5 Environmental Sustainability Trends for 2024
Reflections from COP28 and looking ahead to next year.
The 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was recently held in Dubai, UAE, and brought government officials and heads of state, business leaders, young people, climate scientists, journalists and various experts together to accelerate global efforts to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change.
Reflections from COP28
I had the opportunity to spend a full week in meetings and sessions, and am energized by the engagement – early numbers of delegates indicate this is the most attended COP ever.
A common thread pulled through discussions surrounded the criticality of public/private partnerships. When we think about climate change, this is the crisis of our lifetime. The progress we make in this decade will be critical for future generations. As we look ahead to 2024, one thing is clear: we must drive action and we must do it together.
As I reflect on the conversations I had at COP28, five trends rose to the top and should be top of mind for all of us as we move into the new year.
Environmental sustainability trends for 2024 and beyond:
1. 2024 will be a year of accounting for progress on climate action.
2. The world’s energy delivery systems will start to show major cracks in the next three years. Governments worldwide must prioritize and incentivize smart grid development in 2024 to avoid major issues.
3. The growth of artificial intelligence (AI) creates an opportunity to use this new technology to further our sustainability goals.
4. A 20-year-old technology, Power over Ethernet (PoE), will finally get its moment in 2024.
5. Nature-based solutions to climate change will gain traction.
We’re at a pivotal moment, but with bold, strategic, and collective action, I believe we can help mitigate the worst outcomes of climate change, ensuring the opportunity to build an inclusive future for all.
Read more about what Cisco has accomplished around sustainability, and where we hope to make progress, in our 2023 Purpose Report.