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Real-World Crises Await COP28 Climate Conference, Says Terence Corcoran

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The Real-World Challenges Facing the COP28 Climate Conference

As the countdown to the COP28 climate conference in Dubai begins, the state of global climate policy appears to be in disarray. A range of global, national, and local factors, including conflicts in Gaza and Ukraine, policy meltdowns over carbon taxes, and technological, scientific, and economic complications, are contributing to the turmoil.

Seeking International Cooperation and Compromise

The head of the COP28 event, United Arab Emirates Industry Minister Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, emphasizes the need for international cooperation and compromise in the face of growing political and economic divisions surrounding the UN's plan to phase out fossil fuels.

A Declining Climate Policy Environment

Recent developments indicate a declining national and international climate policy environment, which could potentially lead to significant disruptions. In the G7 alone, member nations like Canada, the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom are grappling with uncertainty and conflicts over climate policies.
Policy Turmoil and Uncertainty
In Canada, the ruling Liberal government is scaling back on carbon taxation, raising concerns about the future of the Canadian carbon tax. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is expected to announce a significant pullback in climate change policies, while Germany is considering a multibillion-euro bailout for Siemens Energy's struggling wind turbine division. Additionally, the electric vehicle market is facing challenges with weak prices and low demand, impacting planned investments in EV technologies and batteries.
Contradictions in the Fossil Fuel Sector
Despite efforts to end fossil fuel production, the oil industry is experiencing a boom, with rising oil and gas prices and significant profits for companies like Exxon and Chevron. Many national governments still rely on fossil fuels, leading to divisions within the European Union and ongoing coal plant approvals in China. In the midst of these challenges, a joint report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the COP28 organization highlights that the energy transition remains off-track, and global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. Urgent action is needed to accelerate the transition to renewable power. While calls for climate action persist, recent conflicts, economic risks, and competing priorities have overshadowed the climate crisis. As the COP28 conference approaches, navigating these real-world challenges will be crucial to achieving meaningful progress in addressing climate change.

Hot Take: The Impact of COP28 Climate Conference Challenges on New Businesses

The mounting challenges facing the COP28 climate conference, from policy meltdowns to political and economic divisions, could have a profound impact on new businesses, particularly those in the energy and environmental sectors.

International Cooperation: A Business Imperative

The call for international cooperation and compromise by Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, head of the COP28 event, underscores the importance of collaborative efforts in addressing climate change. New businesses must align their strategies with this global shift, embracing sustainable practices and fostering partnerships to drive positive environmental impact.

Climate Policy Uncertainty: A Risk and Opportunity

The declining climate policy environment presents both risks and opportunities for new businesses. While policy uncertainty can pose challenges, it also opens up avenues for innovative solutions. New businesses can position themselves as leaders in this space, offering products, services, or technologies that address these policy gaps.
Market Challenges: A Call for Resilience and Innovation
The current market challenges, from weak electric vehicle demand to contradictions in the fossil fuel sector, highlight the need for resilience and innovation. New businesses can leverage these challenges as catalysts for innovation, developing solutions that not only meet market needs but also contribute to the broader climate agenda. In conclusion, the real-world challenges facing the COP28 climate conference provide valuable insights for new businesses. By embracing international cooperation, navigating policy uncertainty, and leveraging market challenges, new businesses can play a pivotal role in driving the transition to a sustainable future.
Story First Published at: https://financialpost.com/opinion/terence-corcoran-real-world-crises-to-beset-cop28-climate-confab
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