From decarbonisation to gender parity, here's what's going on today at SDIM. Image: Unsplash/ben o'bro
This blog will be updated throughout the day.
- The World Economic Forum's Sustainable Development Impact Meetings are being held from 18 to 22 September in New York.
- From closing the global gender gap to decarbonizing the hard-to-abate sectors, here’s what you need to know about Day 3.
- Also... catch up on tech-focused sessions from Day 2.
Greetings on Day 3 of SDIM in New York!
Today, we're turning our attention to accelerating progress towards closing the global gender gap – and how we can innovate to help the tough-to-decarbonize industries reach net-zero.
Sourcing and scaling viable innovations to decarbonize ‘hard-to-abate’ sectors like mining and aviation will be critical to the success of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The panel discussed how we can leverage cutting-edge technologies and adopt novel strategies to accelerate the race to net-zero in these sectors - and they expressed hope for more investment and collaboration in future.
Annie Hills, Senior Adviser on Innovation to the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, US Department of State, explained the hard-to-abate industries can’t use decarbonization levers like switching to green energy, because "fossil fuels are baked into the systems". And for some materials, including concrete, CO2 is an output of the production process.
She called for greater innovation and the will and capital to scale innovation and make changes to processes.
Representing the mining industry, Benedikt Sobotka, Chief Executive Officer of Eurasian Resources Group Sàrl, said the green energy transition is the "biggest purchase order" in the history of mining demand as demand for materials is set to double by 2040.
The industry is very short of talent, and expanding the supply chain would be an "incredible challenge", but it's also an "incredible opportunity for innovation".
Accelerating Progress on Gender Parity - 10.00 EDT
Gender parity has recovered to pre-pandemic levels globally, but the pace of change is stagnating. It will take an estimated 131 years to reach full parity at the current trajectory.
The CEO of the Rwanda Development Board, Clare Akamanzi, joined inclusion experts from business and the non-profit sector to discuss how we can boost women’s economic participation and political empowerment and achieve gender parity at all levels of society.
Akamanzi said Rwanda comes in the top 10 most gender-equal countries and 61% of its MPs are women because the leadership is "deliberate" about gender inclusivity and it monitors progress.
It's about structural change, said Reshma Saujani Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Moms First, which includes subsidized childcare and parental leave, so that women don't leave the workforce when they want to become mothers.
"To get to parity, we have to fix the structure of care," she said.
"We don't talk about maternity leave, we talk about it as parental leave," said Randall Tucker, Chief Inclusion Officer, Mastercard International Incorporated. The panel agreed normalizing being a working parent was essential to support gender equality.
Not focusing on gender inclusion is actually loss for companies, added Thierry Déau, Chief Executive Officer, Meridiam. But it takes commitment to build a pipeline from hiring women interns to supporting through careers and maternity.
The Future of the Trillion Trees Movement - 14.00 EDT
Forests are essential to tackling climate change, sustaining biodiversity and providing sustainable livelihoods and economic growth. As we approach the mid-point of the SDGs Agenda, the current pace of reforestation and restoration efforts is not enough to meet climate targets, and ecosystem health is a growing concern.
The panel members, including Vaishali Sinha, the Chief Sustainability and Social Responsibility and Communications Officer at ReNew Power Limited and Thomas Crowther, Professor in the Department of Environmental Systems Science at ETH Zurich, discussed the next steps to scale the conservation and restoration movement.
Watch the full session here: