Sign up for GZERO Media's global politics newsletter

COP26 vibes so far: "What's it worth to save everything we have?"

What's the state of play so far at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow? Why is it so urgent to speed up climate action before it's too late? What does climate justice for developing nations really mean? And how can companies do their part without greenwashing? Several experts debated these and other questions during a Global Stage livestream conversation hosted by GZERO Media in partnership with Microsoft during the opening week of COP26, moderated by Eurasia Group senior adviser Diana Fox Carney.

Gerald Butts, vice chairman of Eurasia Group, explained the difference between climate justice and just transition to clean energy, and how the political debate on climate has moved to who's responsible to what we're going to do about it.

Atmospheric scientist Katharine Hayhoe, Chief Scientist at The Nature Conservancy and Director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University., offered her thoughts on progress made since Paris 2015, why everything we do matters because climate is loading the dice against us, the need to set goals despite the human tendency to procrastinate, why we need to put value on climate because everything we have is worth saving, and why individuals should use their voices more than their actions to advocate for change on climate.

Naoko Ishii, Director of Center for Global Commons, and Executive Vice President of the University of Tokyo, detailed how we need to persuade the Japanese people to come up with a climate agenda they can own, and how to integrate the value of natural capital into economic decision-making by putting a price on carbon.

Microsoft chief environmental officer Lucas Joppa talked about why it's time for corporations to go from pledges to performance on climate action, why the private sector's role should be building climate solutions for the public sector, the importance of technology to move the needle on corporate sustainability, and why training the workforce in green skills should be a shared responsibility.

DRC member of parliament and former speaker Jeanine Mabunda Lioko discussed the paradox of a global green economy that'll still need a lot of raw materials from Africa, the facts and figures that illuminate the climate justice question, and why some climate goals are reachable for the continent — just not developing with only renewable energy.

Catherine McKenna, former Canadian minister of Infrastructure and Communities, spoke about the huge opportunity to scale up public-private partnerships on climate with blended finance, the need to track progress on top of disclosure to prevent greenwashing, and the right incentives for behavioral change on climate.

More from Global Stage

The Road to 2030: Getting Global Goals Back on Track | Dec 15 2022 11 am ET/8 am PT | Global Stage | GZERO and Microsoft

The road to 2030

The past two years have brought devastating setbacks for global development goals including poverty reduction, gender equality, and climate action. Live on Thurs 12/15 at 11 am ET, our expert panel will discuss how to get back on a path to greater peace and prosperity.

Kailash Satyarthi: Child labor increased during COVID

The pandemic not only took kids out of school. It also pushed many into the workforce. COVID raised the demand for children as the cheapest source of labor, Nobel laureate and human rights campaigner Kailash Satyarthi says during a Global Stage livestream conversation. Indeed, it's the first team we're going back on meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goal No. 8 target on ending child labor.

The perils of depending on food imports: UN Foundation chief

We all know there's a global food crisis due to the impact of shortages of Russian and Ukrainian grain, fertilizers, and fuel. But UN Foundation chief Elizabeth Cousens thinks high prices are hurting some countries even more. While addressing famine is the top priority, Cousens says in a Global Stage livestream conversation that the long-term plan should be "laying the foundation for a much more resilient, equitable food system."

No internet, no education, says Vickie Robinson

The pandemic accelerated the shift to digital. But that left behind those offline, widening the digital access gap — with big implications for education. Vickie Robinson, general manager of Microsoft's Airband Initiative, recalls how she dealt with school closing as a mother. Having in-home connectivity helped her children transition from middle to high school with some sense of normalcy. But two-thirds of school-aged kids around the world didn't have that opportunity, she says during a Global Stage livestream conversation.

Focus on Africa: hunger, energy, climate - and the path to growth

Sub-Saharan Africa was on the brink of economic recovery last year. Now, the World Bank expects its growth to slow in 2023. With global inflation on the rise, rising food and fuel costs “actually put lives at risk in a way few other shocks can," says International Monetary Fund (IMF) senior economist Andrew Tiffin.

Is the world on the brink of another global recession?

The global economy's 2023 outlook is ... bleak. Why? Ayhan Kose, the World Bank’s chief economist for Equitable Growth, Finance, and Institutions, says that unlike the 2009 and 2020 global recessions, next year's likely slowdown in economic activity — coupled with growing inflation — could be more like the one of 1982, which also came with a string of debt crises.

Digital Equity