Review of the webinar "From COP27 to COP15, issues and lessons learned"
On December 13th, our webinar on COP27 and COP15 was held. During this meeting, our three guest speakers, Leïla Cantave, co-founder of the organization Black Eco Bloom, Albert Lalonde, project manager at the David Suzuki Foundation's Climate Consciousness Lab, and Philippe Poitras, co-founder of Unpointcinq and Futur Simple Coopérative de Solidarité, discussed the issues and lessons surrounding these large-scale events.
What is a COP?
A COP (Conference Of Parties) is an international negotiation event where states meet to set climate and environmental objectives. Thus, in the field of environment, there are 3 COPs: the COP on biodiversity, the COP on the fight against desertification and the COP on climate change.
The COP 27, which took place last November, focused on climate change. The COP15, on the other hand, is concerned with the diversity and protection of biodiversity.
Who is participating in the COP?
The participants in the Conferences of the Parties are primarily the signatory countries, i.e. the countries that sign the agreements and conventions. However, several influential groups are also present to join the conversations in order to ensure that the negotiations represent all stakeholders (youth, women, indigenous peoples, NGOs, educational institutions, local governments, etc.).
Major victories and impacts of COP27 in Canada and Quebec
The recent United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) ended with a breakthrough agreement to provide financing for loss and damage caused by climate change to more vulnerable and developing countries. According to Leïla Cantave, this is also a victory for civil society.
We've been trying to get something like this in place for years. This small step forward feels like a big victory for justice and human rights.
For Albert Lalonde, this victory also echoes the hundreds of billions of dollars that will have to be paid to compensate for losses and damages, as early as 2030. Once the disasters are caused, it is already too late. The question is, how can they be avoided?
How do negotiations affect the business community?
It is important for managers or entrepreneurs to understand the concepts and the context of the current situation. It is important to assimilate the major regulatory frameworks influenced by the COPs, to know how to untangle the different concepts and, above all, to know what to prioritize within one's own organization.
At the COP15 level, the major objectives that are found in the framework of companies refer a lot to disclosure and transparency in terms of data, because if companies do not manage to understand their real impacts, it is then impossible to act concretely.
Every business, large or small, that is created or managed by an entrepreneur must consider climate and environmental responsibility in its business plan. The first step is to take an interest and try to understand in order to make good decisions.
How can the next generation of business people get involved in the negotiations?
According to Albert, the change is very cultural. Market logics are no longer sufficient to understand society and the way the planet works. The capitalist economy has always treated environmental and social damages as externalities that companies can choose to care about or not.
However, as human beings who are part of biodiversity, we do not have the leisure to care about or ignore the climate crisis. It is therefore necessary to think about how to change the paradigm.
Mobilization within the business and financial community is very important. We need to find out how companies can lobby government authorities to force a new, more environmentally responsible standard.
Leïla believes that young people have the power to mobilize themselves by associating with other communities or groups with similar values. It can be as simple as having conversations with people who are like you.
"It's really important for the next generation of business leaders to identify the impact that their organization has on the ecosystem and the environment and address those impacts immediately. It has to be a central element within your company.
Philippe concludes on the responsibility of the next generation of business people to inform themselves on these many issues. In his opinion, as long as entrepreneurs and managers do not take this responsibility seriously, they will not be able to make the connection between the ideal to be achieved and the actions necessary to get there.
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