The COP26 Climate Change Conference is just two weeks away. It’s a key moment for the world to address the two greatest threats to children’s futures: climate change and poverty.
At the IKEA Foundation, we work with our partners to help families afford a better life while protecting the planet. We believe climate action must also provide opportunities for economies and communities to thrive. That’s why, in the run-up to COP26, we’re calling for an integrated approach that addresses climate change while also providing meaningful livelihoods.
It’s vital that governments, philanthropy, finance and business work together in unprecedented ways for the greatest impact. As the momentum builds, here’s how we’re pushing for change.
Taking climate action
In the race to zero carbon economies, no one should be left behind. The transition must be fair and inclusive and every business in every sector must play its part. Many of our partners will be at COP26, working hard to make it a success.
The We Mean Business Coalition is hosting a pavilion where business leaders, governments and philanthropies will discuss how to take forward actions from the summit. Health Care Without Harm is hosting several events on low carbon healthcare, in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other public health organisations.
You can find out what some of our partners would say if they had 10 minutes to speak at COP26 in our Changemakers for the Future series.
Transitioning to renewable energy
We’re also working to unlock new pathways to sustainable, equitable, more prosperous futures for the many people through a transition to renewable energy. We must break our reliance on fossil fuels and invest in locally produced renewable energy.
Our CEO Per Heggenes recently addressed the UN General Assembly at the High-Level Dialogue on Energy in New York on this topic. He invited governments, financial institutions and the private sector to join us in our collective ambition to reduce 1 billion tons of emissions and empower 1 billion people with renewable energy. We will be taking these discussions forward at COP26.
Together with our partner Sustainable Energy for All and the Rockefeller Foundation, we will host a dedicated SDG7 Pavilion for the People and for the Planet at the summit. The pavilion will provide a venue for critical and inclusive conversations on the transition to renewable energy.
We believe regenerative and circular agriculture is another key pathway to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. These practices can also help restore biodiversity and empower rural communities to adapt to climate change.
In the run up to COP26, we are taking a critical look at the issues facing our food systems. We’re partnering with the Outrage and Optimism podcast in a new series called the Future of Food, which talks to everyone from the world of food, from farmers to chefs.
We have also partnered with Now This media to look at how climate change could impact the future availability of some of our favourite foods, including coffee, seafood and meat. And our portfolio lead for Agricultural Livelihoods Petra Hans recently spoke to CNBC Africa on the urgent need for people and planet positive methods in food systems.
Another key development is the World Benchmarking Alliance’s seminal report evaluating the commitments of the world’s 350 most influential food and agriculture companies to transform our food systems. The report reveals worrying gaps in the industry’s preparedness for climate change. Companies need to step up now, so that the SDGs and the Paris Agreement stays within reach.
The time to act is now
Developed countries must take decisive action to reduce their own emissions. At the same time, they must invest in developing countries that need to drive their own transition to a zero-carbon economy. At COP26, we call on world leaders, the business and finance sectors, and civil society to embrace this opportunity.
Follow us on our social media channels for the latest news in the run up to COP26.