From the need for agreements that focus on action, rather than targets and soundbite promises, to the need for better learning for how to achieve effective climate investment, Chris Barnett (Partner), discusses his hopes and expectations for conversations around energy at COP26.
Update 9 November: reflections on energy discussions at COP26
“It is great to have this commitment to consign coal to history, although many of our clients (international investors) have already committed to stop investing in coal power – so perhaps there is some recycled news here!
“More interesting, though, is the ‘just transition’ declaration, and whether this goes far enough:
- Can we really make progress in ensuring a just, equitable and inclusive transition to renewable energy?
- Can we really accelerate access to clean energy for the poorest in society?” – Chris Barnett
What do you expect to be discussed at COP26?
I expect a lot of discussion on climate finance and some big commitments to mobilising more private investment
What would you like to see come out of COP26?
I’d like to see agreements that don’t just focus on targets and soundbite commitments, but meaningfully consider climate justice for the most vulnerable.
What are the key issues currently surrounding this topic?
Not enough learning is being done on how to achieve more climate investment in practice, especially in low-income country contexts. Ongoing challenges for delivering on commitments include: not enough bankable projects, mobilising local capital, and addressing governance/political constraints.
Where do you see the future of this topic being?
A lot of climate finance is currently focused on mitigations over adaptations. Given the likely scale, unpredictability and frequency of extreme weather events and other climate-related impacts, how do we better mobilise and deliver more investment in adaptation and resilience?
Anything else you’d like to mention?
Evidence is key: any COP commitment should not only have an action plan, but consideration of how we’ll track progress, learn and rapidly scale-up what is working (or stop what isn’t!)