I was thrilled to open the Climate & Environment Forum 2022 at The World Future Energy Summit- the World’s leading Sustainability Business Event that brings together over 45,000 professionals from all over the world.
I was also happy to be able to make it physically there. Two years back, this statement would be an absurd, but COVID19 has happened, it’s our reality today, our new normal. Having said this, we should not take for granted climate change risks and alerts that we hear more and more about, and our luxury way of living and the access to all natural resources we enjoy today.
Since 2016, just after the Paris Agreement took place, I have been actively working on sustainability reporting and ESG assessments, as becoming a key focus for the companies. There are a couple of reasons for it:
- One of the reason is stakeholder demand to see more and more non-financial reporting.
- Second is a need to mitigate the risks, social, economic, climate- which are all interconnected.
- Third, according to Bloomberg, by 2025, one third of the global Asset will have a ESG focus, which represents over USD 53T. Which explains why we are talking more and more about the green finance, funds, and climate linked finance.
At the Climate & Environment Forum 2022, all these topics have been covered but not only. Meeting the Global and Common goals is essential today and it can be only possible through smart partnership and if stakeholders work together. Having this in mind, in 2020, I created a GreenFooprint platform, supported by the UAE government in order to bring key stakeholders together (government, industries, and consumers) to work together on closing the loop and addressing and solving production, consumption and waste issues. We want to:
- Make circular economy new normal
- Sustainability accessible to all
- Scale up positive practices by putting a focus on solutions in stead of scaring people about climate change or speaking about carbon footprint that showed to be abstract even to the field specialists.
This is a crucial moment for entire UAE in preparation for COP28 that will take place in 2023. HE Mariam Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment in the United Arab Emirates, said that COP28 will be:
- inclusive (leaving no one behind),
- accessible (to see where we are today in order to improve),
- youth centric, and
- opportunity oriented to scale up good practices, such as focus on solar energy, mangrove planting, carbon capture plans etc.
In a couple of panel discussion, I was talking about different approaches on how to drive systemic changes and work together in achieving the common goals, by reflecting on global trends and local examples. I was also sharing how companies can take a serious approach in adopting sustainability in their decision making, mitigate risks and optimize opportunities, by setting ESG factors and forming smart partnerships.