The British Chamber of Commerce for Luxembourg's sustainability group co-organised with St George’s international school an event titled ‘Cop28 warm-up’ on Wednesday. The event featured key speakers including Andrew Ferrone, head of the Luxembourg delegation to the intergovernmental panel on climate change and head of the meteorological department at the administration of technical agricultural services, Claudia Hitaj, an advisor from the ministry of the environment, climate and sustainable development, and Tobi Oladiran, a doctoral researcher in sustainable finance at the University of Luxembourg.
Ferrone presented the key findings of the IPCC’s sixth assessment report. The report, as explained by Ferrone, concluded that a narrowing window of opportunity exists to limit global warming to 1.5°C, which is crucial for a sustainable future. He discussed the immediate impacts of climate change, forecasted changes in the upcoming decades and emphasised the benefits of reducing global emissions.
The panel discussion, focusing on the necessary outcomes from the United Nations conference scheduled to take place in Dubai from 30 November to 12 December 2023, aimed at initiating urgent action against climate change. Ferrone, joined by Hitaj and Oladiran, contributed to this discussion. Hitaj highlighted the importance of human rights and civil society engagement, while Oladiran spoke about the planning for the loss and damage fund established after Cop27.
Anne-Marie McHugh, St George’s sustainability coordinator, commented on the significance of the event and its impact on the attendees. She mentioned that 2023 is anticipated to be the warmest year on record. McHugh stressed that behavioural changes could potentially reduce global emissions by 40%-50%, a key learning from the IPCC report. She also emphasised the role of students in influencing Cop28.
Sarah Battey, vice chair of the chamber and chair of the BCC’s sustainability working group, acknowledged the chamber’s responsibility in promoting sustainability in a BCC statement. She recognised the event as an opportunity to emphasise environmental issues and demonstrate how businesses and individuals of all ages can contribute.
The event culminated in presenting a collection of postcards, designed by St George’s students with messages of hope for the future to Hitaj, intended for sharing with policymakers at Cop28.