The Unravel Carbon team is participating in COP27 (Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC), which will be held from 6 to 18 November 2022 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. We sit with Unravel Carbon co-founder Marc Allen to discuss the company’s presence at COP27, the outcomes he expects from the conference, and his excitement to participate at the largest annual gathering on climate action.
1. Why is Unravel Carbon participating in COP27, and how did the opportunity come about?
Unravel Carbon is participating in COP27 as part of the Singapore Pavilion. Each year, countries get an opportunity to put together a showcase of what they’re doing to support global decarbonization efforts. At COP27, for the first time, Singapore has taken advantage of this opportunity and is putting a Pavilion together. This Pavilion brings together people from across Singapore’s ecosystem of low-carbon organizations to showcase the work the country is doing in the area of decarbonization.
2. What activities has Unravel Carbon planned at COP27?
The Unravel Carbon team will attend the Singapore Pavilion—and of course, the rest of the conference—across the entire two weeks. We’ll be more than happy to make the time to meet with people from all over the world and talk about decarbonization and climate change. As far as formal sessions go, we will be speaking at two events on the Singapore Pavilion Decarbonisation Day (Friday 11 November)—one is a panel session on the logistics industry with Singpost and A*Star and the other is a fireside chat on investing in ClimateTech in emerging markets with Sequoia India.
3. What are the outcomes that you are expecting from COP27?
From a policy point of view, there are a number of outcomes that are expected from the main negotiating sessions.
- Targets - The Glasgow Climate Pact - the negotiated outcomes of COP26 - requested that countries come to COP27 with enhanced 2030 targets and formalize those within Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). A short time out from COP27, there is still some way to go in this area and, although it’s not a year when NDCs are due to be updated, this request is carried over from the (lack of) NDC updates at COP26.
- Adaptation - COP26 saw the launch of the global goal on adaptation, and this is the halfway point of a two-year work program that aims to help countries adapt to the physical impacts of climate change and build resilience.
- Climate Finance - Finance remains a difficult subject in the context of COP as the commitments to provide $100b per year from developed countries starting in 2020 have not been realized. From a private sector point of view, the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero will continue its work in accelerating the transition to net-zero emissions and present the summary of its first year of work in the lead-up to COP27.
- Loss and Damages - Potentially the trickiest of the focus areas for COP27, developing countries are looking to receive financial support toward the costs of loss and damages from developed countries, as the developed world has largely been the cause of climate change, but the impacts are felt more keenly in the Global South.
- Global Stocktake - The Global Stocktake is a key part of the Paris Agreement where, every five years, the world’s progress towards achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement is tracked. This should, in theory, inform NDCs and negotiating positions by individual countries. A technical dialogue will be held at COP27 to support this process— which is due to be completed in 2023 in time for COP28.
4. What does it mean to you personally to participate in COP27?
I’ve been working in climate change for over 15 years now, and attending COP has been something I’ve wanted to do for some years. It’s a central part of global policymaking—which in turn informs domestic policy and how companies need to respond to the challenges of climate change. It’s a great opportunity to be right at the center of decision-making and policy development for one of the greatest challenges of our time.
5. Fun question: Will it be your first time in Egypt? Have you planned some sightseeing during your visit?
It will be my first trip to Egypt, and actually my first time to Northern Africa/ Middle East (save for transits in Dubai and Doha airports!). I’m looking forward to the trip, for sure, and will try to fit in as much to do in Sharm el-Sheikh as possible outside of core time at COP. I’ve got nothing really planned with respect to sightseeing as I need to head back to Singapore straight afterwards. I will have to miss out on seeing the pyramids until next time!