‘Future leaders’ call for stronger voice in net zero transition

Global survey reveals only 28 percent of young people feel ‘heard at leadership level’ on sustainability

Global survey reveals only 28 percent of young people feel ‘heard at leadership level’...

A global survey of young business professionals has revealed a growing appetite among the next generation of leaders to take a more active involvement in the journey to net zero.

With COP28 just one week away, KPMG’s ‘Leaders 2050’ team interviewed 363 young people from 38 countries to take a snapshot of their interest in the climate summit and their appetite for positive action and change on issues including the climate crisis.

An overwhelming 95 percent of the respondents – aged between 18 and 24 – revealed they wanted to be more involved in organizations’ sustainability-related decision-making processes, while more than half (58 percent) said they had a high awareness of global sustainability challenges.

Despite 81 percent of respondents believing the private sector ‘plays a critical role’ or ‘should play a larger role’ in the COP28 process, strikingly fewer than a third of those questioned (28 percent) felt they were being heard at leadership level on net zero and sustainability.

The research was conducted by Leaders 2050 – KPMG’s professional network for future leaders in all sectors who have an interest in net zero, clean growth and sustainability, with a focus on diversity and inclusion. The network’s mission is to equip the next generation with the skills, networks and purpose needed to drive towards a more sustainable future. 

With leaders and delegates arriving in the United Arab Emirates in a matter of days for COP28, the Leaders 2050 network has developed four key action points for decision makers, based on the survey findings:

1.Define ‘just transition’ and clarify how this concept intersects with all other COP 28 themes, including finance, accountability, and energy. Integrate ‘just transition’ and social impact considerations into decarbonization commitments and pathways.

2.Prioritize collaboration, to work with competitors, communities, multilateral organizations, governments, and NGOs to accelerate climate action.

3.Engage young leaders in your climate and ESG work (including at COP 28), creating an environment where they can contribute to solutions.

4.Prioritize ESG skills development for future leaders in areas like renewable energy and storage, energy-efficiency, measurement and reporting, and circular, low-waste manufacturing and operations.

For media queries, please contact:

Brian O’Neill - Senior Manager, External Communications, KPMG International
E: brian.oneill@kpmg.co.uk
T: +44 (0)7823 668 689

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