Jesper Brodin, CEO of Ingka Group shares his views on Ingka Group’s recent participation at COP27, United Nations Climate Change Conference and the importance of keeping 1.5°C alive and deliver to the Paris Agreement.
Taking part in COP27* was an important opportunity for me and us as a company to share what we do, as well as get inspired and connect with other businesses, governments, NGO’s and young leaders. Climate change is not a distant threat, rather a living reality that impacts us all, in ways we could never imagine. My commitment as CEO of Ingka Group, to sustainability and climate in specific, is deeply rooted in our legacy of doing what is right, being relevant for people and being resource smart – and thereby cost smart. This is the most important decade for humanity when it comes to climate change and together, we need to transition to the new economy through mitigation, adaptation, and making sure to leave no one behind by:
- Setting commitments to bring down climate projections from around 2.5°C to below 1.5°C,
- Driving actions and scale solutions, and
- Radical collaborations across sectors, borders, and continents.
The conference concluded with a significant breakthrough for the most vulnerable countries. There is still a lot of work to be done on the details, but the principle for the loss and damage fund is in place and the goal is clear – the richer nations need to compensate the most vulnerable countries which was a big step forward for climate justice and solidarity. It is an important step to rebuild trust and a foundation to increase actions for climate mitigation. Mitigation, the reduction of greenhouse gas emission, is an area where the expectations for COP27 to deliver was much higher than the outcome.
The official outcome leaves us with a 50/50 risk over the next five years that we as humanity will pass 1.5°C when it comes to global warming. Even if we see some positive movement, we are far from being on track. We have it in our own hands to tackle climate change – and even if the conversation has moved from the why to the how, we need to step up our game. We can’t leave this to the next generation, science is clear, we all need to step up our actions. Now.
In parallel to the negotiations, COP27 felt like it had energy and a good atmosphere to it, I have never seen so many companies, youth leaders, NGO’s and governments working together towards finding scalable solutions. This gave me a lot of hope for the future and so did the constructive dialogues I had with young leaders, who do not only have a deep engagement and drive, but a deep competence about what is needed for humanity to reach the limit of 1.5°C.
Through the initiative, Global We, from UN Live I got to interact and be in a more inclusive climate conversation, which was a highly emotional and motivational moment, meeting people in their local community and understanding the real impact of climate change. This gave me new and important insights about how we can create a better future, together. Because I am still optimistic that we can make it and as business leaders we need to set science-based targets in line with the 1.5°C, develop clear roadmaps on how to get there, drive the required actions, transparently report on progress, while working for policies, infrastructure, and investment that support a just transition.
Together we have a shared responsibility and I want to share my admiration for companies which don’t wait for legislation or pledges but take the lead, through their own ethical and moral motivations and understand that sustainability and climate are not about making sacrifices, rather the opposite. It might be about making upfront investments and taking some leaps of faith, but it’s foremost about being a winner in the new economy in the long run. It is also clear that we need a policy environment that creates the level playing field and brings everyone along.
During my meetings with government officials and other business leaders I stressed, the science remains unchanged, 1.5°C is a limit, not a target. That is why we decided to initiate an open letter to governments to reinforce the importance of keeping 1.5 °C alive, already during the first week. The letter, which was signed by more than 200 business and key representatives from civil society, demanded from governments to deliver with actions to the commitments made in Glasgow at COP26 and keep global temperature rise below 1.5°C.
Together, we can assemble a net-zero world that is better for all. With green jobs and more sustainable growth and a fair and equal society. Actions will always speak louder than words.
Jesper Brodin, CEO, Ingka Group
For more information and a summary of COP27 from the business sector please read here from World Economic Forum (WEF), where Jesper Brodin is currently part of the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders: The key learnings from COP27 and what actions to expect next | World Economic Forum (weforum.org)
*COP is the official convening of the 197 governments/parties who ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992 to jointly address climate change. But it is much broader than the 197 parties as includes many non-state actors that play their part in collectively tackling the climate crisis – like us from the private sector.