Craig Huntbatch – Net Zero
“A big highlight for me was the announcement of the new (Glasgow) Breakthrough Agenda, with over 40 world leaders signing up to strengthen their climate action plans by 2030. The focus is on the most polluting sectors and making clean technologies affordable, accessible and attractive. Collectively this will cover more than 50% of global emissions: clean power, road transport, steel-making, affordable hydrogen and sustainable agriculture.
“There was also excellent progress towards Financing NetZero – access to funding and investment for green technologies. From a UK perspective the big step forward was the Chancellor announcing plans to make the UK’s financial centre aligned to net-zero. Under the proposals, there will be new requirements for UK financial institutions and listed companies to publish net zero transition plans that detail how they will adapt and decarbonise as the UK moves towards to a net zero economy by 2050. Many UK firms have already made commitments to reduce emissions, for example by joining the UN Race to Zero. The significant step forward now will be that organisations will have to publish their plans to an agreed standard and be open to scrutiny from shareholders and investors. This hopefully should focus firms in what steps they need to take to take and look at how they can do this effectively and affordably.
“More generally, it was great to see so many active and prominent young people at the conference, demanding action from the world leaders.”
Alistair Davison – Renewable Energy
“For me, the biggest positive outcome of the COP26 comes, less from the politician’s pledges, but from the uplifting, inspiring and demanding calls to governments from delegates, attendees and protestors. Demanding the COP do more; achieve more; decarbonise more quickly. This clarion call reverberated around Glasgow in many languages, from many viewpoints and so many global communities.
“We have seen so many times that People Power drives politics and I was delighted to see renewables of all types embraced as a must-have, mainstream building block of our future society. This was the first COP where what we used to refer to as ‘alternative energy’, is now the norm and the accepted basis of global future energy policy.
“Another excellent area of progress is the ‘climate cash’ resolution, where 450 organisations across 45 countries pledged to move US$130 trillion of funds into investments that demonstrably work towards net zero emissions by 2050. This is a potentially transformative initiative. A note of caution however: failure to meet previous COP financial pledges hangs over the Glasgow COP. Failure a second time is not an option.”
Peter Morsink – Smart mobility
“A very positive COP26 outcome came from the First Movers Coalition, with a vision to ‘Trigger demand to make emerging clean technologies accessible and scalable’. Trucking is one of the key sectors, and the Coalition’s 30 members agreed to make purchasing commitments to drive demand.
“Truck owners and operators have set a target for 30% of their heavy-duty and 100% of medium-duty truck purchases to be zero-emission by 2030. Retailers and manufacturers will require all trucking service providers to meet this commitment.
“Many countries have committed to banning vehicles with combustion engines in the future. This is great progress, but there is still much room for improvement in promoting alternatives to the car including public transport, cycling and walking.”
Evert Holleman – Energy Transition
“Remarkably little has been mentioned about the role industry should play in addressing the climate challenge. Similarly, there is a lack of expectation around how industry should reduce emissions or develop technologies for the future.
“While there is general agreement to stop investing in fossil fuel activity, there was barely any focus on how the industries that currently depend heavily on fossil fuels should adjust.
“Does that mean we are expecting today’s multinationals to lead us into the next industrial age, or are we expecting new industries to take over? What are the industrial policies that will direct the transition?”