During the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), world leaders have
announced a flurry of plans to combat climate change, from plans to phase out public funding for coal-fired power to a
pledge to end deforestation.
The most polluting fossil fuel, coal, is being phased out by more than 40 countries, as well as 23 new ones. These include countries such as Poland, Ukraine, and Vietnam, which use coal heavily.
Several of the major nations said coal would be phased out by 2030, followed by poorer nations by 2040.
In addition, at least 20 countries including Italy, Canada, the United States, and Denmark, along with public finance institutions, have committed to stop public funding of overseas fossil fuels by the end of 2022, diverting the cash to clean energy instead.
Several world leaders - including those from the US, India, Australia, Turkey, the EU and China - have agreed to speed up affordable and clean technology worldwide by 2030 through a UK-led initiative.
The first five targets are referred to as the "Glasgow breakthroughs" and are expected to cover over 50% of global emissions.
Here they are:
- ENERGY - Clean power becomes the most cost-effective and reliable alternative on the planet
- ROAD TRANSPORT - Zero-emission vehicles become the new norm and are available, affordable, and sustainable throughout the world
- STEEL - On the global markets, near-zero emission steel is the preferred choice, with efficient practices and near-zero emission steel production occurring in all regions.
- HYDROGEN - The goal is to make renewable and low-carbon hydrogen available globally at affordable prices
- AGRICULTURE - Climate-resilient, sustainable agriculture will become the most popular and widely adopted option for farmers globally
As a powerful greenhouse gas, methane is emitted by livestock farming and fossil fuel extraction. Both US and EU initiatives have been launched to reduce methane emissions.
There have been dozens of heads of state who have signed the pledge, which commits nations to cutting methane emissions by 30% by 2030.
Government officials in the UK announced that financial firms controlling about 40% of global assets - equating to £95 trillion have committed to 2050 net-zero goals, which include limiting global warming to 1.5C.
Rishi Sunak announced that Britain will become the first country to force UK financial firms to publish net-zero plans from 2023 on how they will reach net zero to stop greenwashing.
Five countries, including Britain and the United States, as well as a group of global charities have pledged $1.7 billion to support indigenous people's land rights and forest conservation.
As well, the Scottish government has pledged £1 million to help those affected by climate disasters. In a press conference, Minister Nicola Sturgeon stated that her government would partner with the Climate Justice Resilience Fund to "address the loss and damage" resulting from climate change.
THE ROAD TO NET-ZERO AND 1.5C
The world is off track to meet global goals and stay within "well below" a 2C rise above pre-industrial levels due to the current national action plans for curbing emissions.
Climate talks at COP26 are under pressure to keep the safer 1.5C goal on track, secure climate finance for poorer nations, and finalise some parts of the Paris climate agreement.
The COP26 president and US climate envoy have indicated that developed countries are on track to deliver $100 billion in climate finance to developing countries by 2022 or 2023 - after having missed the 2020 target.
Emtec Energy are pleased to see the progress made so far and feel a strong foundation is being built for a net-zero future.
We would love to see the UK & Devolved Governments taking further steps to reduce the barriers to installation for Renewable Energy, such as Permitted Development rights and Business Rates.
We also hope that the DNOs will strengthen their efforts to enable to connection of new generation throughout the country.
Over the last month or so we have seen an influx of requests from a wide variety of businesses looking for us to support them on their path to net-zero, primarily with large scale on-site Solar PV installations and in some cases Battery storage solutions to complement existing renewable energy generators.
If your organisations would like to better understand the implications of COP 26 so far or would like to discuss the next steps you can take towards Net Zero,
please contact us today