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‘COP 26, a fragile win; requires change across the real economy with global climate action’: Mr. Alok Sharma, President, COP26 (UK) at CII Partnership Summit
Dec 13, 2021

Mr. Alok Sharma, President, COP26 (UK) said that climate action requires change across the real economy and can only succeed with businesses onboard. He was speaking at The Partnership Summit organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in association with Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, India at a session on Climate Action: The Road Beyond COP26 Glasgow.

Citing COP26 as a pivotal movement for nations, he stated, ‘The green economy presents enormous opportunities for businesses and countries and working together can achieve the changes we need. Looking at all the announcements made at COP26, we now have 90% of the global economy covered by net zero commitments, and this compares to less than 30% when we took on the role of organizing COP26 2 years ago.’

Stating that governments need to know that business is behind a net-zero world, he urged industries across the board to join the Race to Zero campaign, commit to short term targets based on science and take action across the supply chain, utilise purchasing power and encourage suppliers to set their own 2050 net zero targets.

Mr. Rameshwar Prasad Gupta, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Government of India said that while global discussions like those at COP26 are important, a more tangible arena for climate action now lies at national and sub national levels and across businesses and the industry. The revised NDC pledges and net-zero commitments by countries have reposed trust in the idea of national and sectoral action for a resilient future.

Bringing to light the importance of addressing concerns on a cross-sectoral scale, he further said that the road ahead is to expand clean energy options while making them affordable, accessible, and attractive across all sectors by 2030. Focus must shift to steel, power, road transport, hydrogen, and agriculture—which together account for more than half of global emissions.

Lord Karan Bilimoria, President, Confederation of British Industry (UK) said that the big change with COP26 in Glasgow, compared to Paris, was that the commitments made by countries are actually translating into actions now.

Lord Nicholas Stern, Chair, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London School of Economics (UK) noted that we must raise investment rates around the world, particularly in the emerging markets of developing economies to facilitate climate-conducive measures. Calling net zero commitment as the growth story of the 21st century, Prof. Stern said that India has a great opportunity with respect to infrastructure, as it is yet to be built by 2050.

Highlighting OECD’s contributions to realising climate ambitions, Mr. Mathias Cormann, Secretary General, OECD on Climate Action, said that OECD has been tracking progress and has been urging developed countries to step up and deliver on their USD 100 billion annual climate finance commitments to developing countries.

Commenting on the distinction between the road from and road to COP26, Mr. Jacob Werksman, Principal Adviser to Directorate-General for Climate Action, European Commission and Head of Delegation, European Union to the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Belgium explained that the focus must shift to addressing the challenge of adaptation, loss and damage and the need to deliver commitments on finance.

Mr. Ângelo Ramalho, Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO, EFACEC, Portugal opined that low-cost finance will be critical to move forward and to move fast. ‘We need to work collectively to create unique opportunities to meet our climate targets,’ he added.

Highlighting India’s action on net zero commitments, Mr. Tulsi Tanti, Chairman, Suzlon, India said that COP 26 has been particularly important for India and has set a clear direction for its 1.3 billion people. With many initiatives underway and a mature supply chain, the 4th largest renewable energy hub is well on track to achieve aspirational targets.

Mr. Anil Sardana, MD & CEO, Adani Transmission, Adani Group, India, while sharing the business perspective added that working towards climate commitments must ensure that hydrogen and its derivatives replace carbon fuel in various sectors and in applications where coal can be displaced through its derivatives.

Mr. Malo Le Masson, Head Strategy & Global Product Planning, Hero MotoCorp said that both individual and corporate responsibility play an important role as part of long-term planning for sustainability initiatives.

Mr. R Mukundan, Chairman CII Environment Committee and Managing Director and CEO, Tata Chemicals, India observed that deliberations at COP 26 should now ensure climate justice with a transition that leaves no one behind. It must enable countries affected by climate change through adaptative measures to protect communities and natural habitats; protect and restore ecosystems; and build defenses, warning systems and resilient agriculture practices and infrastructure to avoid loss of homes, livelihoods, and lives in the near future.

13 December 2021 

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