British Embassy hosts COP26 Scotland climate change conference preview for PH business leaders

Published April 2, 2021, 10:44 AM

by Roy Mabasa

The British Embassy in Manila recently convened a virtual roundtable of Philippine business leaders to discuss climate change in the lead-up to the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP26) to be held in Glasgow, Scotland in November this year. 

Nigel Topping, the UN’s COP 26 High-Level Champion for Climate Action, keynoted the event where he discussed his role in galvanizing new, more ambitious and most credible climate action from companies, investors, cities, states and regions, and referenced the United Kingdom’s own journey in driving down emissions while at the same time growing its economy. 

Topping encouraged local businesses to embrace and join the Race to Zero initiative, the flagship global campaign to rally leadership and support from non-state actors for a healthy, resilient, zero-carbon recovery that creates decent jobs, prevents future threats, and unlocks inclusive sustainable growth. 

“When you as business leaders raise your ambition, it sends a very strong signal to political leaders and makes it easier for policymakers to be bold. And when bold policy comes, it makes it easier for your peers to intensify their own [climate] ambitions. We call this the ‘ambition loop’, and hope it delivers a real step up in climate action from governments and the private sector alike,” Topping said. 

He added that COP26 is the first real test of the 2015 Paris Agreement, which set the long-term goal to net-zero and a process of ratcheting ambition every five years.  

Senior Philippine corporate executives from 15 companies across the business spectrum who participated in the discussion highlighted the importance of pursuing and embedding sustainability in their operations, while at the same time tackling the significant challenges posed by COVID-19. 

The participation of the Philippine Green Business Leaders showcased the strong commitment of the Philippine business sector to tackle the challenges of climate change mitigation, adaptation, resilience, and sustainability.

British Ambassador to the Philippines Daniel Pruce highlighted the important role of private investment and the business sector and the need for a whole-system approach to achieve success in climate change. 

“At the core of the UK’s clean growth leadership is delivering for countries most vulnerable to climate change. This of course includes the Philippines which has witnessed stronger and more destructive typhoons throughout the years. If we are to be successful in achieving a cleaner future, the role of private investment is paramount.”