Six takeaways from COP24 Business and Industry Day

  • 10 December 2018
Cop23 5 Takeaways Business Day

As new scientific research elucidates the need to take urgent and comprehensive climate action on the global level, business charted paths to a low-carbon economy at a major event in Katowice, Poland.

At what has been billed as the most important global climate conference since the Paris Agreement was adopted at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) three years ago, business discussed how to collectively raise climate ambition at the COP24 Business and Industry Day in Katowice.

Business Day was hosted by ICC, which is the business and industry ‘Focal Point’ to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – making ICC the voice of business in the UN climate process. We would like to thank the partners who helped make this day possible.

Here are six key takeaways from the day’s discussions:

1. The time to act is now

ICC’s Director of Green Growth Majda Dabaghi, who leads the ICC delegation to COP24, opened up the event, highlighting the ground-breaking report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C of Global Warming. The report warns that urgent changes are needed to avoid the vast economic and social costs of climate change. Governments and business need to collectively ramp up plans to cut carbon emissions and the time to act is now, Ms Dabaghi said.

ICC Director of Green Growth @MajdaDabaghi kicks off #COP23 Business Day: “The recent @IPCC_CH Special Report calls us to do more and to take #ClimateAction now. It is in this context that today’s discussions take place.”

— ICC WBO (@iccwbo) December 6, 2018

2. We’re all in this together

Many of the day’s speakers from both the public and private sectors expressed the fundamental need for collective action in raising climate ambition. At COP23 last year, the Fijian host government introduced the world to the concept of ‘Talanoa’, referring to the country’s national tradition of inclusive and constructive dialogue.

“We all need to work together to tackle climate change. Working in coalitions is key to succeed. That’s the spirit of the Talanoa Dialogue we launched at COP23 under the Fijian presidency,” said Inia Seruiratu, Fiji’s Climate Champion.

Fiji Climate Champion @SeruiratuCOP23: It is essential that conducive policy frameworks support business, allowing innovation & implementation of the solutions we need. “We cannot win this fight alone. Let us step up for ambition together.” #Business4Ambition#COP24

— ICC WBO (@iccwbo) December 6, 2018

3. Climate action is a business opportunity

In one of the day’s most engaging presentations, Bertrand Piccard, the Initiator and Chairman of Solar Impulse, delivered a powerful speech without even mentioning the phrase ‘climate change, because “building energy efficient and environmental friendly solutions is the biggest business opportunity of the century”.

Rather than viewing the interests of companies and the climate in opposition, we need to understand that #ClimateAction is good for business, says @bertrandpiccard. Companies can show that clean technologies are profitable and fuel green growth.

— ICC WBO (@iccwbo) December 6, 2018

4. Delivering the Paris Rulebook will empower companies for good

“If you could say one thing to governments here at COP24, what would be it be?” Ms Dabaghi asked before one panel discussion closed. The responses from the business leaders speaking were remarkably clear. Enabling policy frameworks and delivering the ‘Paris Rulebook’ – an implementing framework that shows how governments plan on reaching Paris Agreement goals – are key to giving companies the certainty they need to take ambitious climate action.

What is your one word to governments here at #COP24? #Business4Ambition speakers say public-private dialogue and enabling policy frameworks are key to raising #ClimateAmbition.

— ICC WBO (@iccwbo) December 6, 2018

5. We need to talk about gender

A powerful series of remarks also came from Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg, Director of African Women in Agriculture, in Kenya. Ms Kamau-Rutenberg explained that it is impossible to talk about climate adaptation in Africa without talking about agriculture – and the way African agriculture is produced is very gendered. In Africa, women play a central role in agricultural production. Climate discussions thus need to link both to agriculture and gender.

It is impossible to talk about climate adaptation in Africa without talking about agriculture – and the way African agriculture is produced is very gendered, says @wanjirukr, Director of @AWARDFellowship.

— ICC WBO (@iccwbo) December 6, 2018

6. We can increase climate-friendly investment if we protect it

In the final Business Day panel, Wendy Miles, Partner at Debevoise & Plimpton and Vice-Chair of the ICC International Court of Arbitration, offered an overview of how contractual arrangements and dispute resolution can help to give companies the certainty they need to pursue both climate change mitigation and adaptation investment opportunities.

Wendy Miles of @Debevoise chairs @ICC_arbitration‘s #ClimateChange task force, working to enhance and improve dispute resolution mechanisms to enhance and promote climate investment. #Business4Ambition #COP24

— ICC WBO (@iccwbo) December 6, 2018

Miss COP24 Business Day? You can watch the full discussions online at the following links:

Find out more about ICC’s work at COP24 on our website at and follow up on Twitter.