The Global Stocktake: Accelerating decarbonisation

In order to mitigate the dire impacts of climate change, we must make substantial reductions in emissions while tackling adaptation. But how will progress be measured?

Enter The Paris Agreement’s Global Stocktake. The process began ​​in 2021 at Glasgow’s COP26 and culminates in November this year at COP28 in The United Arab Emirates. The two-year process is designed to evaluate worldwide responses and offer direction on where actions should be taken. This essential undertaking seeks answers for three fundamental queries: an assessment of current conditions; desired end goals; and most importantly, identifying strategies that lead us there.

The Global Stocktake process is the evaluation and assessment of nations’ progress towards reaching their Paris Agreement national climate commitments, known as NDCs. Its aim? To reduce greenhouse gas emissions to limit global temperature rise, increase resilience against climate impacts, and provide sufficient financial support for tackling the crisis. But it does not stop there: looking ahead at future challenges is integral for long-term success in this endeavour.

UNFCCC Executive Secretary Simon Stiell with COP28 President Dr Sultan Al Jaber
The uncomfortable truth

In March, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Synthesis Report will underscore how far from our goal of limiting global warming we are. Despite existing policies, a U.N. Environment Programme assessment projects that temperatures could rise by 2.8C this century – more than double what is required to stay below 1.5°C; an alarming prospect for future generations and all life as we know it today. COP28 president, Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber told last month’s Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week conference: “We don’t need to wait for the stocktake to know what it will say. We are way off track.”

What has this got to do with investors?

The stocktake serves an opportunity to demand greater action, accountability and collaboration to address the challenges along the way to net zero. The voice of business and the financial services is important as a motivator for driving government ambition. Also important is the position investors are in to apply pressure for companies to act. The exercise should expedite an increased number of investors demanding specifics. 

Insufficient climate transition action plans

CDP’s new report has revealed that only 81 companies out of 18,600 have developed a truly credible climate transition plan. It exposed the lack of disclosure and preparation within large international businesses to tackle greenhouse gas emissions – with just 4,000 claiming they had an actively developing strategy in place. Companies need to move beyond simply making claims about their ambitions and make sure these ambitious strategies are backed up by evidence-based plans for transitioning into a low-carbon world.

A moment of truth

2023 is set to be another defining year for investing. It’s anticipated that with comprehensive climate change facts laid bare, the stocktake will kickstart a much-needed transformation. Though impact will take time, the process will certainly highlight the necessity of collaborative engagement. Time is of the essence. Harness your power in driving positive change with SI Engage’s engagement tracker and reporting system. Get in touch to find out more.

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