Limiting global warming to 1.5C is bottom of the list for global businesses’ desired outcomes at this 12 months’s Cop28, recent research has shown.
The findings suggest the business world has a insecurity within the Glasgow Climate Pact pledge to “keep 1.5C alive” from Cop26, in line with researchers from advisory firm East & Partners and consultancy Impact & Influence.
The research, published today, comes exactly six months ahead of the worldwide climate conference Cop28 in Dubai in November.
The research follows warnings from scientists earlier this month that the world is more likely to breach 1.5C in the subsequent five years.
Scientists have warned that going beyond 1.5C will likely trigger irreversible tipping points that might result in a collapse of life on Earth.
Professor Johan Rockstrom, of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, told the Innovation Zero Congress in London last week: “1.5C shouldn’t be a goal. I call this a physical limit.
“At 1.5C, we now have five big tipping point systems which might be more likely to be crossed. One is the West Antarctic ice sheet. The opposite one is the Greenland ice sheet. The third one is all of the tropical coral reef systems.
“The fourth one is abrupt thawing of permafrost within the boreal zone and the fifth one is the ocean ice within the Bering Sea. These are more likely to be crossed at 1.5C, but we don’t know the way a few years can we stay beyond 1.5C before that tipping point is permanently occurring.”
The researchers, who spoke with greater than 1,300 businesses after reaching out to the highest 100 earning firms in 14 countries including the UK, found that the worldwide business world is most concerned with having a stronger voice in discussions at Cop28.
Business leaders across nearly all of markets highlighted “private sector engagement” as the important thing theme for Cop28 that’s most relevant to their business.
This was followed by climate finance reform, green innovation and technology, biodiversity, inclusion, and eventually “keeping 1.5C alive”.
The findings have prompted concerns that companies are losing sight of the larger picture of helping to limit global warming to 1.5C.
“It’s alarming that ‘keeping 1.5C alive’ ranks so low amongst global corporates just two years after Cop26,” said Rishi Bhattacharya, CEO and founding father of Impact & Influence.
“This implies they might be pricing in an overshoot. It’s more necessary than ever to speak the necessity for business to be a part of the answer.”
Paul Dowling, co-founder of East & Partners, added: “Collaborative efforts between governments and businesses are essential for achieving our global climate goals – not least keeping 1.5C alive.”
The UN has said global greenhouse gas emissions must peak by 2025 at the most recent and reduce by 43% by 2030 to limit global temperature rise to 1.5C (2.7F) above pre-industrial levels – the goal set within the Paris Agreement.
Scientists say Earth is currently on target to warm by 2.5C by 2100 which can completely melt the large ice sheets, thaw permafrost, destroy rainforests and result in a collapse of marine life while rendering around a 3rd of the equator uninhabitable for humans.
The researchers said they spoke to greater than 90 per cent of companies from the highest 100 by revenue within the UK, Brazil, Canada, US, China, Australia, India, Japan, Singapore, France, Germany, Kenya, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates during a two-week period ending on March 14.
Rebecca Speare-Cole is the PA sustainability reporter.