If you think cleantech needs more digitization and more innovative funding, you need to watch these 6 panels at COP26.
COP26 is the first real test of the Paris Agreement as countries come back with updated commitments to limit global warming to under 2 degrees Celsius.
Bringing cleantech online and increasing the role of finance are key to project completion and growing cleantech adoption.
Among COP26’s two weeks of programming are 6 must-watch panels relating to digitizing cleantech and cleantech financing.
The world is going to Glasgow, as 20,000 delegates, scientists, world and business leaders from 196 countries converge on the Scottish city for the landmark climate change summit, COP26. Billed as “probably the most important [climate summit] since 2015,” by former UN climate chief Christiana Figueres, COP26 is hosting a series of discussions on digital cleantech and the urgent need for financial innovation to fund this paradigm shift in the coming years.
What exactly does ‘COP26’ stand for and how did we get here?
COP26 stands for the 26th Conference of Parties, the latest meeting in a series of annual climate change fora that began in 1992. In that year, over 100 nations signed the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, pledging to preserve the climate and reduce emissions. That said, it was only in 2015 in Paris that all countries formally committed to limiting global warming to between 1.5 — 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
These commitments are known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), which have to be updated and increased every five years. This is why COP26 is so important, since it is the first major test of the 2015 Paris Agreement — national governments are expected to bring new commitments to the table. The task is a tall one. The global community needs to ensure that 28 gigatonnes of CO2e are removed annually by 2030, over and above existing updated NDC promises and 2030 pledges to limit warming to 1.5C. By way of comparison, global emissions in 2021 are expected to be close to 60 GtCO₂e.
6 must-watch cleantech panels
Much of the technology to combat climate change already exists, but we still have a way to go when it comes to bringing cleantech online and marshalling finance to fund the projects we need to tackle emissions. We need to get cleantech financing right so that projects are not hamstrung by a lack of capital.
“Finance is essential to accelerating the transition to net zero and achieving the full ambition of the Paris Agreement,” Mark Carney, former Bank of Canada and Bank of England Governor.
COP26 is hosting a range of discussions on digital cleantech and finance, so EnPowered has put together a list of 6 must watch panels that will be happening over the first two weeks in November. Click here to see details of all COP26 panels and events. You can watch the events live for free by subscribing to the COP26 YouTube channel.
The Economics of Climate Change — Nov. 2nd @ 14:30-15:30 GMT (6:30pm-7:30pm ET)
- Hosted by Oxera Consulting LLP, Europe’s foremost economics and finance consultancy
- 6 guest CEOs and founders of some of the fastest growing cleantech start-ups will talk about “[…] how economics can provide the toolkit for harnessing the multi-disciplinary skills that will ultimately make decarbonization possible.”
Commercial Buildings: A Real Asset in Addressing Climate Change? — Nov. 4th @ 09:30-11:00 GMT (5:30am-7am ET)
- Hosted by the Better Building Partnership, a collaboration of leading UK commercial property owners focused on sustainability
- Discussion will look at “[…] how financial instruments can be used to mobilize capital and scale-up investment in decarbonizing commercial buildings.”
Scottish EDGE Climate Funding Event — Nov. 4th @ 15:00-16:30 GMT (11am-12:30pm ET)
- Hosted by [NatWest Group](), a major UK retail and commercial bank
- Sustainable companies across Scotland will pitch their businesses live to judges for a chance to win £100,000 ($138,000) from the Bank of Scotland
Technology and Data Are Key to Save the Environment — Nov. 9th @ 15:00-16:30 GMT (11am-12:30pm ET)
- Hosted by Hitachi, and featuring Gajen Kandiah, CEO Hitachi Vantara
- Panel will look at the role that AI, machine learning, 5G, data analytics, IoT and the cloud can play in reducing carbon footprints
Financing the Sustainable Cities of the Future: What will it take to get there? — Nov. 11th @ 15:30-17:00 GMT (11:30am-1pm ET)
- Hosted by Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance, among others
- Panel to showcase innovative solutions on “[…] how to best leverage public and private finance to unlock the trillions of financing needed over the next decade for low-carbon, climate-resilient infrastructure in cities.”
- A key focus will be how to raise ambitions and “close the financing gap” to future-proof the world’s cities
Tech for our Planet: Digital Solutions for Climate Challenges — Nov. 11th @ 18:00-20:00 GMT (2pm-4pm ET)
- Hosted by PUBLIC — which helps re-imagine and build digitally-enabled public services—and the UK Cabinet Office
- Of the 5 Challenges outlined by the panel, ‘Challenge 3: Thinking Smart’ is of particular interest, as it asks the question “how can we better capture and share energy consumption data across the grid.”
- Sub-topics in Challenge 3 include: supply-demand forecasting and dynamic response enablers, energy performance of buildings and assets; and the expansion of IoT sensors across the grid
Public pressure is mounting on governments to follow through on their climate change commitments, yet more needs to be done through 2030 to ensure a sustainable future. While internal politicking and lobbying are causes for concern, there is also amazing potential, especially in the private sector to catalyze cleantech adoption.
Companies like EnPowered are working to bring cleantech online in order to properly leverage data to drive down emissions, and products like our on-bill payments platform—Payments—are taking up the call to create transparent, flexible, and hardware agnostic financing solutions. If you’ve been inspired by any of the discussions listed above and want to boost your company’s cleantech efforts, don’t wait—none of us have that luxury—reach out to EnPowered today to learn more.