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February 14, 2024

Published

January 26, 2023

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COP28 is underway at the Dubai Expo Center in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), through Dec. 12. The Chamber is here, leading the largest-ever business delegation to a COP, an official U.S. Department of Commerce certified trade mission.

The Chamber is hosting more than 20 events on topics ranging from AI and agriculture to decarbonizing hard-to-abate sectors and building a hydrogen economy. Our programming features top business and government leaders.

COP28 President-Designate H.E. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber declared the need to “move from goals to getting it done.” We are here to help make this a pragmatic, practical COP focused on achieving progress, with private-sector partnerships welcomed. 

The Chamber team will help ensure private sector solutions are front and center. Stay tuned for updates.

U.S. Chamber COP28 Engagements

December 9, 2023

U.S. Chamber: American Companies Working to Eliminate Gas Flaring in Iraq

During COP28, the U.S. Chamber’s U.S.-Iraq Business Council convened an event in the Iraq pavilion to discuss the importance of working to eliminate gas flaring in Iraq, a goal outlined by Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia' Al Sudani. Tackling this challenge is particularly critical given Iraq was the second-largest source of gas flaring worldwide in 2022, and Iraq continues to import electricity and gas from Iran at above-market prices.

During the event, the Government of Iraq was represented by H.E. Dr. AbdulBaqi AlSalait, Minister Consultant for Energy Affairs in the Ministry of Oil, and H.E. Dr. Fareed Yasseen, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Climate Change and Sustainable Development. A panel of private sector leaders representing companies that are all active in Iraq included Rasheed Al Janabi, CEO, GE Vernova Iraq; Jim Moshi, General Manager, Honeywell UOP Middle East; and, Nigel Jenvey, Vice President for Energy Transition Project Development, Baker Hughes.

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Steve Lutes, President of the Chamber’s U.S.-Iraq Business Council, moderated the session and explained, “The economic and environmental case to capture the flared gas in Iraq and convert it to power is crystal clear; it is a major win-win. These U.S. companies—GE Vernova, Baker Hughes, and Honeywell—are all working with the government of Iraq on gas capture projects and have ambitions to do more. We encourage both Iraqi and U.S. governments to expand and invest in these projects and help achieve the goal of ending gas flaring in Iraq.”

In February 2023, the U.S. and Iraqi governments came together for a Higher Coordinating Committee meeting in Washington, DC and agreed to accelerate efforts to capture Iraq’s flared gas, upgrade Iraq’s natural gas distribution infrastructure and reduce methane leakage, and modernize Iraq’s electricity infrastructure—in an attempt to achieve zero routine flaring by 2030 and to meet the Global Methane Pledge. The U.S.-Iraq Business Council strongly supports this effort and directly conveyed our support to Prime Minister Sudani both in Baghdad in May during our business mission and in September in New York during UNGA.  

December 8, 2023

“Business Delivers Solutions” Dinner Brings Together U.S. and UAE Officials and Business Leaders at COP28

The U.S. Chamber’s unique ability to bring together government and business leaders was on full display at the “Business Delivers Solutions” Dinner held Friday night on the sidelines of COP28 in Dubai.  With more than 400 attendees, the event was likely one of the largest-ever gatherings of business and government leaders at a COP. 

Throughout the evening, speakers highlighted how the business community cooperation with governments on climate solutions is at an all-time high.

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“The arc of human progress shows that it is technology and innovation that rises to the challenge and delivers,” said Chamber Vice President of International Business Membership Khush Choksy during his welcoming remarks.

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United States Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates Martina Strong and Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Marissa Lago congratulated both the host UAE for a successful COP and the Chamber for bringing together such a large business delegation committed to climate action.  They praised American businesses for their commitment and work. 

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The Chamber’s Marty Durbin expressed optimism about the engagement of business at COP and on climate.

“Now you may have noticed some media coverage raising questions about the historic number of businesses attending COP28.  But isn’t that great?  Isn’t that just what we need?  This is a complex, global challenge, and we need more people in the fight, not fewer,” he said.

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“And as important as these annual conferences are, our engagement is not about any one point in time, but about the long journey required to address the ambitious, and even audacious goals related to climate. Given our broad membership and extensive ties around the globe, the Chamber can play an important and unique role to represent the business community as it develops and deploys solutions to the climate challenge,” he continued.

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The event also included a panel discussion with Dr. Gavin Towler, Corporate Chief Scientist, Sustainability Technologies & Chief Sustainability Officer at Honeywell; Zoë Knight, Group Head, Centre of Sustainable Finance and Head of Climate Change Middle East, North Africa and Türkiye at HSBC; and, Eugene Willemsen PepsiCo’s CEO for Africa, Middle East, and South Asia.

A common theme from the group was the extensive partnerships that are forming between companies at all levels to complement each other’s efforts—from deploying proven technologies to developing new ones, with major private sector financing commitments. The panelists also expressed appreciation for the Chamber’s leadership and spoke about the importance of building on the momentum generated by the business community at COP28.  

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The evening concluded with a fireside chat between Marty Durbin, Senior Vice President of Policy, U.S. Chamber and Dr. Abdulla Malek, Head of Energy Transition at COP28, who gave a recap of the UAE’s work both to reduce its own carbon footprint and to forge partnerships in oil and gas, nuclear, hydrogen, renewables, energy efficiency and more around the world.

Sharing Perspectives on Developing a Global Clean Hydrogen Economy

One of the emerging themes from COP28 has been the extensive interest in hydrogen coming from countries and companies around the world.  At COP28, the Chamber joined the Atlantic Council for a wide-ranging discussion featuring viewpoints from around the world on the opportunities and obstacles to building a hydrogen economy. 

Hydrogen Panel

More than 25 participants representing business associations, companies and governments gathered at the Global Decarbonization Accelerator Pavilion in the Energy Transition Hub of the Green Zone for the discussion moderated by the Chamber’s Marty Durbin and the Atlantic Council’s Landon Derentz. 

Some of the issues raised by participants included the need for shared standards across continents for accountability and credibility in the marketplace, challenges around the continued production of the chemistry that goes into the supply chain in the face of increasing regulation of PFAS and discussion about the implications of U.S. tax policy on hydrogen production. 

U.S. Chamber Explores How Supporting Women and Youth in the Digital Economy Can Advance Sustainability

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce convened a panel of corporate leaders to explore how empowering women and youth through SMEs within the digital economy can transform trade, lift economic growth, advance sustainability and support livelihoods in developing regions. Sabine Holl, Vice President Technical Sales and CTO MEA at IBM, Msizi Khoza, Corporate and Investment Banking Head of Environment, Social, and Governance at Absa Bank Group, and Jennifer Miel, Executive Director of Middle East and Turkey at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, highlighted how investing in the growing number of youths and unemployed women in developing and emerging economies can increase opportunities for digital connectivity and economic growth globally.

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The event —Digital Drivers: How Women and Youth-Led SMEs in Emerging Economies Promote Innovation as a Tool for Sustainable Growth—outlined how a wide variety of global actors can help develop innovative solutions to allow some of the brightest talent in the world to access and contribute to local and global economies. By so doing, the private sector, governments, and multilateral institutions can improve investment climates and refine their own models and metrics for success. 

Climate threats, food insecurity, and widespread poverty are a few examples of the challenges that can be addressed by employing the untapped talent around the world through digital innovation, additionally offering an avenue for job creation for millions of youths. The U.S. Chamber will work with partners like IBM and Absa Bank to help ensure youth-led SMEs have the financial and policy support they need to catalyze innovation and change. The Chamber will also advocate for policies both in the US and in developing regions that support SME growth and empower women and youth to succeed in building innovative businesses.

One of the Tools Businesses Are Bringing to Fight Climate Change:  “A Startup Mentality”

On the Road to COP28, the U.S. Chamber forged a partnership with the UAE Independent Climate Change Accelerators (UICCA), led by Her Highness Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan.  UICCA serves as a “think, and do” tank—by creating strategic partnerships and leveraging access to knowledge, insight and experience designed to help facililate the UAE’s goal of net zero by 2050.

That partnership included supporting a “Road Show” tour of 4 U.S. cities with Her Highness in the spring.  It continued at COP28, as the UICCA hosted Chamber leaders Khush Choksy, Marty Durbin and Steve Lutes at they pavilion in the Green Zone as they facilitated a discussion with key business executives about what it will take to grow a cleaner economy.

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In conversation with Durbin, Etfal Efecinar, the Accelerator’s Executive Director noted that the partnership with the Chamber is a perfect fit. “The partnership with the Chamber was one of our first, because we both have more or less the same ideas about supporting businesses.  We know that the Chamber is working to empower private institutions interested in investing here,” she said.

GE’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Roger Martella, talked about how business is approaching the climate challenge differently.  “Nobody would mistake GE for a startup—but the future is having a startup mentality.”

Martella and HSBC’s Group Head of Sustainable Finance, Zoe Knight, both used the phrase “passing of the baton” to describe the view of the progress made at COP28.   “History will look back on COP28 for so many reasons…one of them is that baton has been passed to the private sector in partnership with the public sector,” Martella said.

“There’s so much momentum on the topic of finance.  Half of the emissions needed to [bridge the gap] are still in demonstration or not even thought of yet—so we need to be fostering a mass of startups to be able to the challenge,” Knight said.

PepsiCo’s Yasmin Fansa, Middle East and North Africa Sustainability Lead, said that for her company, its “a lot more than just funding.”  “We go on a journey with our startups—figure out their objectives, demand for their business models, and help them get to a profitable stage.”

Also on hand were two examples of the types of startups the UICCA is supporting, James Dorris, the Co-Founder and CEO of Odys Aviation, and David Vili, Founder and CEO of SolarSpace.

As startups, “We risk our business to succeed,” Dorris said.  Vili praised the UAE’s culture, with “high level people” who are committed to helping his business set up and thrive. 

The Chamber’s relationship with UICCA will continue. “We look forward to being your partner and helping you achieve this success,” Durbin said. 

U.S. Chamber Highlights Opportunities for American Business in Clean Energy Manufacturing in Saudi Arabia

Underscoring the U.S. Chamber’s work in the Middle East region, Steve Lutes, the Chamber’s Vice President for Middle East, participated as a guest panelist in a discussion on Saudi Arabia’s aspirations to establish clean energy manufacturing hubs in the Kingdom as part of its economic diversification plans. He joined the Deputy Minister of Energy, the CEO of Saudi’s National Industrial Development and Logistics Program, the CEO of TAQA Geothermal, and the Vice President of Alfanar for the event in the Saudi pavilion.

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Lutes touched on a few of the essential ingredients to creating a competitive clean energy manufacturing ecosystem in Saudi Arabia. “While having a modern, resilient infrastructure is critical, it is really important for government to work with the business community to design policies and have a regulatory framework that attract investment and support R&D and the deployment of new technologies. Having a greenskilled workforce that can step into these jobs is also vital. And, it is important for the Kingdom to think beyond their domestic market and have a trade agenda that supports exports to the GCC and neighboring regions.”

During the discussion, Lutes spoke to the long-standing presence of many American companies in both the manufacturing and energy sectors in Saudi Arabia. “We’re proud to be the home to the U.S.-Saudi Arabia Business Program at the U.S. Chamber and encouraged that the economic pillar of our bilateral relationship is strong and growing. I see a real opportunity for U.S. businesses that have been in Saudi for decades to expand their investments and operations in alignment with the Kingdom’s ongoing economic transformation and this certainly includes clean energy manufacturing projects. We also want to make sure we’re educating American clean energy and technology SMEs about opportunities in Saudi Arabia.”  

December 7, 2023

Chamber Leaders Collaborate with Indian Business Community for Climate Dialogue

Climate solutions require commitment and investment from the entire world, especially growing economies like India.  To help facilitate that dialogue, the Chamber joined with the Coalition of Indian Industry and CEEW for a Leaders’ Dialogue on the sidelines of COP28.

Chuck Chaitovitz, Chamber VP for Environment and Sustainability, spoke on a panel focused on managing global water resources.  He pointed out that often, climate change manifests itself by impacting water. 

US Chamber Indian Business Community Dialogue

“Too much water, too little water, water not in the right place.  That means that water is how we want to work to build resilience,” he said.

Chaitovitz compared the variations in the U.S.—with droughts in the Mississippi river and west, followed by flooding, to what is occurring in India and across the globe.  These kinds of issues impact business decisions.

“Our members have identified water as a key risk—they need to look at where and when there is access to good water supplies when siting a facility,” he said. 

Marty, Durbin, the Chamber’s Senior Vice President of Policy, also spoke at the event, on a different panel about business and finance. 

“Our U.S.-India Business Council is a strong partner on a host of issues,” he said.  “As we look at the broader picture of climate, we realize that we aren’t just talking about energy.  It’s also water, food and agriculture, health, biodiversity, sustainability, , etc.  The business community has both a sense of responsibility and opportunity in all of these spaces.”

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Durbin was joined on his panel by Manali Desai, Chief Sustainability Officer for Africa, the Middle East and South Asia for PepsiCo, who described the work her company is doing on regenerative agriculture and water conservation in India and beyond.  She also identified plastic circularity as a key issue, with PepsiCo having committed to a 50% reduction in virgin plastic in their packaging by 2030. 

Continuing a theme for the week, the panel discussed the need for certainty for companies to have uniform accounting mechanisms for carbon credits, water resources and more.  And in response to a question about the validity of corporate commitments, Durbin made a plea for a change in focus.

“There may sometimes be pressure for companies to make announcements, and those may or may not be realistic.  But the real goal is to reduce impacts as quickly as you can, as effectively as you can, and that’s what we should be focused on.”

December 6, 2023

Chamber Joins Panel on the Global Transition to A Low-Carbon Economy 

On December 6, the Chamber’s Khush Choksy, Senior Vice President, International Member Relations, participated in a panel on “Low Carbon Industry” during Brazil's Confederation of National Industries (CNI)’s Business Dialogue on the sidelines of COP28 UAE.

Choksy highlighted the private sector’s role globally in developing, financing, and operating innovative solutions to decarbonize across industries. Businesses are taking action in their operations and along value chains by investing in new technology and enhancing efficiency. But to accelerate decarbonization, it is imperative governments create sound policies that enable innovation and send the right market signals needed to propel climate solutions and unleash investments.

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In the U.S., the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) passed last year will have a tremendous impact on America’s ability to innovate and invest in new technologies. While it will take time for the IRA to have impact, we are now focused on having clear and transparent rules of implementation and investments have already begun to flow. Globally, the Chamber advocates for policies that are practical, flexible, predictable, and drive innovation.

The U.S. Chamber, home to the Brazil-U.S. Business Council, in partnership with the U.S. Government, led a series of Green Tech Business missions to Egypt, UAE and Brazil. Just last September in Brazil, we convened more than 80 American and Brazilian business executives from the energy, agriculture, and financial sectors for high-level dialogues with Brazilian authorities to address opportunities and challenges in the energy transition, food security and climate financing.

Choksy also recognized Brazil’s enormous potential to contribute to low carbon solutions.  These include the ability to produce sustainable aviation fuel, renewable power generation—with more than 80% of the country's electricity from renewable sources—and low carbon hydrogen, and its abundance of critical minerals, all of which will require appropriate market signals through government policies. Technology advances in these areas are increasing productivity and energy efficiency, while reducing emissions and the use of natural resources. Exchanging information and best practices for regulatory frameworks and economic incentives will help these industries reach scale and become commercially viable and is imperative to unlocking this potential.

The strategic partnership between U.S. Chamber and CNI, solidified with the MOU signed to collaborate toward COP30 to be hosted by Brazil, provides the foundation to exchange information and regulatory best practices to leverage the rich natural resources of our nations to develop and deploy clean energy, critical minerals, nature-based solutions, and climate-smart agriculture.

The panel was moderated by Davi Bomtempo, Executive Director, CNI and other panelists included Abrao Neto, CEO, AmCham Brazil, Sossy Ingirkochian, Managing Director and Head of Global Subsidiaries, First Abu Dhabi Bank, and Fernanda Baltazar, Director of Institutional Relations, Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce.

Unleashing the Potential of the Hydrogen Economy

At the Climate Action Innovation Hub on the sidelines of COP28, the U.S. Chamber convened a panel of experts to discuss the growing hydrogen economy including Mark Newman, CEO of Chemours, Dr. Carsten Rolle, head of the Energy and Climate Policy Department at BDI, Ricky Sakai, senior vice president of New Business Development at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, and John Sitler, associate director of Business Development for the U.S. at MASDAR.

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Moderated by FTI Consulting’s Ivana Jemelkova, speakers detailed the crucial role hydrogen will play in their respective decarbonization efforts and how policy can strengthen the business case of hydrogen to enable global scaling. Chemours’ CEO Mark Newman anticipates that the transformative investment incentives included in the Inflation Reduction Act could affect a significant price drop in hydrogen technology, making it cost-competitive with other solutions. Panelists also emphasized innovative strategies to derisk investments in hydrogen technology through vital public-private partnerships both in the U.S. and globally.

Speakers also underscored the need for continued collaboration between affected industries and policymakers. The Chamber and its partners will continue to push for scaling of the hydrogen economy and ensure that promising provisions such as the 45V Hydrogen PTC are properly designed to allow the largest portion of industry to participate.

Chamber Hosts Productive Dialogue with Top U.S. Trade Officials at COP28

Senior Chamber and business leaders held a productive discussion with two of the Biden Administration’s top trade officials about overseas partnerships on climate action during a COP28 roundtable. 

Enoh Ebong, Director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and Thomas Bruns, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Middle East and Africa at the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) shared their goals for cooperative climate solutions with business in a discussion led by Chamber Senior Vice President for Policy Marty Durbin. 

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Business leaders expressed gratitude for the efforts of the agency leaders to help open markets and increase exports for U.S. clean energy solutions and other environmental technologies, products, and services.  They also raised a number of issues that need further attention, including uniform reporting standards across the globe to accurately measure climate progress, better functioning carbon markets, and the need for more standardized regulatory environments between Europe and the U.S. 

The Chamber and the agencies committed to collaboration for additional trade missions and to help convene reverse trade missions that will showcase U.S. solutions to international decision makers at home.

The Chamber’s business delegation to COP28 is an official Department of Commerce Certified Trade Mission, and the Chamber’s GreenTech missions to Egypt, Brazil and the UAE have all had significant participation from federal agencies. 

Chamber and Brazilian National Confederation of Industry Join Forces to Lead on Climate, the Energy Transition Ahead of COP30

Even though COP28 is still underway—and the Chamber has some major events remaining—the Chamber is already working to make future COPs a success. Today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Brazilian National Confederation of Industry signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to partner and lead for effective solutions on the road to COP30 to be held in Belem, Brazil, in 2025.

The MOU is a natural progression of the Chamber and CNI’s longstanding relationship and the establishment of the Brazil-U.S. Business Council 47 years ago, and signals the intent of the organizations to join forces on climate, energy transition, and nature-based solutions for global impacts.

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Khush Choksy, Senior Vice President of International Member Relations at the Chamber signed the MOU on behalf of the Chamber.  “We will work with CNI to build a pragmatic COP focused on achieving tangible results with private sector investments and solutions front and center,” he said.   

Choksy noted that both Brazil and the U.S. are well positioned to be leaders in the transition to a sustainable global economy, and both the Chamber and CNI share a strong commitment to climate and environmental sustainability as well as finding innovative solutions for sustainable and inclusive growth. 

“Here at COP28 and under Brazil’s G20 presidency, our two countries can demonstrate global leadership in advancing climate solutions while enhancing both energy and food security by working together.” he continued.  

Ricardo Alban, the new president of CNI, signed the MOU on behalf of the organization. The Chamber looks forward to his leadership during this important moment for climate action and our partnership. The MOU was signed before an audience of American, Brazilian, and UAE officials and businesses.

Cleaner, Stronger: New Investments Leading to a “Race to the Top”

In the Blue Zone on Wednesday, the Chamber held an event featuring Deputy Secretary of Energy David Turk and a panel of top business leaders including Chemours CEO Mark Newman, Baker Hughes Chief Sustainability Officer Allyson Book, Uber Global Head of Sustainability Thibaud Simphal, and Chamber Senior Vice President of Policy Marty Durbin.

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A key takeaway from the group: thanks to government investments and private sector commitments, there’s now a “race to the top” both in the U.S. and abroad as companies look to take advantage of favorable policies—with the climate as the ultimate winner.  Despite concerns about WTO and trade implications for U.S. incentives, the group agreed that other countries are now moving to keep pace with the U.S. actions, creating a competitive global environment to drive climate solutions. 

Moderator Justin Worland of TIME Magazine asked Turk about the impact that the IRA, the Bipartisan Infrastructure law and other recent legislation is having.  Turk noted that the Department of Energy is “right in the heart of” helping to spend the more than $100 billion now available for clean energy. 

Turk was clear on the imperative that the U.S. now faces: “I don’t think our climate gets solved without U.S leadership.”

Turk also made some news on one of the week’s hot topics—the rules around 45V hydrogen tax credits, which the Chamber and most of the business community have strongly urged the Administration to make as flexible as possible to maximize investment.  He noted that there’s a “good, healthy differences of opinion” between the Departments of Energy and Treasury and that the Administration is working to “get it right.”

After Turk’s remarks, both Newman and Durbin emphasized just how important that would be.  “There’s no path to net zero without scaled up hydrogen,” Newman said.  Durbin noted the global interest in building the hydrogen economy, adding, “everyone wants to be in this space.  If we get this guidance wrong, we’re going to be out of the race.”

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Book, whose company is involved in two of DOE’s hydrogen hubs, noted that it will take more than just tax incentives to implement change.  “Mandatory rules aren’t enough if you don’t make them fit with incentives,” she said.  She pointed to the impact that additional conditions such as Buy America provisions can have on outcomes—either by opening doors or shutting them.  Newman also noted how important the ability to get a permit is to meeting demand, pointing to recent investments that Chemours has made in France to add capacity.

For Uber, the quest is on to get over 7 million drivers to switch to EVs, with a heavy focus on incentives and bringing the costs down for the conversion.  “Getting 7 million drivers to switch is no small feat,” said Simphal, adding that reducing capital costs for drivers would be the most important factor in the conversion. 

Durbin summed up the Chamber and business community’s role at COP28 and beyond:  “We’re proud to be here to represent the companies that are bringing solutions to the table.  It’s going to take all of us…it is okay to have audacious goals, but they won’t be achieved without a clear partnership with the private sector.”

December 5, 2023

New Mexico Governor Partners with Chamber for Major Water Announcement

In the latest clear example of emerging partnerships between the private sector and governments at COP28, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham joined the U.S. Chamber in Dubai to unveil an innovative new initiative designed to enhance water availability for clean energy and economic development. 

The Governor’s announcement was the highlight of an official UNFCCC side event convened by the Major Economies Business Forum, or BizMEF, of which the Chamber is a key member, focused on business leadership in the Blue Zone of COP28. The initiative's centerpiece is a first-of-its-kind strategic water supply that will help provide resources for water-intensive clean energy processes. Included is a $500 million investment to purchase the water supply. 

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“The U.S. Chamber is pleased to host Governor Lujan Grisham at COP28 for the unveiling of her strategic water supply initiative. Around the globe and at home, any successful approach to climate and sustainability must deliver solutions to our growing water-related challenges. The Governor recognizes the important nexus between water challenges and clean energy production, especially in arid parts of the world,” said Marty Durbin, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President of Policy. “With a bold financial commitment and novel approach to leveraging private sector innovation and entrepreneurship, this strategy holds great promise to deliver water supplies needed for clean energy production and economic development. We commend the Governor for the new initiative and look forward to an effective collaboration among business and government leaders to advance effective water policy solutions.”

This is innovation in action: We’re leveraging the private sector to strengthen our climate resiliency and protect our precious freshwater resources,” said Governor Grisham.

The Governor’s announcement was covered by Reuters

The event also included a discussion on the Global Stocktake, a process by which emissions are measured by each country as part of an overall global commitment.  

This effort will leverage the Chamber’s ongoing work on resilience and water reuse as solutions for water scarcity in the U.S. and around the world. The U.S. Chamber together with our partners recently launched the Global Industrial Water Reuse Champions Award to recognize Fortune 1,000 companies dedicated to water reuse to address water challenges inside and outside their fence lines, and in the communities where they operate.

December 4, 2023

Business Community Encourages Collaboration with EPA to Advance Climate Action

The U.S. Chamber convened a private roundtable with C-Suite executives, EPA Administrator Michael Regan, and Assistant Administrator for the Office of International and Tribal Affairs Jane Nishida.

The companies highlighted their priorities while at COP28, including environmental justice, hydrogen, permitting for carbon capture and storage projects, renewables, and the importance of natural gas to the energy transition.

EPA highlighted its announcement of the final methane rule and reiterated a desire to continue working with industry to address technical issues and questions that arise as we digest the rule in full detail. EPA also underscored the agency’s interest in ensuring flexibility for innovations yet to be developed and scaled.

Partnerships with the private sector are the only way to achieve our ambitious climate goals. The Chamber and the business leaders committed to engaging with the agency to address the issues raised.

December 3, 2023

Interconnectivity of Climate Change and Healthcare: The Private Sector's Role in Supporting Health Resilience

On COP28's thematic day focusing on health, the Chamber hosted a panel discussion about ways that the private sector is working to improve access to healthcare needed to address the impacts of climate change. Speakers called for cooperation, data sharing, public-private funding with governments and civil society to respond to the significant health impacts of climate change, affecting the most vulnerable populations in the U.S. and around the world.

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Our panel of business leaders also encouraged policymakers to draw on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic to take a holistic approach to the health-climate challenge and develop policy frameworks that foster innovation and more resilient health systems and supply chains.

Speakers included the Chamber's Khush Choksy, Steve Lutes, and Sarah Karle, H.E. Dr. Ahmed El Sobky, Chairman, Egyptian Healthcare Authority; Mr. Rakan bin Dohaish, Assistant Deputy Minister for International Collaboration, Ministry of Health, Saudi Arabia; Ayman Mokhtar, Regional President for MENA & EURASIA, Viatris; Gretchen Weightman, Senior Vice President, AMEA, Illumina; Lina Andersson, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, Viatris; Laura Lane, Executive Vice President & Chief Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Officer, UPS.

December 1, 2023

Artificial Intelligence and the Role of Public-Private Partnerships to Improve Climate Decision Making

During the COP28 thematic day focusing on World Climate Action, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce led a panel on AI and the critical role of private public partnerships to improve climate decision making. Specifically, the panel zoomed in on the emerging use of artificial intelligence to improve access to actionable data, information, and tools for decision makers.

The event featured a representative from UAE’s Ministry of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications. The UAE is the only country in the world to elevate AI to the ministerial level. 

Executives from Amazon Web Services, Honeywell, and SAP were joined by Erwin Rose, Chair of the UNFCCC Climate Technology Centre and Network to identify transparent and open boundary transitions among the public and private sector data providers and applications developers that will flag gaps in services for which roles and responsibilities are agreed and delivered for decision makers; exploring public-private partnership innovations, including more flexible approaches to share information; and providing best practices for addressing data challenges. 

COP28 AI Event

The panel emphasized that policymakers and business leaders must work together to determine a roadmap for optimizing AI’s many benefits, scale its applications, and ensuring its responsible and ethical use—specifically in the climate space. Issues were also raised on the need to build awareness among developing countries to ensure equitable access to the use of AI and its value to climate progress.

The Chamber’s Chuck Chaitovitz, Vice President, Environmental Affairs and Sustainability moderated the panel. Speakers included David Roth, Director, International Public Policy, Amazon and Alicia Lenze, Global Head of Sustainability Marketing, SAP.

To learn more about the U.S. Chamber’s work in the AI space, click here.

On the Road to COP28:

U.S. Chamber Co-Hosts Sustainability & Circular Economy Summit

As sustainability efforts are proceeding both domestically and globally, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC) joined Schneider Electric, EY, NiSource, the Business Council on Sustainable Energy (BCSE), and the Digital Climate Alliance in hosting our inaugural Sustainability and Circular Economy Summit—to underscore the crucial role that businesses play in sustainability and to share best-in-class strategies and effective policies.  

Marty Durbin, SVP of Policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce kicks off the Sustainability & Circular Economy Summit on Thursday, October 5, 2023.
Marty Durbin, SVP of Policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce kicks off the Sustainability & Circular Economy Summit on Thursday, October 5, 2023.

Corporate sustainability leaders, government officials, nonprofits, academics, and innovators convened at the Chamber over the span of two days aiming to establish a 2024 sustainability policy agenda that will unlock public-private collaboration, provide the key policy tools, and mobilize private capital to empower companies to maximize the impact of their sustainability actions, investments, and initiatives.   

At the Summit, the Chamber announced a campaign-style effort to enact the foundational policies needed to accelerate circularity and meet our ambitious climate and infrastructure goals.  

Some of the government panelists included Andrew Mayock, Federal Chief Sustainability Officer at the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), Brendan Owens, Chief Sustainability Officer at the U.S. Department of Defense, and Mandy Mahoney, Technologies Office Director, U.S. Department of Energy. 

Chamber Attends ADIPEC 2023 

Marty Durbin, Senior VP of Policy at the Chamber, joined the U.S. Ambassador to the UAE, Martina Strong, and AmCham Abu Dhabi CEO Liz Beneski, in opening the USA Pavilion at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC).

Marty Durbin joined U.S. Ambassador to the UAE, Martina Strong, and AmCham Abu Dhabi CEO Liz Beneski in opening the USA Pavilion at the 2023 Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference (ADIPEC).
Marty Durbin joined U.S. Ambassador to the UAE, Martina Strong, and AmCham Abu Dhabi CEO Liz Beneski in opening the USA Pavilion at the 2023 Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference (ADIPEC).

ADIPEC 2023 saw the energy industry unite through people, policy, technology, and capital, to ensure a just and efficient energy transition. More than 2,200 companies from across the world—representing the entire energy ecosystem and beyond—convened at ADIPEC to showcase the latest strategies and innovations that are defining the future of energy. 

As we prepare for COP28, companies are embracing the conference theme: Decarbonize. Faster. Together.

U.S. Chamber Spurs GreenTech Development to Brazil 

In September, the Chamber and the Brazil-U.S. Business Council led a GreenTech business mission to Brazil in advance of COP28. 

The mission highlighted the leadership of the U.S. business community in developing and deploying green technology and identified opportunities to help Brazil achieve its ambitious climate mitigation, adaptation, and sustainable growth goals. High-level government and business leaders focused on deforestation, the bio-economy, global food security, decarbonization, and emerging energy technologies.

Leonardo de Abranches, Senior In-Country Advisor to the Brazil-U.S. Business Council, meets with U.S. Chamber Staff at Amcham Brazil in San Paulo on the second day of the GreenTech Mission.
Leonardo de Abranches, Senior In-Country Advisor to the Brazil-U.S. Business Council, meets with U.S. Chamber Staff at Amcham Brazil in San Paulo on the second day of the GreenTech Mission.

Brazil will soon assume the presidency of the G20, with the next G20 Summit set to take place there in 2024, and will host COP30 in 2025 – the 10th anniversary of the Paris Agreement. This mission helped set the stage for continued U.S.-Brazil cooperation on sustainable economic growth and the deployment of climate solutions. 

With a global focus on climate and sustainability, the Chamber is illustrating the critical role business plays in developing and deploying innovative solutions for a clean future. 

Learn more here.

Chamber Joins DIFC at Future Sustainability Forum in Dubai

The U.S. Chamber supported the Dubai International Financial Centre’s (DIFC) Future Sustainability Forum as an Association Partner. The Future Sustainability Forum united government leaders, business executives, and innovators to share their visions, plans, and ideas on increasing the availability of climate finance necessary to accelerate climate action.

Steve Lutes, U.S. Chamber VP of Middle East Affairs, moderated the panel “Setting Credible Net-Zero Targets” at the Future Sustainability Forum.
Steve Lutes, U.S. Chamber VP of Middle East Affairs, moderated the panel “Setting Credible Net-Zero Targets” at the Future Sustainability Forum.

Her Excellency Mariam Almheiri, the UAE’s Minister of Climate Change and Environment, participated in a keynote fireside chat on the UAE’s role in creating a sustainable future. The Minister spoke about the UAE’s efforts to host an inclusive COP and noted that the private sector has a critical role to play, as governments cannot tackle the climate challenge on their own. She also added that it is important for all stakeholders involved to 'walk the talk' invoking H.E. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber’s call for a COP of action. 

U.S. Chamber Hosts High-Level Dinner During NY Climate Week

On the sidelines of New York Climate Week and the UN General Assembly meetings, the U.S. Chamber hosted a high-level dinner with H.E. Ambassador Majid Al Suwaidi, Director General and Special Representative of COP28 and David Livingston, Senior Advisor to the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate.

This discussion gathered members from across sectors of the economy to discuss priorities, plans, and challenges ahead of COP28. Both Al Suwaidi and Livingston underscored the need for private sector engagement and cooperation both at COP28 and beyond to advance global climate action. 

During Climate Week, the Chamber team held discussions on hard-to-decarbonize sectors, the circular economy, resilience, and voluntary carbon markets. The Chamber's VP of Environmental Affairs and Sustainability, Chuck Chaitovitz, moderated a panel of Danish companies—including FLSmidth, Maersk, McKinney, and Moller, and Ramboll—which highlighted the challenges presented by measuring and disclosing scope 3 emissions for the Confederation of Danish Industry. The Chamber also led a small roundtable on voluntary carbon markets with VCMI and ICVCM to catalyze an informal working group on restoring confidence in voluntary markets, and discussed the potential to convene members while at COP28. Finally, we participated in the State Department's launch of the End Plastic Pollution International Collaborative (EPPIC) as a founding partner. EPPIC is intended to help accelerate U.S. leadership and innovation during the negotiations of the global plastic pollution agreement. 

U.S. Chamber GreenTech Mission to the UAE Builds Momentum for COP28

GreenTech Business Delegation to the UAE 

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently concluded its GreenTech Business Mission to the United Arab Emirates ahead of COP28 in Dubai this November. The purpose of the GreenTech mission was to connect leading U.S. businesses with potential investment opportunities in the UAE and to learn about plans and priorities for COP28. Over 127 delegates from 68 businesses participated in the mission, ranging from startups to multinational corporations.  

Read more.

Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week

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1/4Marty Durbin, SVP Policy and Steve Lutes, VP Middle East Greeting COP28 President-Designate, H.E. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber and The Honorable Amos Hochstein.
2/4Discussion at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week with Her Highness Sheika Shamma on the Climate Change Accelerators program
3/4Marty Durbin and Her Highness Sheikha Shamma signing an MOU on the Climate Change Accelerators program
4/4U.S-UAE PACE Roundtable

In January, at the request of UAE officials, the US Chamber convened a high-level roundtable discussion among U.S. and UAE officials and the private sector focused on the Partnership for Accelerating Clean Energy (PACE), an initiative announced in November 2022 that aims to catalyze $100 billion in financing, investment, and other support to deploy 100 new gigawatts (GW) of clean energy by 2035. The discussion was headlined by the co-chairs of the PACE Experts Group, H.E. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber and Amos Hochstein, U.S. Special Presidential Coordinator for Global Infrastructure and Energy Security. Following their remarks, the deputy co-chairs – H.E. Majid Al Suwaidi, Special Advisor to the COP28 President-Designate; and, David Livingston, Senior Advisor and Managing Director for Clean Energy in the Office of the U.S. Special President Envoy for Climate – continued the conversation with executives from approximately 20 major U.S. companies.

The PACE initiative represents a shared commitment by two major energy producing countries to a swift, responsible and ambitious energy transition. This was the first meeting of the Expert Group formed by the two countries.

The following day, Chamber SVP of Policy Marty Durbin signed an MOU with Her Highness Sheikha Shamma and her Climate Change Accelerators program. This partnership can create meaningful opportunities for U.S. companies to develop new relationships in the UAE and together help drive climate solutions.

Road to COP28 Event

Road to COP28 event hosted by the Chamber with Her Highness Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan and 26 member companies.
Road to COP28 event hosted by the Chamber with Her Highness Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan and 26 member companies.

The U.S. Chamber organized a Road to COP28 event hosted by Her Highness Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, President and CEO of the UAE Independent Climate Change Accelerators (UICCA), at her home. The Chamber team was joined by His Excellency Ambassador Majid Al Suwaidi, Special Advisor to the COP28 President-Designate, for a discussion with U.S. Chamber member companies. The UAE officials made clear they value the investments businesses are making to develop and implement climate solutions. While in Abu Dhabi, the Chamber delegation also visited with Mohammed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar – a leading developer of renewable energy and sustainable urban projects globally – to discuss opportunities for collaboration with U.S. businesses.