COP26 Day Eight Summary – 9th November 2021

COP26 Day Eight Summary – 9th November 2021

Tuesday was Science and Innovation Day at COP26, looking into reports and the science behind climate change as well as the future of technology to help maintain the 1.5oC goal. 

Twenty-three governments have announced plans to increase their investments into clean energy production, including China and India, two of the largest emitters.  These nations together account for 90% of the public investment globally into low-carbon electricity technology last year.  Other plans announced include scaling up renewable fuels and man-made carbon capture tech, decarbonisation of heavy industry and the chemical sector and the production of renewable materials. 

The UK government, as well as the governments of Canada, Germany, India and the United Arab Emirates are participating in a new initiative known as the Industrial Deep Decarbonisation Initiative.  The nations taking part now have commitments to disclose carbon embodied in major construction projects before or by 2025, which will then provide a basis for a reduction target by 2030 for embodied carbon.  Relating to this, fifteen businesses are getting ready to launch the “ConcreteZero buyers club”, which will put pressure on producers to supply net-zero concrete. 

Twenty-eight global companies that together span finance, mining and manufacturing businesses have pledged to increase both the supply and demand of “green” hydrogen; hydrogen produced without creating carbon emissions.  Hydrogen has the potential to replace fossil fuels, but currently most hydrogen is acquired through methods requiring fossil fuels. “Grey” and “blue” hydrogen are both made using natural gases or coal. 

The Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence, made up of the EU and 18 national governments, has published a report that details how AI could help achieve net-zero and how governments could help support this. The document has 48 recommendations for policies and businesses along with case studies of AI initiatives already occurring. The full report can be found here. 

The publication of a non-paper summary of possible inclusions to the final agreements was made over the weekend and Alok Sharma, the president of COP26, has confirmed a paper draft will be made overnight. The new documents will allow the negotiators and delegates keep in contact with leaders and colleagues remotely, before the final document is agreed on at 6pm Friday. The Climate Action Tracker has however published an analysis of the pathway that COP26 commitments would lead down, with the result seeming to be around 2.4oC, almost an entire degree above the ideal goal of 1.5oC. This is factoring in that some long-term goals set by nations have non-credible plans for delivering said goals. 

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