Emmanuel Doni-Kwame, Secretary General ICC Ghana, discusses the opportunities in making the transition to net zero

The world is currently in the throes of an unprecedented health and economic crisis brought on by the global spread of the novel coronavirus.

The long term effects and impacts of the pandemic are still being assessed and will be felt for many years after the pandemic itself.

In addition to global economies going into a recession, the world is facing two emergencies simultaneously – the climate emergency and Covid-19. Suggestions that we cannot afford to address climate change, biodiversity loss and economic crises at the same time represent a false choice, all crises must be addressed at the same time. The climate emergency has been unfolding over many decades, and the first global response to it is enshrined in the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change.

Over the past 40 years the world has seen huge social improvements and technological progress. We are benefiting from a life changing digital revolution that could help solve our most pressing social and environmental challenges. Yet despite these successes our current model of development is deeply flawed.

Signs of its failure and imperfections in today’s market are everywhere. The UN Sustainable Development Goals offer a positive alternative to setting business strategy and transforming markets.

Businesses really need the goals; they offer a compelling growth strategy for individual businesses, for business generally and for the world economy.

Secondly the Global Goals really need business, unless private companies seize the market opportunities they open up and advance progress on the whole Global Goals package, the abundance they offer wont materialize.

Business leaders need to strike out in new directions to embrace more sustainable and inclusive economic models.

We must have the courage to strike out in new directions and embrace an economic model, which is not only low carbon, and environmentally sustainable but also turns poverty, inequality and lack of financial access into new markets. Complex challenges need the full and combined attention of government, civil society and business. Otherwise there is no chance of solving them. Taking the transition to net zero as the basis of our action plan, we lay out how pursuing these goals in partnership with government and civil society will lead to greater more widely shared prosperity for all.

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