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Last week the IPCC called for “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented” changes and for net zero emissions by 2050 as part of its report detailing the implications of 1.5C of warming. Over the last five months, we have brought together 70 companies with collective revenues totalling over $1.3 trillion across the U.S and Europe to explore ideas to accelerate progress to a net zero economy. This was in response to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)'s Talanoa Dialogue.
The UNFCCC asked for private sector and civil society views on how to build a net zero economy, bringing fresh perspective as details on implementing the Paris Climate Agreement are finalised at December's Katowice Climate Change Conference (COP 24). Under the Fijian presidency of the UNFCCC in 2017, this process was named the Talanoa Dialogue: Talanoa being a traditional word in the Pacific Islands to reflect a process of inclusive and participatory dialogue. Having helped many corporations act on climate change ahead of and beyond of regulation since 1997, our Talanoa Dialogues have been designed to enable businesses to contribute their ideas on how to raise ambition for climate action.
We chose a rugby ball to help remind our participants of the Fijian origins of the Talanoa Dialogue - rugby is the Fijian national sport - but also to serve as a reminder of how small groups of committed individuals can achieve a lot working together. The island nation of 900,000 people beat Great Britain, New Zealand, US, Argentina and others on the way to its first Olympic gold medal in the rugby sevens at the Rio Olympics in 2016. In addition, rugby also reminded those present of the ability to achieve rapid social change: in the 1970s and 1980s the sport became the focus of the anti-apartheid movement and helped spark sweeping social change across South Africa, with the nation later uniting in victory in the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
In May we gathered technology companies in San Francisco, many of which have CEOs strongly committed to protecting the climate. Our next Dialogue was in London (pictured below) with companies from advertising, energy, finance and professional services.
Talanoa Dialogue, London, July 2018
Our Talanoa in New York (below left) was designed to coincide with Climate Week, and we held an event in Stockholm jointly with our partners ECOHZ and hosted by Nordea (below right). Again, there was a wide range of companies present, including automotive, construction, energy, finance, food & beverage, petrochemicals, professional services and retail.
Talanoa Dialogues, (above left) New York and (above right) Stockholm, September 2018
Next was a Dialogue in Dublin, hosted by Arup and partnering with Business In The Community Ireland, bringing together companies from construction, energy, finance, food & beverage and professional services. Then our second in London, this time focusing on companies that are part of tea, coffee and cacao value chains with dependence on smallholder farmers (below, right), partnering with Ethical Tea Partnership.
Talanoa Dialogues, (above left) Dublin, September 2018 and (above right) London, October 2018
Finally, last week we brought together companies from automotive, consumer electronics, energy, finance, food & beverage, professional services and retail sectors in Amsterdam, hosted by ING (lead picture at the top).
Such a strong collection of businesses representing so many industries and regions, presented us with many and varied views on the role of net zero and how to raise ambition. Later this month we will publish our Talanoa submission to the UNFCCC, which will include the ideas generated about how to accelerate progress towards a net zero economy, as well as some of the stories from our participants on what drives them to get involved.
To find out more about our Talanoa Dialogues or if you are interested in publishing some of the outputs of the Talanoa Dialogues, please email Alex Watson.