If you keep an eye on the news, you must know that COP28, the Conference of the Parties, has been underway since November 30th in Dubai. The event is organized by the United Nations and focuses on solutions and agreements to combat the climate crises.
If you want to know the basics about COP, you can read it here.
However, if you'd rather dive into the key COP28 moments so far, scroll down and learn more!
#1 - WOMEN'S PARTICIPATION AND GENDER EQUITY
Gender equity has been a central topic this year. Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, a High-Level Champion for COP28 – the title given to specialists invited by the UN to join a select two-people team –, announced the COP28 Gender-Responsive Just Transitions and Climate Action Partnership.
"Climate change is not gender neutral. Women make up the majority of the world's poor, and despite this, and maybe because of this, women and girls are at the forefront of climate action," said Razan Al Mubarak.
The partnership, endorsed by over 60 countries, aims to offer equal opportunities in both emerging and impacted job markets, besides supporting women's economic empowerment and livelihoods in areas vulnerable to global warming.
Gender equity has been one of the matters at the heart of Simple Organic since its foundation. Our company is led by Patricia Lima, founder and CEO, who will participate in this edition of the event. She will talk in a panel part of the schedule centered around the private sector. In addition, women hold 78% of the company's positions.
#2 - MORE SUSTAINABLE FOOD PRODUCTION
Image courtesy of Peter Dejong/AP
134 countries, covering 70% of the world's land, pledged to integrate both the food system and agriculture into their climate plans by 2025. They all signed the COP28 UAE Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems, and Climate Action.
Furthermore, world leaders from the US, China, Brazil, twenty-seven members of the European Union, and more took to the stage during the summit's official opening.
In 2023, the Brazilian Minister of the Environment, Marina Silva, raised the government's commitment to the local NDCs (Nationally Determined Contribution) to reduce 48% of carbon emissions by 2025 and 53% by 2030. Each Party to the Paris Agreement is required to establish an NDC and update it every five years. They cover sectors such as energy, urban mobility, forests, biofuels, solid residues, street lighting, and transportation. However, they do not mention agriculture or food systems directly.
"The declaration signed by Brazil today at COP28 brings enthusiasm for the possibility that food systems will become a priority issue for the Brazilian government on its way to COP30, which will occur in 2025 in Belém, Pará [a Brazilian state in the Amazon region]", said Gus Guadagnini, president of the Good Food Institute Brasil, in an interview for the NGO's official website.
The declaration is the first of its kind to place food systems at the center of climate discussions.
#3 RENEWABLE ENERGY AND REDUCED CARBON EMISSIONS
Image courtesy of GettyImages
The Global Climate Finance Centre was launched and is set to investigate barriers hindering investments in low-carbon projects and advance frameworks to overcome them, making climate finance more available and accessible.
The announcement of the GCFC occurred during the COP28 Finance Session panel on December 1st and included news about its headquarters in Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM). The independent think-tank and research hub has nine founding members, including major global organizations such as the World Bank and lender HSBC.
In an interview with a leading Brazilian newspaper, O Estadão, Patricia Lima, founder and CEO of Simple Organic, commented on COP28 and the participation of the private sector in combating climate change:
"If we don't leave [the event] with more concrete results this year, COP's credibility will start to come into question. Issues such as decarbonization and energy transition are not an option, but urgent matters that need concrete actions now".
A fitting reminder is that, here at Simple, we already neutralize all the CO2 emissions from our logistics chain + our retail operation. You can read more here.
#4 ANNUAL DEFORESTATION IN THE BRAZILIAN AMAZON HAS THE BIGGEST DROP IN RECENT YEARS
IMAGE COURTESY OF Ricardo Stuckert/PR
Data shows a 22,3% drop, according to the latest annual report by Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE). It represents the best result since 2019. On the other hand, numbers from the cerrado – Brazil's tropical savanna and its second-largest biome – are still alarming.
According to Reuters, Brazil also announced significant advances in the proposal to set up the global conservation fund to protect tropical forests, discussed initially at the Amazon Summit back in August, establishing an initial fundraising target of US$250 billion.
The initiative aims to strengthen the conservation and restoration of critical forest ecosystems worldwide, especially the Amazon.
In his speech, the Brazilian president recalled that the Amazon is facing one of the "most tragic droughts in its history" and emphasized the need for an economy less dependent on fossil fuels.
Moreover, Brazil's president, Luís Inácio Lula da Silva, listed measures adopted by his country, such as the previously mentioned reduced deforestation of the Amazon, the goal to zero forest destruction by 2030, and the Amazon Summit, which took place in Belém, Pará. The two-day event gathered eight South American countries home to the Amazon forest and introduced a ground-breaking chapter of rainforest diplomacy.
MORE ABOUT COP28
Specialists and world leaders are set to discuss the Global Stocktake, which assesses the global response to climate change, and enter negotiations to phase out fossil fuels.
Other key topics include food security, environmental racism, climate finance, and all sustainable finance mechanisms between countries.
In 2025, Brazil will host COP30 in Belém, the capital of the Northern state of Pará – in the heart of the Amazon – and we will surely be there.
SIMPLE ORGANIC AT COP28
Patricia Lima at COP27 in Egypt, 2022
Sustainability has been at the core of Simple Organic since day one. We share with COP the purpose of protecting the planet for future generations. It makes perfect sense for us to once again participate in the world's largest climate summit. At the UN's invitation, we will speak at one of the panels dedicated to the private sector.
Patricia Lima, our founder and CEO, will speak at the Dubai Expo City on December 9th. And, of course, we'll provide you a sneak peek at our presentation.
The speech – and a surprise video – will cover some of the initiatives we implemented throughout the past year since COP27, such as our new carbon offsetting efforts. As you may already know, besides neutralizing the CO2 emissions from some stages of our own operation, we've offset the emissions from various events we supported: the Tim Music Rio, PatBo's runway shows at NYFW and São Paulo, and the Brazil: Creating Fashion For Tomorrow exhibition, which kicked off the latest London Fashion Week (LFW SS24). Read more here.
Plus, we will elaborate on our exciting partnership with NGO Sea Shepherd Brasil and the project Net Against [Fishing] Nets. It's one of our big steps in getting on board with SDG 14: Life Below Water, one of 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations. Additionally, we will discuss our new line of SPF products (soon available in the US): Reef-Friendly formulas, free of ingredients harmful to marine life, particularly corals.