3 takeaways from COP28 from Houston biotech, sustainability founder
Before he even had a chance to recover from the jetlag, Moji Karimi was thinking about his biggest takeaways from 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference or Conference of the Parties, more commonly known as COP28.
Karimi, CEO and co-founder of Cemvita, a biotech company with sustainable solutions for the energy transition, joined the Houston Innovators Podcast this week to discuss what his biggest takeaways were.
"It was a pretty amazing experience," Karimi says, comparing the event to how CERAWeek has evolved to really have a strong presence in its innovation-focused track called Agora. "This year you had a massive section for innovation and sustainability. I think that will become a theme in COP29 and beyond to bring entrepreneurs, investors, and more participating in the event."
Karimi's three big observations are outlined below, as is the full podcast with him sharing more about Cemvita's growth this year.
Expanding the environmental footprint
One of the big things Karimi observed was that there seems to be a rising conversation about not only how carbon emissions are effecting climate change, but that companies and countries need to look more broadly at their environmental impacts.
Specifically, Karimi learned about the new framework Task Force on Nature-Related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), an addition to Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), which was introduced a few years back.
"TNFD is the new framework to capture non-carbon emissions-related aspects of an impact on the environment, such as biodiversity loss," he says.
Language has evolved to reflect this shift too, Karimi says, referencing "nature-positive tech" and "nature tech." He says he feels like Europe has led the way so far, but in the next year or two the conversations will come to the United States.
"Some of this is driven by COP30 being in Brazil and being focused on biodiversity," he adds.
A major focus on nuclear
Karimi says he saw a lot of support for nuclear energy, which can lower the cost and carbon intensity of power. Personally, Karimi is wondering what happens if and win nuclear is better adapted, solving the current challenges the power industries face.
"What I'm interested in is so many other climate tech applications that are enabled once you have low-cost, and low-carbon power from nuclear energy. That will be interesting to watch," he says.
Actionism, not activism
Lastly, Karimi says he saw a huge push toward action, not simply advocacy. The emphasis on "actionism" included activations for COP28 attendees to share what actions could be taken now.
"The point was to all come together, no matter where you come from, and focus on what actions you can take," he says. "It was interesting to bring people together in a different way. We'll see how that translates into actions from here on."