Chambers of Commerce: uniting to address climate change in the run up to COP26

Nina Skubala
Head of Climate Strategy | Business West
10th September 2021

Climate change is the single most important long-term issue for our planet and society. We at Business West are serious about the role that businesses can play to address climate change – to meet the scale and the pace of the challenge ahead. We are on our own net zero pathway and through Trading to Net Zero are engaging the business community and regional decision makers to do more.

The pace and scale at which we will all need to act is enormous, business, cities and countries cannot act alone. Business West, as an accredited Chamber of Commerce has joined forces with 127 Chambers from 7 continents with more than 80,000 members to unite efforts to address climate change ahead of COP26.

Together we will do this sharing approaches, resources and journeys and how will be key to mobilising business efforts.

In the run up to COP26, Business West will be sharing stories from across the West demonstrating how businesses here are stepping up to take action – be it those who are making a start, those who are making progress to net zero and those who are developing the products and services to address climate change.

We are working with our members on an extensive programme of events throughout the region so that businesses can learn more about the steps that they will need to take and to share their journeys and inspire other businesses to do more. See our events listing here

We are also considering the role that business can play across the region to collaborate with our councils and authorises to push for the behaviour change and infrastructure needed to enable the transition to net zero and climate resilience. We have set up a Climate Advisory Group and have an active Planning, Transport and Climate Change Group leading in this area. 

Our recent survey, which attracted nearly 500 responses, showed that businesses of all sizes and all sectors are taking action on climate change across the West. Seventy percent consider climate change to be a business issue and almost 2/3 are taking action – be that monitoring energy use, switching to electric vehicles, on-shoring manufacturing and using recycled and reusable materials. There are of course many barriers to overcome so that businesses are able to act faster.

All businesses have a role to play. Those who have yet to begin, need to make a start. Those who have made a start, need to do more. 

And for Chambers of Commerce, like Business West, we need to make sure that our members and the wider business community are encouraged and supported on their journey. 

Business West recently shared its approach to climate change with the US Green Chamber of Commerce and will be participating in the Zero Carbon Tour when it comes to Bristol, Swindon and Cheltenham.

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