This year’s global climate meeting, COP22, in Marrakesh, Morocco, from November 7-18, is taking place in a changed landscape for climate action, with new global agreements to curb emissions beyond the Paris Agreement, an increased focus on adaptation and climate finance, and enhanced opportunities for private-sector leadership. As in past years, BSR will be present at the climate negotiations.

What’s Happening at COP22?

With COP22 fast approaching, and more momentum on climate than ever, it’s important to look at where we’ve come. Governments not only universally accepted the Paris Agreement less than a year ago but have now ensured, with unprecedented speed, that it has officially entered into force. The Paris Agreement is groundbreaking in its scope and defines the global economy of the 21st century.

This has had immediate impact on businesses and investors around the world. Companies have made more than 1,000 corporate commitments through the We Mean Business coalition, such as science-based emission-reduction targets and 100 percent renewable energy goals. And we have also seen a new amendment to the Montreal Protocol that will phase down highly warming greenhouse gases and a global sectoral agreement to control aviation emissions.

Because this COP takes place in Africa, a continent extremely vulnerable to climate-related disasters, the Moroccan presidency of COP22 has placed a heavy emphasis for the implementation of the Paris Agreement to ensure climate finance and enhanced resilience for vulnerable countries. Both climate finance and adaptation are crucial pieces of global private-sector climate action.

At COP22, governments will begin to define the many rules to ensure implementation of the numerous parts of the agreement, since it came into force so quickly. And because the boundaries of climate action extend far beyond those of top-down, multilateral agreements, the Global Climate Action Agenda (Action Agenda) will bring non-state actors, including the private sector, into the climate negotiations in Marrakesh.

The Action Agenda is primarily focused on immediate, non-state climate action before 2020, in order to meet the agreed global temperature goal of “well below 2°C before the end of the century.” This platform creates the space for necessary dialogue and high-level events that can result in outcome-driven policy and finance and implementation solutions—all of which are intended to catalyze new and innovative climate action from non-state actors, including business.

Additionally, during COP22, themes such as forests, water, energy, agriculture, private finance, and oceans will be at the forefront, and an entire day will be dedicated to business and industry.

Where Will BSR Be at COP22?

BSR will engage at COP22 both inside and outside of the climate negotiations.  

In partnership with the International Development and Research Centre, BSR will host a formal side event, “Accelerating Implementation: Transitioning to Low-Carbon and Climate-Resilient Development Pathways.”

BSR will lead the host role of the We Mean Business coalition in the 14th annual Development and Climate Days on November 12-13. This is the signature resilience event held during the climate negotiations and is the first time a private-sector-facing organization will have a host role.

BSR will lead three sessions, which all have an underlying focus on private-sector action on resilience. The sessions will discuss ways that business can enhance its own adaptive capacity, as well as broader societal resilience; brainstorm on what a corporate commitments platform on resilience would look like within the We Mean Business action framework; and explore the myriad ways in which the private sector can contribute financing and financial services to resilience.

BSR, as the policy engagement lead for We Mean Business, will help companies advocate for the enabling policies that catalyze business leadership. At COP22, we look to governments to take the following specific actions:

  • Continue to scale up policies that catalyze business investment in climate through collaboration with all stakeholders in the Action Agenda.
  • Fully implement national climate action plans through domestic legislation and regulation.
  • Mobilize climate finance at scale from public sources to leverage finance from the private sector for the trillions necessary to shift to a low-carbon economy, including through enacting a meaningful price on carbon.
  • Further drive toward net-zero emissions by communicating national decarbonization strategies.
  • Build climate-resilient economies and communities by including the private sector as a partner in the planning and development of adaptation strategies. 

We know from our conversations with BSR members and partners that the private sector continues to be a ready partner in ambition with governments across the globe and looks forward to seeing the Paris Agreement’s swift implementation. At COP22, BSR and We Mean Business will continue to emphasize the message that together, we can mobilize the finance necessary to shift to a low-carbon economy while increasing broader societal resilience to climate change.

BSR staff at COP22 will tweet their impressions: Follow Edward Cameron (@EdwardJCameron), Samantha Harris (@Samantha_Lacey), Eric Olson (@gospodinolson), Emilie Prattico (@emilie_prattico), and David Wei (@ClimateWei).