Insights about London Climate Action Week
Head of Sustainability
London Climate Action Week is here for the fifth time, running from 24 June to 2 July, and bringing together advocates, community groups, NGLCAWOs, government, public sector, business, and charities to collaborate and find innovative solutions to address the global climate emergency.
While the week is focused in London with a mixture of in-person and online events, the city itself is central to the global climate debate and the week’s events will deliver impacts well beyond the city’s boundaries. Climate change is a global issue that requires all of society to bring about positive change that will limit our vulnerability to the worst effects.
Each year London Climate Action Week focuses on several thematic areas, with all events this year encouraged to focus on:
- Accelerating the global clean economy
- Delivering fair inclusive and just climate transitions
- Expanding networks for Whole of Society Action
- Creating a greener London with and for Londoners
London Climate Week typically falls approximately at the mid-point between annual COP events, with a lot of focus this year on global agreements that may or may not be reached at COP28 in Dubai. London events will be able to cast a reflective eye on progress made since the commitments of COP26 and 27 and look ahead to Dubai with expectation, and a sense of urgency.
From the perspective of leading sustainability at RoslinCT, a cell and gene therapy life sciences business based in Edinburgh and Boston, the intersection between global health and climate change, and the role of the private sector in taking action is a subject of importance. The climate emergency is also a global health crisis. Biodiversity loss, caused by climate change, can lead to the spread of animal-based diseases through destruction of natural habitats, loss of natural resources for production, research and development of critical medicines, and reduced access to clean water and hygiene services. Understanding these synergies is fundamental for businesses to take meaningful climate action.
I was particularly interested in joining a session on just that, chaired by the Climate and Health Coalition – a group formed by the non-profit Forum for the Future and leading healthcare businesses, Bupa, Haleon, Reckitt, and Walgreens.
The session explored options and shared lessons learned for private sector action to deliver integrated climate and health strategies and ways that governments and investors can support private sector action. These included exploring ways that businesses could operate within their spheres of influence:
- Internal operations, mindsets, and employee policies – for example investing in cleaner, greener buildings that promote human and environmental health
- Products and services – strengthen existing offering to customers and collaborate on R&D
- Supply chain – work with suppliers to design strategies and solutions that deliver carbon reduction benefits
- Enabling mechanisms – for example, ensuring that an element of philanthropic giving is aligned with climate and health strategies, or that promotes widening access to critical medicines
At RoslinCT, we are at the beginning of our company’s sustainability journey, and while we are a medium-sized company, we have global reach and global ambition in our ability to make a positive impact on the planet, patients and communities.