Your partner in British Dutch Business

Dear Members,

First of all, we want to congratulate you with a fantastic campaign "Chambers unite for a greener future". It was great to see how all BCC over the world created awareness and engagement amongst their members in the run up to Glasgow, as public-private partnership is key for change. Read more.

We came to Glasgow with the goal of bringing the leadership of non-state actors to support enhanced ambition from governments and accelerate action toward the goals of the Paris Agreement.

We believe that while there is still a gap that needs to be urgently closed, we have seen many signs of progress, from leading countries and from non-state actors in all sectors. If implemented faithfully these actions will deliver progress in meaningful ways across the three pillars of Paris: mitigation, adaptation and finance. Glasgow has not guaranteed 1.5°C, but it has kept the prospect of achieving it alive.

The Glasgow Climate Pact has put science, nature and urgency front and centre, and galvanized global efforts behind 1.5°C, with a focus on the 45% emissions cuts needed this decade. It has also called for doubling adaptation finance and acknowledged the importance of addressing loss and damage, an initial step forward for the most climate-vulnerable communities.

Every year of this decisive decade matters. The request for all countries to raise climate targets in line with Paris by the end of 2022 is critical to narrowing the remaining ambition gap necessary to take 1.5C off life support. It’s also encouraging to see language on fossil fuels, an important first.

Keeping 1.5 alive requires clarity of purpose and urgent, near term action to drive systemic change. Glasgow has helped to bring the non-state actor and government agendas closer together, focused on the specific solutions needed to decarbonize key sectors and build resilience. At COP26, we have seen positively reinforcing actions by sub-national governments, industry, and finance, in the global south as well as the global north — signals of the breakthroughs and economy-wide transformation we need, from deforestation-free supply chains to EVs, green steel to green hydrogen. These signals represent the dynamism of the non-state actor agenda in driving the ambition loop for accelerated government action.

This momentum, though significant, is far from sufficient. Emissions continue to rise, climate devastation continues to intensify. People are frustrated, angry and sceptical – and legitimately so. Vanessa Nakate told delegates at our closing High-Level Global Climate Action event. “It is hard to believe business and finance leaders when they have not been trustworthy in making their pledges a reality… We desperately need you to prove us wrong.”

As we board the Glasgow train, that is our shared challenge. We have all heard the commitments. The currency of building trust — and the only currency that matters now — is immediate action that will be reflected in bending the emissions curve and  increasing resilience. To ensure commitments are followed through, our work ahead focuses on turning pledges into near term plans and enhancing accountability for delivering on commitments through better tracking of progress and impact.

As laid out in our five-year plan for the Improved Marrakech Partnership for Enhancing Ambition — we will also deepen engagement with national governments, further regionalize our work and continue to foster action on resilience and finance, especially for emerging markets and developing countries. We are pleased that the Parties have recognized our collective work in plenary sessions and warmly welcomed the five-year plan in the Cover Decisions, including support of the High-Level Champions to the Global Stocktake. We look forward to taking this forward in partnership with the incoming High-Level Champion from Egypt as soon as they are appointed.

If you would like to use your voice to mark the close of COP26 and the urgent task that now follows, we feel these messages are key:

  • Glasgow has not guaranteed 1.5°C, but it has kept the prospect of achieving it alive by calling on governments to come back next year with Paris-aligned near-term targets.

  • Glasgow has created unprecedented convergence between investors, businesses, cities and subnational regions that can drive real economy transformation — now all actors must deliver.

  • Glasgow will accelerate the move away from coal and fossil fuels and elevate the importance of addressing loss and damage. But much more to be done on these issues, and to place resilience at the heart of climate action in solidarity with vulnerable communities.

The race for a better world is on.

Kind regards,

Nigel Topping, High Level Champion for Climate Action COP26
Gonzalo Muñoz Abogabir, Conference of the Parties (COP) Champion for Chile, COP25 High Level Climate Champions.