How the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) affects your small business

Small plant shoot growing out of dry, cracked land

The Effect of COP 26 on your Small Business in 2022 and Beyond

The 26th Conference of Parties (or COP 26) is said to be the most important meeting of world leaders to ever have taken place. COP 26 was held in Glasgow, Scotland and ran from October 31st 2021 to 12 November 2021. To make COP 26 as successful as possible, businesses of all sizes have a key role to play. Regardless of whether sustainability is a core value for your small business, COP 26 will affect your business in 2022 and in the years to come.

This article will look at how the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) affects your small business, including:

  • COP 26 successes and failures and how these affect your small business.
  • How your small business can get behind the COP 26 effort.
  • COP 26 and the opportunity for your small business to influence the response to the climate crisis.

COP 26 Successes and Failures and how these Affect your Small Business

COP26 was once again a step in the right direction when what is needed is a leap towards the finishing line. As governments across the world fail to understand the drastic need for change and the urgency in which this change is required. However, there were some successes of COP26 that everyone, especially small businesses, can get behind.

Renewable energy - Cop 26 and Small Businesses

One of the main aims of the 26th Conference of Parties was to promote the use of renewable energy and accelerate the phase-out of coal. However fossil fuel subsidies were not banned at COP26, meaning the liklihood of keeping oil and gas in the ground becomes reduced.

Despite the disappointing outcome of COP26, due to the fact that so much energy is used in production and business promotion. By swapping to renewable energy your small business can have a big impact.

There are plenty of energy providers nowadays which only offer power from renewable sources such as windfarms or solar power at an affordable rate. Why not have a look into these and see which can work for your small business?

Wind turbines in a field

Prioritising the Planet - COP 26 and SMall Businesses

One of the biggest successes of COP26 was that the parties agreed to put less than 1.5C of global warming back on track. The pledge to limit global warming suggests a global will to prioritise the planet. Perhaps this is something that we could bring into our small businesses, could you be prioritising the planet more?

Deforestation - COP 26 and small businesses

Another very important target for COP 26 was to curtail deforestation and 120 nations promised to end and reverse deforestation by 2030. You can help with this as a small business by switching to only use recycled sources in your business supplies, products and packaging. That way your small business will not be responsible for cutting down any new trees and natural habitats can stay intact.

Ecosystems - COP 26 and Small Businesses

One last example of a goal for COP 26, which your small business can help to achieve, is to protect and restore ecosystems. As a small business, you can to sponsor local projects which support wildlife and biodiversity. This will not just help the environment, but also promote your small business in a very positive light and give you plenty of moral satisfaction.

How your small business can get behind the COP 26 effort

To make COP 26 as successful as possible and halt climate change, businesses of all sizes have a key role to play. Getting behind the COP 26 effort, as both an individual and a small business, is something we have to do to secure a future for humanity.

You can do your bit by joining the COP26 campaign to Race to Zero. “A global campaign for a zero-carbon recovery that creates decent jobs, and unlocks inclusive and sustainable growth”, you will be helping to prevent the worst impacts of the climate crisis. 

Race to Zero and Small Businesses

To join the COP26 Race to Zero as a small business, you need to follow the 4 A’s:

  • Ambition – Sign up through Business Action for 1.5C or through the SME Climate Hub. Set your business targets through a short-term plan which will be approved by the Science Based Target Initiative.
  • Action – Plan how your goal will be reached and start acting to realise this.
  • Advocacy – Let people know what you are doing and why it is critical to minimise global warming to 1.5C.
  • Accountability – Your commitment and progress will be given the credit it deserves on a platform designed by the UK government. There will also be support if you are struggling to achieve your environmental commitments.

By following the 4 A’s your business can make a real difference and will inspire other businesses to follow suit – something which definitely needs to happen to make sure warming is limited to 1.5C.

Path through a forest

COP 26 and the opportunity for your small business to influence the response to the climate crisis

With the UK having hosted the 26th Conference of the Parties in Glasgow , UK small businesses have never had the opportunity to assert such influence on how world leaders deal with climate change.

The role of UK small businesses in COP26

We all know how society works needs to change for us to secure a safe future for humanity. There needs to be a push for environmental justice, green jobs and a change in public understanding among many other factors.

We will need to make pretty much all aspects of our lives sustainable to avoid a global warming of over 1.5C. Therefore, why not take this chance to make your business as environmentally-friendly as possible?

Use our Small Business Sustainability Checklist to set yourself and your small business targets which you will have to push to achieve and will create a lasting impact on how your business functions. Hold yourself accountable by letting your customers know about your sustainability goals and make updating your clients on your progress part of your marketing strategy.

Better yet, sign up to the Road to Zero initiative and let your business play a role in one of the most important summits to have ever taken place. Your business will receive credibility and support on how to proceed and lower your emissions.

Small Businesses and COP26 - the impact in 2022 and beyond

The significance of COP26 cannot be overstated and as small business owners, we all have a part to play in making COP26 as successful as possible. By reading this article, you have already taken the first step towards understanding the objective of COP26 and how your small business can get involved. Now is the time to take action and there are so many ways your small business can get involved and make a difference. Download our Small Business Sustainability Checklist for more inspiration and ideas, to help you do your bit as a small business owner. 

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