership at COP27: Notable results and the way forward

On Sunday, November 20, as nations around the world signed the “Sharm El Sheikh Implementation Plan. “

AmCham is proud to represent the private sector at the conference with our largest ever delegation, working closely with business and government allies from the United States, Egypt and other countries around the world to communicate the important role of business in implementing climate change solutions.

AmCham participated in nearly 20 different public and private events while in Sharm El Sheikh.For a full recap of these events, visit our COP27 website Gentlemen .

COP27 Results Analysis

While media coverage around COP27 has been mixed, we believe that the unprecedented action and investment being made by the business community to address the climate challenge – as well as important alliances with governments and other stakeholders – is reason for optimism. A constant theme throughout the conference, especially from U.S. leaders, was the important role business plays in helping finance and implement climate solutions at home and abroad.

Marty Durbin, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Global Energy Institute, speaks at a COP27 dinner hosted by John Kerry, the U.S. presidential special envoy for climate issues, Nov. 12, 2022.
Marty Durbin, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Energy Institute, speaks at a COP27 dinner hosted by John Kerry, the U.S. presidential special envoy for climate issues, Nov. 12, 2022.

As Marty Durbin of the American Chamber of Commerce said in his remarks At our Business Community Evening with the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt:

“The business community is clearly excited about the opportunities that exist to address energy and climate challenges that can position companies for long-term success in an evolving marketplace. Events like COP27 allow us to see how technologies, systems, data usage and relationships between companies And innovations in strategic partnerships with governments and NGOs that are on display, are underway and are making a difference…so the business community is critical to climate progress and we are here…”

The establishment of a “loss and damage” fund to provide financial support to countries affected by climate change was a major achievement at COP27. Many of the basic details hailed as significant progress are still to be negotiated, including how countries will contribute, how much and how the money will be distributed. Other important results include:

  • Clean Energy Solutions. The final COP agreement also “emphasizes the importance of strengthening the clean energy mix, including low-emissions and renewables,” while noting that “the unprecedented global energy The Urgency for Resilience” The Chamber welcomes the focus on energy security and a broad range of clean energy solutions, including resources and technologies ranging from nuclear and natural gas to hydrogen, energy efficiency, electric vehicles and more.
  • Adaptation and resilience. The agreement elevates adaptation and resilience, together with mitigation, as critical to climate risk reduction. It calls for “an urgent and significant expansion of the provision of climate finance, technology transfer and adaptive capacity building in response to the needs of developing countries.”
  • Agriculture, Food Security and Nature-Based Solutions. Historically, the COP27 final agreement explicitly calls attention to “fundamental priorities of ensuring food security and eradicating hunger” and “harnessing nature and ecosystems for effective and recognition of agriculture and nature-based solutions in the context of climate problems. The additions, while subtle, are seen as important steps towards more coherent global action on these issues.
  • Energy development and a just transition in Africa. Finally, Africa’s unique climate and energy challenges came into focus in Egypt. Through the Major Economies Business Forum (BizMEF) and the Chamber’s Africa team, we strive to highlight the “climate of mistrust” that pervades discussions in Egypt, with African countries told to seek carbon-free energy to provide reliable energy, only to see Europe and the developed world Bring more carbon-intensive resources to use when needed.

Unfortunately, concerns remain about the growing and prominent participation of business leaders at recent COPs and the lack of recognition of the critical role of business in delivering climate solutions.In fact, good-looking ReportThe commercial momentum behind climate ambitions has been highly critical of the UN’s High-Level Panel of Experts on Net Zero Emissions Pledges by Non-State Entities. Going forward, the Chamber will help ensure that business contributions to the global climate challenge are better understood and considered by UN processes and government stakeholders.

The view of the US government

In addition to these global concerns, the U.S. government has highlighted several programs with high business community engagement, including:

  • More countries join the Global Methane Pledge to reduce methane emissions by 30% by 2030 (AmCham statement on this progress is Gentlemen );

  • One Energy Transition Accelerator Aims to create carbon markets in developing countries;

  • One Green Shipping ChallengeLaunch of plan to decarbonize global shipping market with Norway

  • extension of Global Fertilizer Challengeincluding a commitment of $135 million to help address fertilizer shortages in low- and middle-income countries.

  • extension of Pioneer Alliance– A growing list of 65 companies pledged $12 billion in emissions reduction solutions across many hard-to-abate industries.

The most high-profile events included two meetings that helped lay the groundwork for COP28. While in Sharm El Sheikh, AmCham organized a meeting at the UAE Pavilion with Ambassador Majid Al Suwaidi, the Director General of COP28 and business leaders to discuss how AmCham and our members can approach COP28 in Dubai next November Collaboration. As a result of this discussion, the American Chamber of Commerce and approximately 40 Chamber members will meet in Abu Dhabi this week to further explore how to incorporate the critical role of business in climate solutions into plans for next year.

The American Chamber of Commerce and business leaders met Ambassador Majid Al Suwaidi, Director General of COP28, at the UAE Pavilion at COP27.
The American Chamber of Commerce and business leaders met Ambassador Majid Al Suwaidi, Director General of COP28, at the UAE Pavilion at COP27.

With COP28 truly going to be the conference for all Middle East regions, with that in mind, during COP27 several AmCham executives also met His Excellency Adel Al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabia’s special climate envoy. At COP27, Saudi leaders highlighted the Saudi Green Initiative, and the American Chamber of Commerce plans to organize a green tech business mission to the UAE and Saudi Arabia in 2023 to increase opportunities for the private sector.

Stay tuned for more updates on AmCham’s international climate engagement, including our work to ensure a successful COP28 next year.

about the author

Martin Durbin

Martin Durbin

Senior Vice President of Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Energy Institute

Marty Durbin is President of the American Chamber’s Global Energy Institute (GEI). Durbin leads GEI to build support for meaningful energy action through policy development, education and advocacy, making it the preferred voice for commonsense energy solutions.

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