City Voices: Business and Philanthropy Take Center Stage at COP28

The inaugural Business & Philanthropy Climate Forum at COP28 aims to bring together leaders from the private sector and philanthropic organizations to drive tangible action and address the climate finance gap.

Next week, Dubai will host COP28, where over 70,000 individuals from around the world will gather to discuss and address climate change. The UAE’s COP28 Presidency has emphasized the importance of inclusivity and engagement with underrepresented communities. As part of this effort, COP28 will feature the first-ever Business & Philanthropy Climate Forum, bringing together 1,000 business leaders, philanthropists, policymakers, and stakeholders to collaborate and find innovative solutions. This article explores the significance of this forum and the potential impact of business and philanthropy in addressing the climate finance gap.

Unleashing the Power of Business and Philanthropy

The Business & Philanthropy Climate Forum aims to harness the power of the private sector and philanthropic organizations to drive meaningful action on climate change. With global investments of over USD 3 trillion per year needed to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, the involvement of business and philanthropy is crucial. Private capital markets have grown exponentially over the past decade, reaching over $23 trillion, while philanthropic capital amounts to well above $1 trillion annually. By leveraging these resources, accessible and targeted solutions to the climate finance gap can be unlocked.

Overcoming the Periphery Perception

For too long, business and philanthropy have been viewed as peripheral players in global climate discussions, often seen as part of the problem. However, this perspective overlooks the immense potential they hold in driving change. The private sector, with its financial resources and innovative capabilities, can play a consequential role in generating the multiplier effect required to bridge the climate finance gap. Philanthropic capital, known for its flexibility and patience, can also contribute significantly. By shifting the narrative and recognizing their potential, business and philanthropy can become integral to the solution.

Collaboration for Impact

To achieve meaningful progress, governments, cities, businesses, and philanthropists must work together in parallel rather than isolation. While governments have a leading role to play, evidence suggests that the private sector holds untapped potential for accelerating climate action. The Business & Philanthropy Climate Forum provides a platform for engagement and collaboration, fostering new and constructive ways to address climate challenges. By aligning efforts and sharing expertise, stakeholders can create a more inclusive green agenda and produce outcomes that surpass what any single group could achieve alone.

Closing the Climate Finance Gap

One of the most significant impacts business and philanthropy stakeholders can make is to help fix climate finance. The estimated annual investment of over USD 3 trillion required to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 is a substantial challenge. However, by leveraging private capital flows and philanthropic resources, this gap can be closed. The Business & Philanthropy Climate Forum offers an opportunity for CEOs and philanthropists to explore and implement 22 potential actions immediately. By taking action now, these stakeholders can contribute to a sustainable future.


As COP28 approaches, the inaugural Business & Philanthropy Climate Forum sets the stage for collaboration and action. By engaging with business leaders and philanthropists, COP28 aims to unlock the potential of private sector resources and philanthropic capital to address the climate finance gap. This inclusive approach recognizes the importance of all stakeholders in achieving global climate and nature goals. By working together, governments, cities, businesses, and philanthropists can drive tangible change and create a sustainable future for generations to come.






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