Friday December 02 2022.

2 minute read

Down but not out at COP27.

COP27 – total flop, or just a pitstop on the road to climate security?

Many have deemed it to be somewhere in between. Apart from the groundbreaking decision to establish a loss and damage fund, incremental progress has been made since COP26. Although an agreement was reached at the eleventh hour in Sharm el-Sheikh, there is no room for diversion if we are to reach the targeted 1.5 degrees global warming. A sticking point in the agreement was the use of fossil fuels; to ease off, or eliminate entirely? It’s unsurprising that the decision was made to continue ‘[accelerating] efforts towards the phase-down of unabated coal power and phase-out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies’ as agreed at COP26. Despite India’s proposal to reduce the use of all fossil fuels, which was supported by 80 countries, oil remains the backbone of numerous economies and energy production relies heavily on gas. Both are unequivocally globally significant fuels, and oil and gas exporters hold even greater sway following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

But after a summer of Just Stop Oil activists gluing themselves to your commute and soup-ing some (glass-protected) masterpieces, there is undeniable popular pressure to radically lower the global use of fossil fuels. If the UK is to keep 1.5 alive, all signs point to renewables.

The UK must be proactive. This is an opportunity to lead in sustainable investment and climate protection by funding carbon reduction and removal technologies. The Autumn budget prioritises skilled workers and commits to energy, infrastructure and innovation. The renewable energy sector embodies these ambitions.

While onshore wind farms remain blocked for now, opportunities are rife for offshore wind and solar power, alongside low-carbon sources such as hydrogen gas and nuclear energy. Renewable infrastructure is a trifold investment: in businesses, in job creation, and in the future of the planet. Carbon removal technologies are a hotbed for innovation, as carbon capture is essential to support natural solutions such as planting new forests and peatland restoration.

COP is one of few global political events where countries and companies send representatives. When discussing climate resilience, there’s a need for planetary, rather than national, thinking. Actions taken here can have the severest consequences for countries elsewhere, such as Vanuatu and Pakistan. With COP28 as our next port of call, there can be no delays to progress. I say to Sunak’s government: show up, and don’t cop out.

May 01, 2024

5 minute read

Mayoral elections: who’s who in the battles to lead our regions?

As devolution deals continue to be struck across England, mayors are becoming some of the most powerful and recognisable people in our politics.

Apr 17, 2024

3 minute read

The Greenbelt: a general election battleground

Since the Greenbelt was introduced in the 1950s to limit the sprawl of cities, it has largely been protected by policymakers. However, ahead of the upcoming general election, battle lines are being drawn between Conservatives and Labour regarding its role and purpose, amid a wider planning debate.

Written by

Natasha Kendall

Account Director

Read more about The Greenbelt: a general election battleground

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