COP26

COP26 Week One

In this blog we recap events from across the first week of COP26 and where the Carbon Tour team were.

Words:
Charlotte Cameron
Images:
PlanetMark_COP26_Green_Zone
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What happened:

There has been immense anticipation in the build up to COP26, in part due to it being delayed a year because of Covid-19, but largely because it has been hailed as the most significant climate conference in history.

There were significant outcomes that were announced in the first week of the Summit, and research showing that with new international pledges global warming may be limited to under 2oC, which is a slightly better result than previously anticipated.  

But, there are some improvements…  

One of the first major outcomes from COP26 was announced on 2 November involving more than 100 nations committing to ending deforestation by 2030. Part of this deal involves at least $1.7bn of funding to go to indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs). 
 
As our partners at Cool Earth explained, the success of this deal will be working alongside indigenous rainforest communities, putting solutions in place that support both people and planet. “Cool Earth has been backing indigenous people and local communities for 15 years and has shown it is the most effective, scalable, and just way of keeping trees standing.” 

Promising news out of  COP26 on 3 November UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that by 2023 most big UK firms and financial institutions will be made to set out public plans on how they hit net zero carbon emissions.  
 
To avoid greenwashing, an expert panel will be set up to set out the criteria these plans need to meet. This will promote greater transparency for larger firms claiming to be on a pathway to net zero. 

On 4 November, COP26 focused on accelerating the global transition to clean energy and one of the major outcomes saw 44 countries and 32 companies and regions agreeing to phase out coal-fired power.  
 
Some 30% of all carbon emissions globally come from coal-fired electricity generation, which is why Planet Mark welcomes any international agreement to phase it out. What is disappointing is that many of the main emitters have not agreed to sign up. 

On Friday, the Summit turned to youth and public empowerment, with thousands of youth activists taking to the streets of Glasgow demanding climate action
 
The event, organised as part of the Fridays for Future movement, demonstrated that power doesn’t just lie in the hands of government or large corporates but with individuals too, particularly the next generation. 
 
We know the importance of public empowerment and education in climate action, and that is why it is embedded in our certification process through helping businesses to engage their employees. 
 
We also know the importance of climate education in younger years, which is why we work with our partners the Eden Project to deliver school workshops as part of our Development Certification. 
 
After a busy week at COP26, it’s important to reflect on the progress that we have made in tackling the climate crisis. It is by no means the end of the journey; in fact, the conclusion of COP26 will mark just the beginning, but we are heading in the right direction and with continued momentum, ambition and hope we can achieve our goals. 

That’s why we’re loving a new campaign from our partners at Cool Earth which shares 100 reasons to be optimistic about the climate action that has happened so far. From world marches for climate awareness to reduced costs of renewable energy and German grandmas fighting climate change, there is plenty to be hopeful about.

Planet Mark team takes Glasgow:

There has been immense anticipation in the build up to COP26, in part due to it being delayed a year because of Covid-19, but largely because it has been hailed as the most significant climate conference in history.

We have been fortunate enough to be in Glasgow throughout COP26, taking part in a range of events and sharing our learnings from the Zero Carbon Tour, particularly how businesses are responding to the net zero carbon transition.

We started off on Sunday 31 October joining the Electric Road to COP26, an electric vehicle (EV) cavalcade organised by EVA England and EVA Scotland, where we discussed accelerating the uptake of electric vehicles. This raised some important discussions around the charging infrastructure in the UK and what more needs to be done to avoid “charger anxiety”.

It was great to see some familiar faces too as we visited some of our members around Scotland,  including EXTREME International’s youth-focused hub where we were able to deliver them their Planet Mark certificate in person.

We also joined several roundtable discussions including an afternoon with Normative and Google to discuss the incentives that can be offered to help SMEs join the Race to Zero.

We also joined several roundtable and panel discussions including an afternoon with Normative and Google to discuss the incentives that can be offered to help SMEs join the Race to Zero. CEO of Planet Mark Steve Malkin also joined the Advertising Association’s Ad Net Zero Global Summit to discuss how the advertising industry can reach net zero and help bring suppliers and clients along in the process. Steve also shared some of the learnings uncovered through visiting businesses of all sizes across the UK with the Zero Carbon Tour.

The Planet Mark team have also been sharing learnings from the Tour in the media with BBC News and Sky News with Kay Burley.  

 

Zero Carbon Tour London

Following COP26 in Glasgow, the Planet Mark team and the Carbon Battle Bus will be heading back to London, where the Zero Carbon Tour first began, for a special Grand Finale Week in partnership with IoD and Prologis UK. 

Join us at one of the below events as we share the net zero message with the business community and accelerate the UN-backed Race to Zero as part of the UK’s #TogetherForOurPlanet campaign. 

As part of these events, we’ll explore various aspects of net-zero, decarbonisation and sustainability, and discuss the concept of net zero carbon and why it is critical for businesses in this #DecadeOfAction.  
 

Attendees will hear Carbon Stories and the impactful projects being undertaken to reduce businesses’ carbon emissions in London. 
 

It will also be a great opportunity to hear from the Planet Mark team first-hand about the outcomes of COP26, and what it will mean for businesses in the UK.  

London Borough of Sutton | Roadmap to net zero | Zero Carbon Tour Tickets, Mon, Nov 15, 2021 at 2:00 PM | Eventbrite 

London Borough of Hillingdon | Roadmap to net zero | Zero Carbon Tour Tickets, Tue, Nov 16, 2021 at 9:00 AM | Eventbrite 

London Borough of Brent | Roadmap to net zero | Zero Carbon Tour Tickets, Tue, Nov 16, 2021 at 3:00 PM | Eventbrite 

Zero Carbon Tour Finale | Institute of Directors in Pall Mall Tickets, Thu, Nov 18, 2021 at 12:00 PM | Eventbrite 

The Planet Mark team will to be on the ground in Glasgow for the entire conference. Sign up to our Close of Play daily news alerts to hear the latest news, updates and outcomes.