Dear Members and Friends,
The Global Leaders have now departed COP26 in Glasgow and left the detailed discussions to their experts and civil servants. On the face of it, there are signs of some progress on, reducing deforestation, targeting methane reduction and improvements in individual Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC’s). But these appear to fall short of the lofty ambitions for COP26, especially as some of the large nations have yet to improve their NDC’s, compared to the commitments made in Paris and some large players have not committed to the reduction in using coal fuel. As always at these conferences, it is not the ambition or strategies that matter, but actions. With announcements taking place every day, it will take several weeks after the end of COP26 to assess the cumulative effect of all the commitments being made, and their impact on emissions and global temperature reductions. We will be hosting a COP26 Post-Event Debrief on Wednesday 17 November to discuss and debate the key conference outputs from the perspectives of various panellists and exploring what this means for UK business and the climate action agenda in general — I hope you will join us.
This week, we have held three virtual events based on the topics being covered by our Climate Change Working Group.
The first webinar was on Extreme Weather and Climate Resilience. Mark Harvey (from Resurgence) and Stuart Senior (from Gleeds) spoke about how the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events have risen around the globe, characterised by heatwaves, heavy downpours, hurricanes and wildfires. There were some interesting questions raised by our members which lead to a great Q&A session.
The second webinar in the series was that of Nature-based Solutions. Members of the BEI Nature-based Solutions (NbS) sub-group composed part of an expert panel and gave an overview of NbS and the great contribution this makes to fighting and mitigating the effects of climate change. Our panellists Emma Davies (from Palladium), Catherine Wallis (from DAI), Alex Chausson (from University of Oxford) and Xiaoting Hou Jones (from International Institute of Environment and Development) provided some key insights and examples from their organisations’ NbS activities.
The final webinar in the series was on the Built Environment, with some great presentations from Peter McGettrick (from Turner and Townsend) and Julian Vercruysse (from Mott MacDondald) highlighting the challenges around the built environment. Our panellists showcased some real-world examples of how to tackle issues facing this sector and elaborated on how they integrate these solutions into their own work.
Turning our attention to next week, we are looking forward to the publication and launch of the three BEI Climate Change Working Group Reports. These reports will showcase British capabilities in each of the sub-sectors and provide a unique perspective of the expertise and solutions our BEI members and UK companies can deliver. This will be a hybrid event, with an in-person launch event at our 23 Grafton Street office and live streaming for anyone who would like to follow online. Ahead of the launch, I would like to extend my thanks to the three sub-groups who have done such a great job in pulling together these invaluable reports. There are only a few spaces left to attend in person, so please do get in touch here if you would like to join.
I would also like to draw your attention to our COP26 Post-Event Debrief and invite you to join us online. We will be discussing the key outputs and implications of COP26 from the perspectives of various panellists and exploring what this means for UK business and the climate action agenda in general. Join us on Wednesday 17 November from 2.00pm and contribute to the discussion.
A full calendar of other upcoming events is available here.
For more on the first week of COP26, our sister company BFPG prepared a piece entitled Taking Stock of the World Leaders Summit at COP26. The piece points to ‘cautious optimism’ about what can be achieved over the rest of the COP26 conference, recognising that there was still much more to be done.
In addition, our sister organisation D-Contemporary gallery has kicked off their exhibition aligned to climate and environment and coinciding with COP26, Verdant Futures, curated by Sean T Ross. If you have some time, do pop in and see some of the amazing displays and the innovations the portray.
Finally, I wanted to reiterate my thanks to all the teams who have worked to create three very impressive reports that clearly showcase UK expertise and experience that our members offer globally. We are looking forward to the release of the reports and, more importantly, the ability to engage broadly with stakeholders and explore how our members can support them in addressing the critical issues relating to the climate emergency.
It seems winter is upon us as the temperatures remain firmly in single figures — wrap up warm and have a lovely weekend.
With Best Wishes
Chief Executive Officer
British Expertise International
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Currently most of our events are hosted virtually and we are starting to explore face to face and hybrid event options as the government eases socialising restrictions. For any event registration support please contact the events team. Click on titles to access full event details. The full calendar of events can be viewed here and recently added event dates are highlighted with an asterisk*.
10th November* — BEI Climate Series: Climate Change Capabilities Report Launch
11th November — BEI Infrastructure Working Group
17th November — Roundtable with Rushanara Ali MP — Trade Envoy to Bangladesh
17th November — BEI Climate Change Working Group
17th November* — BEI Climate Series: Post-COP26 Debrief
22nd November — Education Working Group Roundtable with Alicia Herbert
23rd November — BEI Diversity and Inclusion Working Group
23rd November — Event with the Ambassador of Azerbaijan to the UK
24th November — UNICEF & Education Systems Recovery
25th November — Lunch with Andrew Mitchell CMG
25th November — Doing Business with USAID
30th November — Roundtable with Trade Envoy Lord Davies
7th December — Jamaica: Infrastructure Opportunities
8th December* — Clean Growth Opportunities in Mexico
14th December* — Roundtable with Trade Envoy Marco Longhi
27th January* — Doing Business & Opportunities with the EBRD
External News & Events
2nd — 22nd November — Department for International Trade (DIT) will host a virtual trade tour of Europe during the month of November to equip UK businesses for success in the region.
6th November — Stories from the frontline: Nature-based Solutions delivering for people, climate and nature. Drawing on a major report released this year by 15 environment and development organisations, Nature-based solutions in action: lessons from the frontline, this session will take participants on an interactive trip around the world as we explore real-life high-quality NbS and how they are changing people’s lives, protecting or restoring nature and driving climate action.
7th — 10th November — The Antigua and Barbuda High Commission will host a business forum following the 40th Anniversary of Independence on 1st November 2021. Contact the High Commission to find out more and register for your place.
9th November — Lessons from the frontline– how can NbS deliver development and climate benefits?The highly interactive session shares evidence on how nature-based solutions (NbS), when done well, can help address those interconnected challenges of climate change, nature loss and rising poverty and inequality. Building on case studies from the ‘frontline’ and engaging with session participants, the session will highlight key ingredients for success and challenges and opportunities for NbS to deliver development and climate benefits on the ground.
10th November — How can local organisations working with nature build and spread resilience? This highly interactive session will demonstrate that local organisational and associational capability is fundamental for nature-based solutions to be sustained through sharing examples around the world supported by The Forests and Farm Facility (FFF). FFF — a partnership steered by FAO, IIED, IUCN and Agricord — now has a track record of providing such catalytic support in a range of countries in Latin America, Africa and South Asia. Participants will be able to learn and discuss evidence from FFF experience in a range of contexts shows that where resilience is increasing it is because local organisational strength and innovation is spreading.
16th November — Department for International Trade (DIT) is hosting a free webinar on Doing business in Singapore. For UK SMEs, Singapore is one of the easiest places in the world to start, run and do business (World Bank, 2019) as both economies have similar business & legal practices and share similar technical standards. Learn more and register here.
30th November- DIT is hosting Japan Market Briefing which is part of the Technology Growth Programme. The aim is to support UK based SMEs to grow their overseas presence. Colleagues from the British Embassy in Tokyo, JEITA, and the Japan Fintech Association will be joining us. For more information and to register please visit here.
7th December — UK Export Finance is hosting their fourth UK Trade and Export Finance Forum. They will return to the QEII Conference Centre in London from 09:00–19:00. This event will look at the role of trade finance in the transition towards clean growth and renewable energy. Learn more and register here.
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