Leading CEOs call for Greater Climate Action at COP27

Participants from UN Global Compact companies came together at COP27 to call for accelerated action to tackle climate change

Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, Nov. 10, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The UN Global Compact brought together representatives from the United Nations, governments and the private sector at COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh to galvanize the private sector and industry to better assess environmental risks and opportunities, set and deliver ambitious climate targets and adopt responsible practices for the transition to a net-zero and resilient world.

According to Edelman’s second annual Trust Barometer Special Report: Trust and Climate Change, a global survey of 14,000 people in 14 countries, there are fears that as the climate crisis worsens business is not trusted to do what is necessary to respond. 

Sanda Ojiambo, Assistant Secretary-General and CEO, UN Global Compact, speaking during the global climate conference emphasized the importance of private sector action to tackle the climate crisis:

“We have less than 10 years left to shift the world onto a 1.5C trajectory, reduce global inequalities and achieve the substance of the SDG Agenda. Our changing climate means, more than ever, that we are running out of time. It really is now or never for the private sector to turn their bold commitments into tangible solutions to protect our planet and our collective future. The UN Global Compact looks forward to continuing our work with businesses all over the world to accelerate our transition to net-zero.”

During COP27 over 50 leading CEOs from across the African continent who are part of the Africa Business Leaders Coalition (ABLC) presented the Africa Business Leaders’ Climate Statement outlining key commitments companies can make to galvanize climate action. The signatories also called for the global community to fulfill their climate commitments and create an enabling environment for the private sector to unlock climate finance and invest in bankable projects. 

Speakers at the launch event Climate Action Now: A Critical Priority for African Business Leaders  included Sanda Ojiambo, Assistant Secretary-General and CEO, United Nations Global Compact; Patrick Duboux, Head of BCG Africa, Senior Partner and Managing Director, Boston Consulting Group; Mark Eddo, International Broadcaster & Development Consultant, CEO, Mark Eddo Media; Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa, Chief Executive Officer, Naspers South Africa; Selwin Hart, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Climate Action and Just Transition, Executive Office of the Secretary-General; Amir Barsoum, Founder and CEO, Vezeeta; Brahim Bejelloun-Touimi, Director and Delegate General Manager, Bank of Africa; Peter Ndegwa, CEO, Safaricom; Yasmine Mohamed Farid Khamis, CEO, Oriental Weavers; H.E. Akinwumi A. Adesina, President, African Development Bank Group; Mahmoud Mohieldin, High-level Climate Action Champion, COP27 and Bogolo Kenewendo, Climate Champions’ Special Advisor, Africa Director.

The UN Global Compact, together with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and the UN Climate Change (UNFCCC), also brought together senior executives of business, industry, finance, civil society, the United Nations and Government at the High-Level Meeting of Caring for Climate. Those present discussed how to bring forward a strong business message of climate ambition and discussed tangible solutions that lead to sustainable economic growth to realize the goals of the Paris Agreement. 

The meeting was attended by Sanda Ojiambo, Assistant Secretary-General and CEO, United Nations Global Compact; Selwin Hart, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Climate Action and Just Transition at Executive Office of the Secretary-General; Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary, United Nations Climate Change Secretariat; Francesco La Camera, Director-General, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA); Eric Usher, Head, UNEP Finance Initiative; Desmond Alugnoa, Co-Founder, Green Africa Youth Organisation and Youth Advisor, Global Center on Adaptation; Shazia Syed, EVP, Unilever North Africa; Mary Konyn, Chairman, AIA Investment Management Private Limited and AIAIM HK Limited; Group CIO, AIA; Halla Tomasdottir, CEO & Chief Change Catalyst, The B Team; Guenther Thallinger, Board Member of Allianz SE and Chair of the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance; Henriette Hallberg Thygesen, EVP, CEO of Fleet and Strategic Brands, A A.P. Møller - Mærsk A/S and Solange Ribeiro, Vice-Chair, UN Global Compact and Deputy CEO, Neoenergia.

The UN Global Compact also hosted its third annual Uniting Business Africa event with the Africa Hub and Local Networks in Africa. The event focused on how the private sector can accelerate and support climate change initiatives across Africa. Discussions addressed the challenges, successes, and next steps towards implementing green supply chain policies and practice, the importance of food security and adaptation for the region, and renewable energy access and climate resilience. 

Speakers included Sanda Ojiambo, Assistant Secretary-General and CEO, United Nations Global Compact; Fethi Hanchi, CEO, Agence Nationale pour la Maîtrise de l'Energie; Abit Leheta, Chief Executive Officer, Egytrans; Ahmed Shalaby, President & CEO, Tatweer Misr; Jane Karuku, Group Managing Director & CEO, East African Breweries PLC; Helmy Abouleish, Chairman and CEO, SEKEM; Ghada Hammouda, Group Chief Sustainability Officer, Qalaa Holdings; Prajna Khanna, Global Head of Sustainability, Naspers; Jauad El Kharraz, Executive Director, Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency; Stephen Chege, Chief External Affairs Officer, Vodacom Group; Abena Asomaning Antwi, Managing Director, Africa Environmental Sanitation Consult; Mary Maalu, General Manager — Corporate & Regulatory Services, Kenya Electricity Generating Company; Nozipho Tshabalala, Chief Executive Officer, The Conversation Strategists; Brahim Benjelloun-Touimi, Group Executive Managing Director, Bank of Africa; Tomi Adepoju, Partner and Head, Enterprise Risk & ESG services, KPMG; Elizabeth Nyamayaro, Special Advisor, World Food Programme; Ayman Ismail, Chairman, Global Compact Network Egypt and Walaa El-Husseiny, Executive Director, Global Compact Network Egypt.

Notes to Editors

About the United Nations Global Compact

As a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General, the United Nations Global Compact is a call to companies everywhere 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 15,000 companies and 3,000 non-business signatories based in over 160 countries, and 69 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 


Alex Gee


Contact Data