Watch the webinar
- Farnam Bidgoli, Managing Director, Head of ESG Solutions, HSBC
- Pamela Jouven, Director, SME Climate Hub
- Rain Newton-Smith, Chief Economist, CBI
- Giles Whittell, Sensemaker Editor, Tortoise Media (Chair)
In this session:
- Omicron variant has shown that we need to vaccinate the world to prevent new variants like these emerging.
- Government has responded by modifications to rules e.g., mask-wearing compulsory in more public spaces to promote consumer confidence and accelerate the booster programme.
- This means the economic impact is currently relatively contained and we’re very much still ‘living with the virus’ - but some challenges for the aviation sector with the re-introduction on PCR testing for all those entering the UK.
- UK versus EU – our covid rates are relatively stable due to our vaccination rates and booster roll-out
- The Glasgow Climate Pact won’t stop climate change, but we made some important steps forward. For example, 90% global emissions now come from countries which have a net-zero target and India reducing emissions by 50% by 2030.
- This COP was business friendly, making determined commitments, and we saw that amongst our memberships. They are having conversations about targets and how they are going to deliver.
- Saw countries coming together to make multi-lateral agreements – e.g., pact on ending deforestation and reversing by 2030. Also focus on nature and biodiversity loss was also welcomed.
- Lots of scepticism around the 130trillion dollars figure – number to focus is on the 450 institutions – a majority of the financial sector. Not just net-zero targets for 2050 but also targets for the next decade to keep 1.5c degrees alive. These institutions are pledging to commit to annal reporting, collaboration on climate aligned-finance definitions and common standards for the use of carbon off-sets.
- This was a COP where the private sector was active and vocal – didn’t feel like there was enough voices from civil society and those most heavily affected in the global south.
- At HSBC – one of the first founders of the net-zero banking alliance. Lots of conversations taking place with clients and how their finance and access to capital will be impacted. Their message is that they will help sectors and businesses to transition but they’re asking for concrete transition plans from their clients.
- Key focus is on emissions reductions, rather than carbon offsets.
- The SME climate hub is a global coalition, but they worked closely with the UK government in the run-up to COP.
- For SMEs, decarbonisation can help reduce costs, risk, access to finance and enhance their brand / public image.
- The climate hub is a ‘one-stop-shop’ where SMEs can access tools and resources free to charge to enable everyone to start their journey.
- One of the first steps firms can do is to measure their emissions (there is a carbon calculator available on the hub).
- Everyone’s plans will look different but one of the first quick wins all companies can do is work to reduce energy consumption.