The 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP27, was held from 7 to 18 November 2022. Sponsored by EHL and nominated by CarbonCare InnoLab (CCIL). Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
“We are the future of our society”
Incorporating sustainability into many aspects of life is no longer an option. Building a better future for our generation and the next is a universal goal. This year, the voices of many young people are finally being heard at the International Climate Change Conference, as we see the first Children and Youth Pavilion in the Blue Zone.
But how can climate issues reach a wider audience? Everyone can be part of change, regardless of profession or focus. We are the future of society and climate education is key to driving the importance of addressing long-term environmental issues while balancing profitability concerns.
raise local environmental issues
What brings me to the COP? My journey began last summer when I attended a climate advocacy training program for youth organized by CCIL. I co-founded Re-Market, a climate advocacy group aimed at minimizing plastic packaging in Hong Kong supermarkets, and our team held a press conference where over 4000 replies Announced customer perceptions on this topic.
While touching on local environmental issues, I had a strong desire to have a global-level perspective. My motivation to broaden my horizons and network led me to his COP27, the larger stage of climate negotiations. As one of the eight Hong Kong Youth Delegates elected by CCIL, we have submitted to the Department of Environment and Ecology a Hong Kong Youth Statement on Climate Action focusing on his five main topics.
- energy conversion,
- climate budget and finance,
- Youth involvement and participation.
Raising awareness of local issues is the first step, but I also want to explore how best practices from abroad can be applied to Hong Kong.
COP27 was an intensive yet rewarding journey for a two-week gathering of climate change enthusiasts and world leaders. Sharing the heat wave in Hong Kong on 14 November gave impetus to his COP adventure in collaboration with other international youth organizations.I spoke as a youth panelist
Voices of APAC Youth, Indigenous Groups and Local Communitiesbringing climate justice in the Asia-Pacific region.
Hong Kong is certainly not the most vulnerable community compared to countries such as Fiji or Indonesia, but last summer’s few weeks of 35 degrees Celsius were a red flag for us to take immediate action. We grew up experiencing the effects of climate disasters, but it was amazing to see how the other seven speakers spoke out to offer solutions for their hometowns. bottom.
COP27 BLUE ZONE: A PLATFORM TO CHALLENGE AND ENHANCE PERSPECTIVES
My journey continued with a bilateral meeting with COP26 President Alok Sharma. As a member of YOUNGO, the official youth group of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, I participated in the drafting of the Global Youth Statement. It was a great conversation about progress at COP27. We handed over a Global Youth Statement to express the expectations and demands of the younger generation.
Youth voices should not be ignored. It was nice to see Alok Sharma show us how we can participate in the climate change dialogue. It is clear that youth participation in the COP is increasing, as evidenced by the Children and Youth Pavilion held for the first time this year. What we want is for this to be a new generation of long-term inclusivity, not just a gesture.
Focusing on the intersection of business and climate action, I spent half my time in the Business Pavilion in the Blue Zone. It was insightful to see how companies are moving from internal sustainability initiatives to engagement with upstream and downstream stakeholders. A lecture on exponential climate change measures in the supply chain to halve the volume, interacting with farmers and fishermen, not to mention how to know the emission levels of agriculture, as they are not educated in carbon accounting. Issues were raised in doing so. activity.
To learn more about remarketing, I had the opportunity to speak with Owen Bethel, Nestlé’s Environmental Impact Officer for Sustainable Packaging. While it has been interesting to understand the current obstacles facing multinational consumer goods brands, it has also prompted me to consider how I can personally participate in advancing the circular economy. rice field.
Helena Gualinga: the girl who shared her story
My COP trip ended with a speech by 20-year-old Ecuadorian Helena Gualinga.
This is the COP that should have happened 30 years ago.I want compensation, not compensation I could feel how frustrated and desperate she was just to create a future for the place where she was born and raised.
Finally, we see significant progress in climate justice. For the first time, the Loss and Damage Fund has been established to provide financial assistance to vulnerable countries to recover from climate disasters. This has been a topic rich countries have been reluctant to touch so far, as it involves their own responsibilities and financial commitments. Flooding in Pakistan and wildfires in Europe, these consequences of climate change have compelled us to take action.
Sustainability in the hospitality industry: where are we?
While progress has been made in climate justice, fossil fuel results have been disappointing. There will be no attempt to phase out fossil fuels this year, but scientists warn of rising global emissions levels. As a student of hospitality, I am keenly aware of the changing energies and how the hospitality industry can play a role in driving a sustainable economy.
From installing smart energy equipment during hotel construction to applying energy-saving measures during hotel operations, this investment is essential to deliver long-term financial and social returns. I’ve seen hospitality groups like Accor and Airbnb commit to sustainable tourism.
Commitment is the first step, but there were also potential challenges to achieving net zero in the hospitality industry. Scope 3 emissions are the most difficult to calculate in terms of a company’s carbon emission levels, as both upstream and downstream stakeholder emissions must be considered. The company’s attempt to engage multiple stakeholders, from amenity suppliers to tourists, is essential in addressing the long-standing data gap.
Our Planet, Our Future: Join the Transformation
While it is undeniable that the hospitality industry recognizes the importance of implementing sustainability transformation, it is far from net zero compared to other industries. EHL students are future leaders in the hospitality industry. How can I contribute to accelerating this transition? From food waste management in our F&B sector to sustainable sourcing practices in our hotel operations, we can incorporate ESG into our management style. We look forward to the sustainable transformation of the hospitality industry.
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