Dr. Ralf Witzler

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22/12/2023

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NEWMARK AND THE COP28 – ATTENTION GAINED BY CYCLING

What does cycling have to do with communication? In response, a brief digression on how NewMark has once again set new standards for its customers.

The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP) is a major event of global interest. Countless media representatives reported from and about the conference in Dubai at the end of 2023. It was about the big issues of the day: climate protection, climate justice, phasing out the use of fossil fuels and global warming. Yes, it was also about money, for example for the fund to deal with climate-related damage and losses.

So it’s no easy task to get through to the media and reach a broader public, especially these days, with unwieldy topics. One example: global disclosure standards for corporate sustainability reports, or standards for a global baseline of sustainability disclosures. Such standards are being developed by the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), which has been based in Frankfurt since COP26. The Financial Centre Initiative Frankfurt Main Finance (FMF), a client of NewMark, has taken up the cause of publicising this topic and its importance.

What can be done to publicise this topic in the context of COP28 in Dubai? Now cycling comes into play. A little passion for both cycling and the UN’s sustainability goals, plus a little imagination and the idea of the “Tour de COP” was born. Initiator and organisation manager Yusef Ahmed, FMF expert for the MENA region, looked for other sponsors in addition to FMF and found what he was looking for: digital solutions provider for companies Nagarro, Siemens, the UNDP, law firm Mena Legal and a few others were quickly convinced.

For the first time, the 2022 “Tour de COP” travelled from Cairo to the COP27 venue in Sharm El Sheikh. This year, the route went from Muscat, the capital of Oman, or more precisely the GUtech, the German University of Technology there, over a good 700 kilometres to the exhibition grounds in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. By bike, of course. The author of this blog was allowed to join us.

A cycle tour along the coast of the Gulf of Oman, through the mountainous border region near Al Ain to the destination. Stopover in Abu Dhabi for the “Ambassadors Ride”, a cycle tour through the city. More than twelve ambassadors, mainly from European countries and employees of the country representations in the Emirates, joined the ride, which not only attracted attention on the roadside and an impressive group photo in front of the Emirates Palace, but also attracted international attention on the social media channels used.

FMF’s message, which was additionally reinforced via interviews and later placed in several places at the actual COP28: Without the financial industry, the transformation of the economy will not succeed. The financial industry enables the risk-conscious and minimised financing of the reorientation of the economy towards a lower-carbon future. Frankfurt in particular, the most important financial centre in continental Europe, can play a decisive role in this.

Cycling brings you into contact with nature and local people more than any other mode of transport. On this tour, it became clearer with every kilometre: this planet is worth making an effort to preserve – and allow the phrase to be pedalled. On the bike, in the financial industry, in the debates at the World Climate Conference. And one last thing: after the COP is before the COP. So see you soon in Baku, at COP29!

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