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Walk to COP27: accountants welcome

Author: ICAEW Insights

Published: 20 May 2022

An awareness-raising walk (or run, cycle or wheelchair) from Glasgow to Sharm el-Sheikh is seeking a wide variety of participants from all sectors of the community, and that includes accountants.

A major climate-change awareness drive set to roll out in the weeks up to COP27 is eager to enlist members of the UK’s professional services community – and accountants are invited to get involved.

Kicking off on 22 September, Walk2Cop27 is encouraging people all over the world to walk, run, cycle or wheelchair the equivalent distance from Glasgow, host city of last autumn’s COP26, to the follow-up event’s location: the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh – where COP27 will open on 7 November.

Along the way, participants are invited to attend 14 virtual or hybrid town-hall meetings held in key cities in the countries between Scotland and Egypt. Under the banner “Walk, talk, act”, the meetings will provide details on the challenges that each country is facing – and the steps it is taking – in its efforts to tackle the event’s four core action points:

  • net zero – drive down greenhouse gas emissions to the lowest possible levels;
  • resilience – ensure people and planet can thrive despite the inevitable increase in average global temperatures and related changes in weather patterns; 
  • justice – ensure that climate action is fair and inclusive; and 
  • circularity – design the replacement systems we need in a truly sustainable way.

Other cities on the itinerary include London, Paris, Vienna, Beirut and Jerusalem.

To build the largest possible base of support, Walk2Cop27 is mobilising six stakeholder groups: governments and cities, universities and schools, friends and family, NGOs, faith organisations and the business community. With the latter in mind, the event is aiming to drive interest through professional associations.

Participants can sign up to the event as individuals via atlasGO from 1 July. Once they’re on board, they can then bind together in teams aligned to friendship groups, locations or the companies they work for.

“COP26 was disappointing to many,” say the event’s organisers, “but it did bring together more organisations, and more people from different backgrounds, than previous COPs. We want to keep climate action at the forefront of the world’s agenda and help make COP27 a success. It’s a public good – it’s there for us to make the most of.”

Looking ahead to the event, ICAEW Director of Sustainability Richard Spencer said: “This is a brilliant initiative and a great opportunity for our members to get involved in climate action – and for member firms to engage their people.”

For full details of the event, head to walk2cop27.com

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