Insights from COP28

COP28 in Dubai marked a significant opportunity for global leaders and industries to show the progress made in achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement, to further the net-zero agenda and recommit to limiting global temperature increase to 1.5°C.

Our participation at COP28 focussed on promoting the pivotal role of the UK-based financial and related professional services industry in supporting the transition to net zero and addressing the double crisis of climate change and biodiversity loss. We emphasised the potential for the UK to leverage the industry to scale up and mobilise capital to finance the transition to net zero and support green growth. Together with our partners, we discussed ways to accelerate this transition, working alongside the public sector to deploy greater climate finance and bridge the funding gap. Additionally, we advocated for greater alignment of the international financial system with net-zero goals, including transition plans and reporting frameworks and standards.

As part of our COP28 programme, our CEO, Miles Celic, joined a series of high-profile, industry-focused events. These included him speaking at the UN Global Compact Network, where we discussed the integration of ESG and sustainability principles into Ukraine’s financial and related professional services ecosystem redevelopment, and at the Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI) Climate Finance Summit, where we delved into advancing the transition to net zero for the real economy.

Our well-attended roundtable event with BNP Paribas on ‘Transition Finance: towards greater interoperability, integrity and innovation’, focused on the critical priorities, challenges and opportunities in transition finance. We also explored ways to deepen collaboration between the public and private sectors to enhance, accelerate and scale climate finance.

Throughout COP28, a recurring theme that strongly came through was the need to mobilise both public and private finance, particularly towards emerging markets and developing economies, to ensure a just and equitable transition. Our key takeaways for the financial and related professional services industry from COP28 are:

  • The launch of the ‘loss and damage fund’, providing support to countries affected by climate-related disasters.
  • The launch of the Global Climate Finance Centre to address key barriers and help facilitate climate finance flow.
  • The call for greater public-private partnerships, with private capital ready to invest and needing clear signals and long-term certainty from governments.
  • Progress in the development of coherent and internationally-aligned disclosure frameworks – in particular significant support for the ISSB Standards – and strengthening the integrity of voluntary carbon markets.

After such a productive engagement at COP28, our industry’s commitment to addressing climate change and supporting the transition to net zero was very clear. This commitment is further bolstered by the ‘COP28 Agreement’, where global leaders agreed to transition away from fossil fuels in energy systems. For our industry’s part, we are poised to play a significant role in accelerating the net-zero transition and contribute substantially to the UK’s goal of achieving net zero by 2050.

Industry will continue to collaborate with government to ensure our role is fully enabled and harness the momentum generated at COP28 for further advancement. As we look towards COP29, our focus will be on intensifying efforts to develop strategies and build impactful partnerships to ensure the UK remains at the forefront of the net-zero transition.

Watch our Member Briefing about COP28 below: