UK convenes PHL private sector ahead of COP26
THE British Embassy in Manila, in partnership with the Department for International Trade, assembled online Philippine business leaders who discussed climate change and sustainability.
During the embassy-hosted Philippine Green Business Leaders virtual roundtable, the United Nations’ (UN) 26th Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) High-level Champion for Climate Action Nigel Topping, as keynote speaker, discussed his role in galvanizing new, more ambitious and most credible climate action from businesses, investors, cities, states and regions, as he referenced the United Kingdom’s (UK) journey in driving down emissions while at the same time, growing its economy.
“COP26 is the first real test of the Paris Agreement, which set our longterm goal to net zero, and a process of ratcheting ambition every five years,” Topping remarked. “When you as business leaders raise your ambition, it sends a very strong signal to political leaders, and makes it easier for policymakers to be bold.”
He added: “[Bold policy…makes it easier for your peers to intensify their own climate] ambitions. We call this the ‘ambition loop,’ and hope it delivers a real step-up in climate action from governments and private sector alike.”
The climate champion encouraged local businesses to embrace and join the “Race to Zero” initiative—the flagship global campaign to rally leadership and support from non-state actors for a healthy, resilient, zero-carbon recovery that creates decent jobs and prevents future threats while unlocking inclusive, sustainable growth.
With 15 companies represented across the business spectrum, the Philippines’s senior corporate executives highlighted the importance of pursuing and embedding sustainability in their operations, while at the same time tackling significant challenges posed by the pandemic.
The Philippine Green Business Leaders virtual roundtable followed closely on the heels of the embassy’s Earth Hour events and other Cop26-related meetings. It showcased the strong commitment of the Philippine business sector to tackle challenges of climate-change mitigation, adaptation, resilience and sustainability.
“At the core of the UK’S clean growth leadership is delivering for countries most vulnerable to climate change. This, of course, includes the Philippines, which has witnessed stronger and more destructive typhoons throughout the years,” Ambassador Daniel Pruce said. “If we are to be successful in achieving a cleaner future, the role of private investment is paramount.”
Pruce reiterated the need of a wholesystem approach to address climate change in the country.
The embassy disclosed that from November 1 to 12, its government will welcome heads of state and climate-policy experts and negotiators in Glasgow, Scotland for the COP26. Said summit will bring parties together to accelerate action toward the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
As part of its contribution, the British Embassy in Manila will organize a series of thematic sessions in the lead-up to COP26. These will include representatives from the Philippine government, civil society, academia and industry leaders. The roundtable was the opening forum in this series, and set a positive tone for the events to come.
Businesses interested to join the Race to Zero campaign should send an e-mail to