Sustainable present, past and future: A look at G20 and COP 28

October 31, 2023

Focusing on creating a more sustainable world is a present human need. Global warming represents a domino effect that we are already experiencing, a chain reaction that directly results from the cumulative actions produced by other events. 

Global warming’s environmental consequences profoundly impact us, disrupting ecosystems, harming biodiversity, and altering our lives. This disruption extends to our health through disease spread and air pollution. 

At the same time, our economy suffers from extreme weather events damaging infrastructure, agriculture, and property, resulting in financial losses, instability, and loss of human life. Furthermore, changing weather patterns disrupt food production and water security, and rising global temperatures cause sea level rise, threatening coastal communities and forcing migration due to habitat loss. This migration challenges affected populations and receiving regions, potentially fueling social and political tensions and destabilizing areas.

It’s an ethical responsibility to protect the planet for future generations and to ensure that vulnerable communities do not bear the brunt of climate impacts caused by the actions of more affluent nations. Additionally, addressing climate change represents an opportunity for innovation and economic growth for transitioning to clean energy, developing sustainable technologies, and implementing green infrastructure that creates jobs and drives economic development.

For this reason, the G20 and COP28 events are pivotal moments for global warming decisions, two forums addressing and mitigating the impacts of this life-threatening issue globally, providing opportunities for international collaboration, policy coordination, financial commitments, and the setting of ambitious climate goals. We dive into the critical outcomes of G20 and what we can expect of COP28 to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable and low-carbon future. 


G20: “One Earth, One Family, One Future” 

The 2023 G20 Summit, the 18th in the series, was held in New Delhi, India, marking India’s debut as a host. The summit’s theme, “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,” translates from ancient Sanskrit texts to “One Earth, One Family, One Future,” underscoring the goal for unity and sustainable development.

The G20 New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration included commitments to integrate Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE), carry out sustainable energy transitions, offer sustainable financial support, reaffirm dedication to achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), tackle plastic pollution, and safeguard the ocean-based economy. Additionally, the Global Biofuel Alliance (GBA) was inaugurated, a fresh initiative to advance the growth and acceptance of sustainable biofuels, alongside creating pertinent standards and certification.

However, to tackle climate action, the G20 Summit leaders agreed on not eliminating fossil fuels, even though a United Nations report described this elimination as “essential” for reaching net-zero emissions. The G20 countries, representing around 80% of global emissions, couldn’t agree. However, they did agree to triple the worldwide renewable energy capacity and stressed the importance of reaching the emissions peak by 2025. 

Leaders agreed to increase the funds for climate change-related disasters and agreed on the funding needed for the transition to clean energy. According to the document, developing countries will require $5.9 trillion by 2030 to achieve their climate objectives. Additionally, an annual investment of $4 trillion will be essential throughout the decade for developing nations to attain net-zero emissions by 2050.

Leaders also recognized that keeping global warming within the 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) limit requires a 43% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

What to expect from COP 28 

The COP (Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), which takes place each year in a different city, is organized under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and is the primary forum for international climate negotiations. 

This year, the COP 28 will be held on November 30, lasting until December 12, 2023, in the United Arab Emirates. Leaders from nearly 200 countries will join and decide how to coordinate global actions to face climate change for the following year. 

Each year, COP is a crucial event for countries to strengthen and update their commitments under international agreements like the Paris Agreement, aiming to secure global commitments on emissions reductions, climate finance, technology transfer, and other critical aspects of climate action.

The focus areas for this year of COP28 include:

  1. Accelerating global shift to clean energy to limit warming to 1.5°C and decarbonize the energy industry.
  2. Assisting vulnerable communities in climate adaptation and recovery.
  3. Overhauling climate finance for resilience post-disasters.
  4. Promoting inclusive dialogues, emphasizing youth and Indigenous voices.

However, one of the main topics is technology and innovation. Due to this focus, there will be different efforts to highlight the focus and action required from different parties. 

The first is COP-Connect, a series of curated networking events at the end of each day with 80-150 guests, such as climate tech innovators, investors, corporate leaders, academics, and government representatives. It’s a platform to engage in meaningful discussions, foster collaboration, and establish strategic partnerships dedicated to scaling up technological solutions to combat climate change.

Secondly is the Climate Innovation Forum centered on advanced technologies shaping the future of climate solutions. This conference will feature a carefully curated array of forward-looking innovations spanning various themes, such as artificial intelligence, satellite technology, big data, sustainable energy, reducing industrial emissions, advanced materials, hydrogen technology, and energy storage.

Thirdly, the Technology and Innovation Hub houses a dedicated stage featuring a two-week program carefully curated to delve into how technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship empower efforts to combat climate change. The T&I team will organize discussions that explore the impact of technology and innovation on driving climate action. These conversations will center on how technologies like AI, IoT, quantum computing, advanced materials, and more can contribute to addressing a range of climate-related challenges.

Globant’s stance and views

“Both global leaders and the international scientific community are agreeing on what needs to be done to mitigate the climate emergency. Nowadays, they are starting to take some actions. At Globant, we not only support all recommendations and new regulations regarding reducing the carbon footprint but are also convinced that we have much to contribute to this transition. I am convinced we are in the ideal place to lead by example. At the same time, we accompany organizations in a sustainable digital transformation.” – Francisco Michref, Public Affairs & Sustainability Director at Globant.

Globant operates at the intersection of digital technology and sustainability, propelling organizations through twin transitions. In a time marked by unprecedented climate, societal, and technological changes, companies require innovative strategies and expertise to thrive in the emerging green economy.

This year, COP 28 could result in countries setting more ambitious emission reduction targets and clarifying their long-term climate strategies, particularly regarding fossil fuels as a global effort to stop climate change.

Globant subscribes to the notion that climate and technology strategies should progress hand in hand. Siloed roadmaps, stakeholders needing more alignment, and skills gaps persist as obstacles hindering organizations from expediting their transformation. 

We leverage technology and digital solutions to help organizations seize this opportunity, where Environment, Society, and Governance are crucial impact metrics. At Globant, we take it further by introducing Innovation, Inclusion, and Impact to the existing ESG dimensions, forming an ESG+I approach.

Our Sustainable Tech strategies and initiatives chart a course toward practical carbon-neutral roadmaps, drawing upon our expertise in Data, IoT, Blockchain, Cloud, Artificial Intelligence, and various other technologies. 

“Carbon accounting, sustainable hubs, data-driven sustainability strategies and objectives, ESG-compliant supply chains. The private sector needs to fast-forward all these actions by a factor of ten. We must bring decarbonization and social inclusion objectives every day, and we actually can. Through tangible and integrated sustainable data-driven initiatives. With baseline calculations of at least ten years ago, for a time-reversed compensation and curbing of emissions. Calculating past impact for a clean and inclusive future, powered by tech.” -Elena Morettini, Global Head Sustainable Business at Globant.

Discover more about Globant’s sustainable business solutions and services here.

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There is no Planet B. We all need to commit to this cause, for this generation and the ones to come. We have always believed sustainable practices to be key in our development: we have engaged in practices for lowering energy consumption and reducing disposable waste. While we reduce our carbon footprint through science-based targets, we are going to compensate for all remaining emissions.