• Ian Sutton

COP26 and Climate Leadership

Representatives of the national governments meeting at COP26 in Glasgow have made some progress. Agreements to reduce deforestation and to limit methane emissions are useful, and the announcement of an agreement between China and the United States is encouraging.

However, there has been no breakthrough. The agreements reached, even if promises are kept, are not going to “bend the curve”. CO2 emissions continue their inexorable march upward, and noting that took place in the last two weeks is going to change that trajectory.

As the number ‘26’ tells us, this is the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP). These meetings have been taking place for nearly 30 years during which time global temperatures have steadily increased. The conclusion is simple — meetings such as COP26 have not been successful. They may have led to some minor improvements in certain areas but that’s all.

So, where do we go from here? A different types of leadership is needed.

Such leadership can come from businesses and industry. They can address climate change issues, not because they are altruistic, but because they want to be profitable, and they want to beat out their competition.

Volvo electric car symbolizes a future of just electric vehicles.

I would be surprised if we wouldn’t deliver only electric cars from 2030.

Hakan Samuelsson (CEO Volvo)

Logo from Royal Dutch Shell.

We aim to be net-zero on emissions generated by all our operations, as well as on emissions associated with the energy we need to power them. Our ambition is that any greenhouse gas emissions from making our products that cannot be avoided – through energy efficiency or using lower-carbon fuel – will be balanced with removal from the atmosphere using technology and nature.

hell Oil, 2020

LNG tanker – COP26. Ammonia fuel.

Reduce peak GHG emissions from international shipping by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008 levels while pursuing efforts towards phasing them out consistent with the Paris Agreement goals.

International Maritime Organization