United Nations Global Compact

12/04/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/04/2023 12:27

Leading CEOs call for Greater Private Sector Action on Nature and Biodiversity and a Just Transition at COP28

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The UN Global Compact, together with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and UN Climate Change (UNFCCC), brought together senior executives of business, industry, finance, civil society, the United Nations and Government at the 11th High-Level Meeting of Caring for Climate at COP28. Those present discussed how to accelerate private sector action on nature and biodiversity and on the impediments and opportunities for business action towards a Just Energy Transition.

For a liveable planet, it is imperative to cut emissions and deliver climate justice in line with the UN Secretary-General's Acceleration Agenda, whilst fulfilling the Global Biodiversity Framework.

Sanda Ojiambo, CEO and Executive Director of the UN Global Compact said "Today, nearly 1 million species are at risk of extinction, and the world's largest ecosystems, including the Amazon rainforest and major coral reefs and wetlands, are reaching tipping points. But at the same time, we have seen first-hand how the business community has the potential to help drive progress on protecting and restoring biodiversity. In fact, companies are learning that they can't afford to be left behind - 395 million new jobs and over $10 trillion dollars in business opportunities are expected to arise from nature-positive transitions."

Biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse now rank among the top 5 business risks. The Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) sets a clear path to a world living in harmony with nature by 2050, with specific expectations for business.

During the meeting, the UN Global Compact, in partnership with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Center, launched the UN Global Compact Think Lab on Biodiversity and Nature to showcase holistic approaches for business to deliver strong corporate thought leadership and policy recommendations in the lead up to the Biodiversity COP16 and Climate COP29. The Think Lab will assist UN Global Compact participants to:

  • Define the narrative, ambition and key recommendations of the UN Global Compact to business and policymakers on nature and biodiversity.

  • Provide clarity through mapping existing initiatives, key resources and tools and identify current best practices, key challenges and policy needs linked to corporate nature and biodiversity action to prepare and mobilize companies to submit nature strategies by COP16.

  • Shape business thought leadership and provide innovative solutions and guidance on critical areas linked to nature and biodiversity, such as the human rights-nature nexus.

  • Increase the uptake of learnings and deliverables across sectors and regions through the development of academy sessions, peer-learning groups and accelerators.

The Think Lab will assist companies in transforming their business models, starting with assessing their impacts and dependencies on nature, and implementing credible nature strategies that will provide co-benefits for climate, biodiversity and society. This transformation could create $10.1 trillion of annual business opportunities and 395 million jobs by 2030.

Inger Andersen, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme; Selwin Hart, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Climate Action and Just Transition, United Nations; Matt Jones, Chief Impact Officer, UNEP-WCMC; Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa, South Africa CEO, Naspers; JorgeLopez-Doriga, Chief Communications and Sustainability Officer, AJE Group; Mitchell New, Group General Counsel and Chairman of AIA International, AIA Group; Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman, Schneider Electric and, Daniele Violetti, Senior Director, Programmes Coordination, UN Climate Change (UNFCCC) also spoke during the event.

Notes to Editors

About the UN Global Compact

As a special initiative of the United Nations Secretary-General, the UN Global Compact is a call to companies worldwide to align their operations and strategies with Ten Principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Our ambition is to accelerate and scale the global collective impact of business by upholding the Ten Principles and delivering the Sustainable Development Goals through accountable companies and ecosystems that enable change. With more than 18,000 companies and 3,800 non-business signatories based in over 101 countries, and 62 Local Networks, the UN Global Compact is the world's largest corporate sustainability initiative - one Global Compact uniting business for a better world. For more information, follow @globalcompact on social media and visit our website at unglobalcompact.org

About Caring for Climate

Launched in 2007, Caring for Climate is a partnership of the UN Global Compact, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and UN Climate Change (UNFCCC) to advance the role of business in addressing climate change. It provides a framework for business leaders to implement practical climate change solutions and help shape public policy. It has evolved from a commitment to a space for dialogue at the UN Climate Change Conferences, leveraging CEO's voices in support of the UN Secretary-General's priorities.