Limiting global warming to 1.5°C is at the bottom of the list of desired outcomes for global businesses at this year’s Cop28, according to new research.
The findings suggest the business community lacks faith in the Glasgow Climate Pact’s commitment to ‘keep 1.5C alive’ from Cop26, according to researchers from consultancy East & Partners and consultancy Impact & Influence.
The research, published today, comes exactly six months before the Cop28 world climate conference in Dubai in November.
The research follows scientists’ warnings earlier this month that the world is likely to exceed 1.5C in the next five years.
Scientists have warned that going beyond 1.5C would likely trigger irreversible tipping points that would lead to a collapse of life on Earth.
Professor Johan Rockstrom, of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, said last week at the Innovation Zero Congress in London: “1.5°C is not a target. I call it a physical limit.
“At 1.5C we have five major tipping point systems that are likely to be breached. One is the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The other is the Greenland Ice Sheet. The third concerns all tropical coral reef systems.
“The fourth is the abrupt thawing of permafrost in the boreal zone and the fifth is sea ice in the Bering Sea. These are likely to be crossed at 1.5°C, but we don’t know how many years can we stay above 1.5°C before this tipping point occurs permanently. .
The researchers, who spoke to more than 1,300 companies after contacting the 100 highest earning companies in 14 countries, including the UK, found that the global business community is most concerned about having a stronger voice. strong in the Cop28 discussions.
Business leaders in the majority of markets highlighted “private sector engagement” as the key Cop28 theme most relevant to their business.
This was followed by climate finance reform, green innovation and technology, biodiversity, inclusion, and finally “keeping the 1.5C alive”.
The results have raised concerns that companies are losing sight of the bigger picture of the contribution to limiting global warming to 1.5C.
“It is alarming that ‘keeping 1.5C alive’ ranks so low among global companies just two years after COP26,” said Rishi Bhattacharya, CEO and Founder of Impact & Influence.
“It suggests they might be pricing in an overshoot. Communicating the need for businesses to be part of the solution is more important than ever.”
Paul Dowling, co-founder of East & Partners, added: “Collaborative efforts between governments and business are essential to achieving our global climate goals – including keeping 1.5°C alive.”
The UN has declared that global greenhouse gas emissions must peak by 2025 at the latest and decline by 43% by 2030 to limit global temperature increase to 1.5°C (2 .7°F) above pre-industrial levels – the goal set in the Paris Agreement.
Scientists say Earth is currently on track to warm 2.5C by 2100, which will completely melt major ice caps, thaw permafrost, destroy rainforests and lead to a collapse of marine life while making about a third of the equator uninhabitable for humans.
Researchers said they spoke to over 90% of companies in the top 100 by revenue in the UK, Brazil, Canada, USA, China, Australia, India, Japan , Singapore, France, Germany, Kenya, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Emirates for a two-week period ending March 14.
Rebecca Speare-Cole is the Palestinian Authority’s sustainability reporter.