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COP26: A promise of a sprint to win the marathon?

COP26: A promise of a sprint to win the marathon?

The conclusions from the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published in August are more alarming than ever – science is telling us that both governments and industry need to act urgently to limit the devastating impacts of climate change and set the world on a pathway towards strong and sustained reduction of CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions.

While the transition to net zero is a marathon joined by countries around the world, the success of limiting global warming to well below 2ºC and keeping the goal of 1.5ºC within reach will depend on whether the government and the industry are able to synchronise their efforts and sprint against climate change now and over the next nine years.

What does this mean in practice for COP26 negotiations? And can they accelerate the development of the hydrogen economy to help getting the world on track with the climate targets?

[#1] It is vital that the Parties address the existing gap between NDCs and emissions reductions required by science to keep 1.5C in reach, setting out roadmaps for strengthening 2030 NDCs and moving towards a systemic approach to policy design and decarbonisation of the economies worldwide.

The climate challenge is a systemic one – no single sector will be enough to address it. Hence the need for a more systemic approach to designing decarbonised economies globally and deploying system-wide solutions, and this year’s COP can prompt its emergence. Undoubtedly, further development of renewable electricity capacity and end use application remains key, alongside energy efficiency solutions. At the same time, these technologies need to be complemented by an energy vector versatile enough to enable faster and greater integration of renewable capacity, deliver greater flexibility and resilience, as well as cost-efficiency and optimisation at energy system level – this energy vector is hydrogen.

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