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A look back at COP28 – Shevaun Haviland

A look back at COP28 – Shevaun Haviland

A look back at COP28 – Shevaun Haviland

I’m writing this as I travel home from COP28 alongside Chair of the BCC, Sarah Howard MBE.

We’ve just finished up a busy and exciting week in the United Arab Emirates hosted by our colleagues in the British Chamber of Commerce Abu Dhabi and the British Business Group Dubai and Northern Emirates.

In case you missed it in the news, the 28th United Nations Climate Change conference, more commonly known as COP28, took place in Dubai from 30 November until 12 December.

From Monday 4 – Saturday 9 December, the BCC and the Chamber Network brought together a delegation of 70+ businesses from across the globe to join an international trade mission and global business-focused programme during COP28. 

Some of my highlights during the week included:

  • Attending and speaking at a Networking reception hosted by the British Embassy, the British Chamber of Commerce Abu Dhabi and the British Business Group Dubai and Northern Emirates.
  • Speaking at an Energy Transition Roundtable with First Abu Dhabi Bank.
  • Engagements with Minister Graham Stuart at the UK Pavilion and at the International Chamber of Commerce Pavilion.
  • Joining a panel at the UK Climate Action Forum with Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol and Chair, Core Cities UK.
  • Speaking at the Frontrunners Dinner where over 200 attendees discussed their key priorities for COP28.

This is my third COP, having travelled to Egypt for COP27 and of course Glasgow for COP26 when the UK hosted the conference. COP28, like the others before it, represented an important milestone and it was once again a key moment for our Chamber Network to build momentum and awareness of green business issues. 

We know that no single country, business or individual can go it alone on major challenges such as the transition to Net Zero. The first Chamber of Commerce in history was founded on the principle of collective action for the achievement of mutual benefit and tackling climate change will only be possible through international collaboration. This past week was a brilliant example of UK and overseas Chambers driving that collaboration.

The Chamber Network plays an important role in supporting businesses on their journey to net zero, helping SMEs to understand what it means for them and how to comply as well as highlighting best practices. The transition to Net Zero presents businesses with opportunities to grow, by meeting government requirements and by satisfying fast-growing global demand for environmental products and services.

The delegation of member businesses represented Chambers including: British Chamber of Commerce Abu Dhabi, British Business Group Dubai and Northern Emirates, East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, Israel – Britain Chamber of Commerce, The Egyptian-British Chamber of Commerce, British Chamber of Commerce EU & Belgium, British Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo, British Chamber of Commerce in Macao, British Chamber of Commerce Myanmar and the Council for Business with Britain – Sri Lanka.

Looking ahead to next year, Green Innovation is one of our key challenges for our ‘Future of the Economy’ workstream. Our expert group, chaired by Lisa Witter, is currently exploring this challenge and developing recommendations on what works and what should be done differently to build a better future for business, the economy, and people in our local communities.

I am also looking forward to Congress of Business (COB) taking place on 14 May in Glasgow during Glasgow Climate Week. Businesses will have the chance to make a powerful and lasting recommitment to tackling the climate crisis. Building on its successful launch in early 2023, this event will once again aim to create global action on climate challenges and accelerating change towards the Glasgow Climate Pacts established at COP26.

COP may be over for another year but our work at the BCC and across the Chamber Network continues. Stay up to date on our social media channels and our Green Innovation Hub.  



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