Nov . 2021 .

What legacy has the COP26 conference left for companies and leaders?

The most important conference on climate change yet has aligned global goals and left space open for debates on environmental issues, governance and incentives to innovation.

What legacy has the COP26 conference left for companies and leaders?

Commitments to reduce the emission of pollutants and business opportunities. This is the legacy of the United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Glasgow, Scotland. Marked by a period of extreme importance, the negotiations that lasted two weeks, led the almost two-hundred countries that participated to adopt the “Glasgow Climate Pact”.  

The low carbon economy, the elimination of coal, global warming, deforestation and investments in renewable energy, were some of the issues that were debated in the conference. Besides, for the first time, the board of such an event, mentioned fossil fuels in the final document. The goal is for countries to change their efforts to “gradually reduce” the use of this source as raw material, especially in the production of energy.

The presence of the private sector

The context we are immersed in – after almost two years of a global pandemic, and the problems that come from climate change – would, by itself, have made the COP26 one of the most important meetings in history. However, an unusual event also contributed for the relevance of the conference: the number of private companies that were involved.

Some factors contributed for high-ranking executives to attend the event. Due to market changes, ESG investments (that operate with strategies that are aligned to environmental social and governance themes) and business of impact (core businesses that strive to solve social and environmental issues, generating a positive and measurable result), popping out around the world, more companies are aware of the importance of generating value and are searching for a way to adapt their corporate culture.

More and more, companies are thinking of the ecosystem, of people and are adapting to important themes such as: corporate social responsibility, sustainable leadership, diversity and inclusion, development and certification programs and mental health and well-being.

Nowadays, environmental, social and governance practices walk hand-in-hand, fostering the evolution of solid businesses. Therefore, having this vision and exerting change have become a factor to generate impact on society and in the corporate world.


How is that in Brazil?

So, what can we expect from businesses after COP26? In Brazil there are two main points that bring about several opportunities for national companies: the advanced stage of the low carbon economy and the availability of renewable technologies for the energy transition.

With the rules put in place for the carbon market, more opportunities for investment open up This is the case for new business models and innovation that will benefit and mold several sectors. What is more, this strengthens Brazil as a major player in the generation of carbon credits for other countries. 

As for the goal of reducing the use of coal, which one of the major culprits for the emission of greenhouse gases, the expansion in the use of clean energy rises to prominence. In this sense, Brazil can help with renewable technologies, as it is one of the places that is better able to produce solar and wind power.

Besides, having a mostly renewable energy base, other opportunities can be envisioned for our country, such as: energy independence, economic growth, sustainable development, job creation, social change and reduction of the climate change process.

More active leaders, more positive impact

This is the moment in which the ESG agenda comes even more prominently into action. With environmental, social and economic goals being part of corporate culture, companies also become more transparent, creating credibility and trust as goals are met.

In this way, leaders will have to be proactive and search for a way to show this in the best possible way for their businesses. Leaders must lead change, establish clear goals and purpose, both for their staff and partners, as well as for their investors. All stakeholders have to be touched.

It is also essential that leaders take a stance, have a clear point of view and plans of action that will help other players to take a stance. By doing so, social as well as environmental matters become part of the current discourse and debate, for there is no way of thinking about the consequences to the planet without understanding, at the same time, how people are impacted.

Finally, all such matters must be in line with corporate ethics, after all, taking a stance, influencing and being responsible also represent moral principles. An active leadership, who search for these solutions and exert their analytical ability, will motivate business to be more resilient, sustainable, and to generate positive impact.

It is time to act up!

These actions will provide for a better future for humankind, preserving biodiversity and the ecosystem as a whole. Therefore, companies, governments and society must work together and ensure that all voices are heard. Implementing the ESG agenda, keeping up with commitments made at the COP 26, ensuring accountability and demanding that results are delivered within the schedule are fundamental for this to happen.

The transition and adaptation must be constant, seamless, doable and done in stages. The challenge of achieving the goals against the climate emergency, and of reaching zero emissions, will only be possible if all companies engage and collaborate. Now it is no longer a goal, but a matter of national development.

That is the importance of management in order to achieve sustainable ambitions and make changes of habits in Brazil´s leaders happen. Read more about how to make this happen here.

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