Climate Action Forum pre-COP27 Roundtable Report

Action and change are now in the hands of business and professionals. As supporters, adopters and interested parties to the Charter ACoP was delighted to hold a Climate Action Forum pre-COP27 Event on 17 October 2022 which galvanised a panel of esteemed experts into discussing, sharing and planning for COP27.

The Roundtable, facilitated by ACoP Director Simon Hann, explored what to expect from this year’s Climate Change Conference in Sharm-El-Sheikh (COP27), outlined what participants needed to know to prepare for implementation as well as provided a terrific opportunity to gain insights from participating international representatives.

This month marks one year since ACoP’s member organisations endorsed the global Professional Bodies Climate Action Charter signalling our firm commitment for collective agency on climate action, which has also seen us facilitate other Roundtables on this important agenda.

Our Expert Panel

  • His Excellency Mr Mahmoud Mohamed Gamal Eldin ZAYED – Ambassador of Egypt to Australia
  • Kushla Munro – Head International Climate and Net Zero Pathways, Australian Govt. Department of Climate Change, Energy, Environment & Water
  • Mike Burrell – CEO, Sustainable Business Council New Zealand
  • Kate Levick – Associate Director Sustainable Finance, E3G.org
  • Tom Evans – Policy Advisor, E3G.org

Highlights

The main message from this event was that COP27 will be focused on implementation, providing Australian businesses a platform to showcase what they are doing in committing to sustainability. All panelists agreed that now is the time to turn climate ambition into real action and deliver on targets, therefore validating the criticality of COP27 in injecting political momentum.

His Excellency Mr Mahmoud Mohamed Gamal Eldin outlined Egypt’s priorities and guiding elements of COP27, noting that the challenges before us are much higher than the gains we have achieved, reminding participants that:

  • COP 26 confirmed the need for quick and at-scale action by 2030
  • We must have a human centric approach which captures the needs and aspirations of the people who are subject to the impacts of climate change
  • We need to look into the implementation of a just, equitable and transformative pathway under the Paris agreement that can respond to these needs and calls
  • The speed and scale of action should be in line with the recommendations and findings provided by the best available science
  • The Paris agreement identified and clarified common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.

The Australian Government’s Kushla Munro spoke eloquently about the criticality of mitigation outcomes urging the focus for countries towards adaption, loss and damage, financing and actually doing what we said we would do – as articulated at previous COPs.
Equally important is to showcase at COP27 the changed Australian approach and what our businesses are now doing such as clean energy, sustainable industries, products, services and research as signals on what we are doing by boosting and drawing on necessary investment.

New Zealand’s Mike Burrell provided an excellent overview of their strategy stressing that it was about

  • turning the climate ambition into real action and delivering on the targets
  • reminding us that there are only 8 COPs to go until 2030 and that
  • backsliding is a significant threat so COP27 is a game changer
  • we all need to keep up the momentum.  

Kate Levick and Tom Evans from E3G, a secretariat to the UK Transition Plan Taskforce, provided invaluable insights from the UK perspective and impressed upon us that we are globally in a ‘poly-crisis’ with challenging economies, pandemic, food, energy, debt, climate impacts … and the clock is ticking! They stressed that COP27 is crucial in injecting political momentum and to restore trust between governments to tackle the climate and linked crises together.

Your Invitation

We invite individuals and professional associations who are not members of ACoP to join the Australian / New Zealand ‘Forum for Climate Action’ that works collectively to uphold the integrity and contribution that Australian professionals can make in pursuit of our Nation’s climate agenda. “Collaboratively, we intend to harness and share our joint expertise and climate-relevant resources to enhance capabilities to practice sustainability, including a timeline for achieving this and identifying the help and collaboration needed from within our partnerships to achieve this”, said ACoP President A/Prof Klaus Veil.

Join the Forum email list here. For more details, contact CEO@Professions.org.au.