BCIU at COP 28
This week, an estimated 70,000 attendees will convene in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), for the largest and most influential climate change event of the year, the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 28). Held in a region with a hot and humid climate that makes it particularly vulnerable to climate change, and at the end of a year that is set to be the hottest on record, the place and time of the conference are acute reminders of the summit’s mission.
At COP 28, numerous heads of state, environmental ministers, and high-profile representation from multilaterals and the private sector will align efforts on climate action and take stock of world progress on the Paris Agreement. As an organization, BCIU maintains a presence at COP through a number of high-level programs designed in partnership with member companies, according to Brian Dershowitz, Senior Director at BCIU.
“BCIU strives to work with our members to co-create and partner together to create contextually forward, timely and relevant programs that speak to a core business priority for our partners,” says Dershowitz.
Learn more below about the priorities and goals for COP 28 and about some of the climate, agriculture and food-security-related programming BCIU has organized with our members.
The COP 28 agenda obviously focuses on climate, with this year’s priorities including renewables, climate financing, a focus on people and livelihood, and inclusivity. “This year at COP, we will be offering programs that build off of prior engagements throughout the year that have focused on key themes such as the clean energy transition, decarbonization and public-private partnerships,” says Dershowitz.
Together with members, BCIU is organizing three climate-centric programs during COP, including an event in partnership with AES, “The Global Energy Transition: Leveraging New Technologies to Achieve SDG7.” This program focuses on the need to substantially increase available technologies in the renewable energy mix, such as solar, wind, battery storage, and hydrogen by 2030.
In partnership with United Airlines, BCIU is organizing the event, “What Comes Next After the IRA, Refuel EU and CORSIA: How Global Public Policy Approaches Can Drive Transitions in Hard-to-Abate Sectors.” The discussion will highlight how the Inflation Reduction Act serves to jumpstart investments in clean energy in the U.S. and how other measures aim to increase sustainable fuel supply globally. The panel will convene corporate and government leaders to assess future policy measures and examine what the regulatory landscape would look like in order to accelerate decarbonization in hard-to-abate sectors.
Finally, BCIU is coordinating “Decarbonizing Transport: Approaching Solutions via Coordination Amongst All Three Levels of Government” in partnership with General Motors and UPS. The event will illustrate how to foster best practices for regulatory frameworks across all three levels of government, develop incentivization structures to aid in the decarbonization of the transportation sector and showcase technological solutions. As UPS is exploring innovative ways to reduce physical emissions across operations, the company is engaging early with a range of public and private stakeholders, including at events like COP28.
“Just as countries use COP 28 to take stock of their progress, we view COP as an opportunity to celebrate our progress, to achieve our goals and to look forward to how we can accelerate the decarbonization of our operations,” says Erik Churchill, Vice President or Public Affairs and Sustainability at UPS. “This conference is the time to forge partnerships, learn from governments and industry, and discover new ways that we can lead innovation across our industry.”
Agriculture & Food Security
The agriculture sector plays a critical role in a country’s ability to achieve its climate goals. Food security is deeply connected to this issue, as climate change is very likely to disrupt agriculture and impact food production on a global, regional and local level.
“Agriculture and food security have been making slow but steady progress to be key features at major conferences and are essential to global stability and the economic success of many nations,” says Joe Walters, Senior Program Officer at BCIU. “The attention is growing, and our members and stakeholders see COP as a way to maintain the momentum.”
BCIU is hosting a panel in the Blue Zone – a managed site open to accredited party and observer delegates – at the U.S. Center focused on empowering entrepreneurs around the world with the tools necessary to meet global sustainability goals. Also in the Blue Zone, BCIU is organizing a discussion with UN officials, senior government officials, multilateral organizations and the private sector focused on the positive impact of regenerative agriculture.
“BCIU provides programming both inside and outside of the Blue Zone in order to cast a wide net of perspectives and access,” says Walters. “We also work with outside partners and stakeholders so that members can be more prepared and plan their COP experience ahead of time.”
For the first time in the history of COP, a Health Day is included on the summit’s agenda. Health is closely linked with climate, agriculture and food security, highlighting the need for a comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach to these interconnected challenges. With this idea in mind, BCIU member company Bayer has three main areas of focus for the event.
The first is to engage in conversations about regenerative agriculture as a way to effectively reduce environmental impact of the industry and share best practices, including the use of technology and platforms like Bayer’s FieldView. Bayer will also stress the need to focus on the efficient use of water, both through agricultural practices and innovative products such as the direct-seeded rice variety and through its own operations and those in the supply chain. (Bayer shared its water strategy during the UN Water Conference in March 2023.)
“Contributing to sustainable development constitutes a core element of Bayer’s corporate strategy and values,” says Marcela Chacón Castro, Global Director of United Nations Relations at Bayer. “Regarding the specific case of COP 28, it represents an opportunity to act against climate change, ensuring the world’s efforts to adapt to severe climate impacts.”
Finally, as this the first time COP has dedicated a day to health, Bayer is interested in engaging with a variety of stakeholders, raising awareness of its actions in combatting climate change and the impact environmental factors have on people’s health.
“Bayer is in a strong position to act on climate change, with our innovative portfolio in agriculture, nutrition and healthcare,” says Chacón. “With our mission, ‘Health for all, Hunger for None,’ Bayer expects to have an impactful positioning during the conference, becoming part of the solution as a trusted and innovative partner and entering collaborative actions while shaping the international climate policy.”
BCIU continues to be involved in UN-related programming, including COP 28. To learn more about our climate or agriculture programs, or our events at the conference, visit our Events page.