- Shamsh Hadi
By Shamsh Hadi, CEO & Co-Founder of ZorroSign, Inc.
I am excited to share a bit of my experience at the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference or Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC, more commonly known as COP28 in Dubai, this past November and December. Hundreds of global leaders attended the event, many important commitments were made, and several pending action items fulfilled from early conferences. It was a truly huge moment for environmental conservation and climate change discussions.
As CEO and co-founder of ZorroSign, a global technology company committed to sustainability, I feel deeply the vital role I can play in fulfilling the promises of COP28—both as an entrepreneur and world citizen. I want to summarize some key takeaways from the event, and share how ZorroSign will actively be supporting COP28 resolutions in the year ahead.
COP28 Business & Philanthropy Climate Forum
An exciting addition to the Climate Change Conference was the creation of the Business & Philanthropy Climate Forum.
“The inaugural COP28 Business & Philanthropy Climate Forum was convened to provide global business and philanthropy stakeholders with a dedicated platform for exchanging ideas, fostering collaboration, and generating action in support of the world’s climate and nature goals,” noted Badr Jafar, COP28 Special Representative and Chair for the Forum. “This Business & Philanthropy Climate Forum has the potential to become an historic turning point in our collective efforts to address climate change and nature loss, formalizing this crucial community’s role in the COP process going forward.”
The Forum’s driving effort was to convert the good intentions of the conference into action. For example, collective actions agreed upon included:
- Energy transition away from coal-fired power plants; new commitments to renewable energy; reducing emissions from energy, transport and heavy-emitting industries; combatting super pollutants such as methane; and a Net Zero movement of leading healthcare organizations
- Climate finance efforts with multiple financial vehicles for climate-related projects, funding new moonshot innovation projects, carbon credits and decarbonization solutions, and more
- People and nature efforts around the development of sustainability-rich food systems, transforming food supply chains, and water resilience efforts
- Inclusion commitments such as the COP28 & SME Climate Hub for MENA, the International Indigenous Peoples Forum, ONE Amazon, Skills for a Greener Future, and calls accelerate climate adaptation and mitigation efforts that address the specific demands, needs and vulnerabilities of women and girls
Open Discussions About the Future
It was thrilling to hear the open dialog at the conference. The United Arab Emirates was criticized at times as a petrostate championing clean energy, but the small protests were respectful and focused, and the hosts were tolerant and engaged—earnestly expanding discussions that acknowledge current global economic realities, while sincerely exploring future possibilities to improve climate change impacts. It was hugely exciting to be in the midst of such a dynamic debate!
Moreover, the discussion was multi-generational and future generations were often cited as the benefactors of improvements we might make today. The participants acknowledge how much work must be done in combatting climate change, but commitments to sustainability—behaviorally, financially, politically, and technologically—are key for improving the environment for our children, their children, and their children’s children.
Not Just the Air, but the Oceans, Too
Another eye-opening experience for me was to hear so much talk about ocean conservation. Many COP28 participants and programs not only talked about climate change in the air, but doubled down on ocean conservation and reducing the negative human impact on the seas. At one point “the central dome of the venue, Expo City in Dubai, was turned into a teeming coral reef,” writes The Economist. “Turtles swam cozily with similar-sized humpback whales. A change in soundtrack saw them suddenly turned into dancing, blood-red squid.” Such emphasis on climate change’s impact on the oceans was enlightening and an important addition to the discussion.
ZorroSign’s Takeaways for Improved Sustainability
As I lead ZorroSign into 2024, I am inspired to act upon COP28’s commitments in several ways.
ZorroSign has long championed sustainability and our commitment to helping individuals, companies, governments, and organizations achieve a “Paperless Life” will continue—as will our Save a Tree, Plant a Tree program, our partnership with One Tree Planted, and our contributions to Plant for the Planet’s Trillion Tree Campaign.
As a family and a company, we will continue actively participating in the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment’s “National Carbon Sequestration Project” with a goal of planting 100 million mangroves by 2030 across the country.
Pushing into new sustainability operations, we will partner with “green data centers” in 2024—hosting our data security platform built on blockchain with UN-approved carbon-neutral network sites.
And we will continue to educate our customers, partners, and stakeholders on the more sustainable operations possible with our unique technology platform—digitizing signature ceremonies, facilitating the workflow of digital documents, and leveraging blockchain technologies to increase data democratization while saving trees, saving water, and reducing carbon emissions.
I would love to hear your thoughts on COP28, improving sustainability, and conserving natural resources for future generations! Please connect with me on LinkedIn or email me to start a conversation . . .