Climate Action

In case you missed it… Day 3 of The Innovation Zone

Day three of the Climate Action Innovation Zone saw the Sustainable Finance Forum taking place on our plenary stage. to align sustainable finance with the real economy and enable a just transition to a net-zero, nature-positive global economy.

  • 07 December 2023
  • Rachel Cooper


At Day 3 of the Climate Action Innovation Zone, banks, insurers, investors, policymakers, civil society organisations and scientists came together for the Sustainable Finance Forum – with a goal to align sustainable finance with the real economy and enable a just transition to a net-zero, nature positive global economy.

What are the chances of keeping 1.5 alive? Professor Jim Skea, IPCC Chair, told the finance community that under current policies, it's more like 3 degrees or 2.4 with current pledges. But the sense of momentum at COP28 gives him optimism: "People are running around from one thing to the next in sleeves-rolled-up mode." With a packed schedule of world-class content down at Madinat Arena, we can certainly relate!

Addresses from Dr Richard Mattison, Vice Chair, S&P Global Sustainable1, Eric Usher, Head of UNEP FI, and CEO of PRI, David Atkin, and a host of other fantastic speakers covered decarbonization, policy engagement, the climate-nature nexus, adaptation, and best practices to identify, measure, disclose, and manage sustainability risks.

Also at the Madinat Arena, Sir Alok Sharma MP, President of COP26, shared his vision for the day’s UK Climate Action Forum, which he described as being “all about bringing together business, bringing together academia and bringing together government – because that’s what is going to be needed if we’re going to deliver a 40% cut in emissions by 2030.”

Nigel Topping, Global Ambassador, UN High-Level Climate Champions, supported the University of Exeter’s Positive Tipping Points research on the need for transformational change, and a dramatic acceleration of progress. Topping vehemently believes that transformation is already happening, saying: “I am not being ‘optimistic’ about exponential climate progress, that is based on rigorous scientific support.” His advice to big business? “Incumbents always underestimate the power of the exponential as they just can't believe that they will be disrupted. But Tesla and other stories of success show that if you’re slow, you lose out. This is a competitive issue for businesses and once you get behind the curve it's almost impossible to catch up."

Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees was all about implementation and the power of innovative collaboration: "One of the phrases I least like is 'all it takes is political will' because the truth is, it takes political will and billions of pounds. We know as a local authority that there is not the money in the public sector and where it is there, it is not easy to access. So, we know that the only way we can deliver is to work with the private sector." Mr Rees pointed out that since Glasgow, cities are on the COP agenda like never before.

One stat that might shock our UK readers came from Shevaun Haviland, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce. Their latest research reveals nearly 24% of British firms are already dealing with extreme weather events.

Speaking alongside Plant Based News founder Klaus Mitchell and musical artist AY Young on the Climate Action Stage, Julie Mallat said: "ChatGPT has a role and is a useful resource for writing, but we have to be careful. It can create language that is really fluffy and doesn't connect on an emotional level – that's not helpful for climate communications. ChatGPT can't replicate authenticity or creativity." Julie is founder of The Climate Propogandist.

Content continued on the Island of Hope, with inspiration in the form of truly innovative climate action pioneered by local communities and indigenous people in the world’s most climate vulnerable regions.

Join us for Day 4…

Thursday 7th will see the Hydrogen Transition Forum – with fossil fuel phase down or phase out (depending on who you ask) high on the COP28 agenda, United States Department of Energy joins representatives from transport, agriculture, and finance debate hydrogen’s place in the clean energy mix.

It’s will also be day 4 for the Island of Hope, focused on the small island developing states that have driven the loss and damage agenda for 30 years. Speakers include CEO of Museum for the United Nations and representatives from Grenada, Cayman Islands, Suriname, Anguilla, Philippines and the Balearic Islands.

Registrations remain open and everyone’s welcome. We can promise great content, great coffee, and lots of cool, quiet spaces to work – not to mention (free!) cocktails daily from 6 ‘til 8pm: