2022: Another year of “good intentions” or will the tailwinds deliver climate results?
February 08, 2022
Moving through the early weeks of 2022, it seems that much has changed since January 2021. Although progress is neither perfect nor enough, the tailwinds are more auspicious than ever before. What will it take for us to convert these possibilities into action?
2021 was alarming from a climate perspective. The IPCC Sixth Assessment Report laid out what we, around the globe, experienced in distressing weather events.
At Glasgow’s COP26 we saw unprecedented announcements: an important initiative on methane, progress on carbon pricing and movement on forests and coal-fired power generation. The financial community turned out, promising better metrics and incentives and regulators formed the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB).
The hype surrounding COP26 reminds us of another unprecedented announcement at COP21 (2014), which resulted in the eponymous Paris agreement. Unfortunately, eight years later, the UN has given a FAIL mark to 75 countries relative to their Paris commitments. So, why would we be more optimistic about COP26?
Image sources: COP26 flickr, UK Parliament, LA times, Konstantinos Tsakalides and OGCI library
Where COP21 left it all to governments as nationally determined contributions (NDCs), the road to COP26 was paved with Net-Zero targets and commitments – from both the public and the private sectors. We see an unprecedented convergence of good intentions and capability: policies and regulations are in motion, capital allocation and investment dollars for climate have risen exponentially, new technologies and solutions are being capitalized and progress will be monitored. These are all favourable tailwinds. Yet we see emissions increasing rising again 2021 emissions from fossil fuels estimated to be up ~5%yoy in 2021 as the economy re-opens and continues to use outdated technologies and processes.
Tailwinds do not deliver results…we do!
Unfortunately, good intentions and capability alone will not solve these complex problems. We need to act; to..
Measure… we have the tools to measure emissions and quantify reductions. Let’s use them to deliver on commitments.
Collaborate… greenhouse gases are not limited by company or national boundaries…let’s work together
& deliver now… every year, we emit another 50B tonnes of GHG much of which accumulates in the atmosphere and oceans. We need to deliver reductions today.
The OGCI Climate Investments’ portfolio companies have detected over 150 MT tonnes of methane , yet only ~15 MT tonnes of those emissions have been eliminated. Let’s use the measurements, collaborate and deliver on our commitments. We have the solutions, we just need to focus on actions.