Raymond Onovwigun, Romco Group CEO, LIVE at COP27 and TXF Geneva 2022
Last week, Romco CEO & Founder, Raymond Onovwigun, was invited to speak at both COP27, in Sharm El-Sheikh, for a ThinkIn titled “Living in a heating world: lessons from the global South“, hosted by Tortoise Media in conjunction with the ONE Campaign, and TXF Geneva 2022: Commodity Finance & Natural Resources Conference as a part of a panel discussing “Base metals: The good, the bad, and the lack of investment“.
Nov 10, 2022: Live at COP27; Living in a heating world: lessons from the global South:
COP27 stands for 27th “Conference of the Parties”. It is the United Nations Climate Change Conference held from 6 November until 18 November 2022 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. The parties are the attending countries that signed up to the original UN climate agreement in 1992.
The conference is focussed on one problem; The world is warming because of emissions produced by humans, mostly from burning fossil fuels like oil, gas and coal. Global temperatures have risen 1.1C and are heading towards 1.5C, according to the UN’s climate scientists, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
If temperatures rise 1.7 to 1.8C above 1850s levels, the IPCC estimates that half the world’s population could be exposed to life-threatening heat and humidity. To prevent this, 194 countries signed the Paris Agreement in 2015, pledging to “pursue efforts” to limit global temperature rises to 1.5C.
As a part of the event, Tortoise Media, in conjunction with the ONE Campaign, hosted a ThinkIn titled “Living in a heating world: lessons from the global South“. The focus of this ThinkIn was to consider the lessons learned from adaptation to climate shocks in the global South, and the question of compensation for climate damage, once the limits of adaptation have been reached.
The contributors were: Raymond Onovwigun, CEO & founder, Romco Group Ltd., Adenike Titilope Oladosu, climate justice activist, and Luisa Neubauer, climate justice activist.
Some key inputs from the panel:
Changing the system
In 2021, a group of young German environmental activists won a court ruling against their government, finding that the country’s climate protection measures were insufficient. The case of ‘Neubauer et al v Germany’ was named after one of the activists – Luisa Neubauer – who joined the ThinkIn to describe the usefulness of legal challenges in driving change.
“Growing up in a democracy it was never my dream to sue my own government… it’s something that no child should ever do,” Neubauer said.
There are now hundreds of climate litigation court cases worldwide, which Neubauer said could be a “hugely valuable tool”, but she warned against a tendency to romanticise what climate litigation can do, noting the court system was created by “those who tended to benefit from the climate crisis.” The courts can also be used to hamper climate action, as in the US where the Supreme Court limited the ability of the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate carbon emissions from power plants.
The role of business
Only a small fraction of waste in Africa is currently recycled, and Raymond Onovwigun of Romco spoke about the role of businesses in driving change in this area. The business, which recycles scrap aluminium and other non-ferrous metals in Nigeria and Ghana, struggled to raise capital and had to “create its own infrastructure” by encouraging other entrepreneurs to support its operations, Onovwigun said.
There was also input from the audience in Sharm el Sheikh and from the online-audience in the Zoom chat.
Some key audience inputs:
“Feels quite pertinent this one – I just heard on Radio 4 that temps here in the UK will reach 18 degrees today.” – Liz Moseley
“Luisa great words to hear from a environmental activist cutting through all the pompous nonsense.” – Iain Campbell
“Very true. Timely, impactful and targeted action is vital – it needs to address the root causes.” – Josephine Oyinlola
“One source of green funding – Green bonds, for example, are often funding large polluting companies to tack on a sustainable project on the side. The barriers to access for meaningful funding for local enterprise and entrepreneurs in the global South to transition and reduce emissions are incredibly high.” – Stuart Herbert
You can watch the full discussion here.
Nov 11, 2022: TXF Geneva 2022: Commodity Finance & Natural Resources:
TXF Geneva is one of the biggest conferences dedicated specifically to European commodity finance professionals. The final session, Base metals: The good, the bad, and the lack of investment, discussed the growth of base metals and rare earths mining as crucial to building out the renewables infrastructure required to meet the Paris climate goals.
Currently, carbon-intensive energy is needed to produce the green energy sources and green infrastructure that are crucial to the energy transition. The industry is also facing a mass lack of investment. The questions asked included: Is it up to governments to step in and boost investment in the space? And could energy majors play a more active role in mining finance as they scramble to secure longer term offtake?
Key speakers included: Raymond Onovwigun, CEO & Founder of Romco Group Ltd, Marcos Camhis, CEO of FOS Asset Management SA, Tim Wood-Dow, Lead analyst – Nickel and Cobalt Trafigura, Daf Davies, Head of Marketing TradeCloud | Cloud-based Commodities Platform, & Charles Osborne CITF Head of Commodities TXF.
Raymond commented: “There are lots of challenges ahead for our industry, but equally many opportunities for sustainable commodity production to solve them. Strong resolve and partnerships will surely connect the dots.”
You can watch the full session here.