The first COP26 goal is to ‘secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach’. In pursuit of this, countries are called on to take a number of steps, including accelerating the phasing out of coal, curtailing deforestation, speeding up the switch to electric vehicles, and encouraging investment in renewables.
The public and private sectors have a huge role to play in reducing emissions and driving towards our net zero goals. Whether it be by changing their own daily practices, adopting green technologies, or by investing in innovation and supporting research and development, all their actions – and the precedents they set – bring us another step closer. In recent years, many companies have shifted their investments towards net zero projects, or invested in measures to make their own operations net zero.
The Treasury named ‘leading the transition to net zero’ as one of the priorities for last week’s Budget. As part of this, the Chancellor committed £30bn to the ‘new green industries of the future’ and confirmed the launch of a sovereign green savings bond for retail investors. This will total £94m to start with, and will be used to invest in offshore wind, energy storage and crops for bioenergy.
Investing in net zero emissions should be at the core of any climate change agenda. Carbon emissions have a devastating and far-reaching impact on the world around us, and many of the problems we face can be linked back to emissions – rising temperatures, storms, floods, fires, biodiversity loss, disruption to resource supply. These in turn have effects on our daily lives, our health and our wellbeing.
At Low Carbon, net zero is at the heart of what we do day in and day out. By investing in renewable energy projects at scale, we are helping to bring more and more emissions-free energy to grids, and in turn to homes and businesses. We have invested in and operate projects across the UK and Europe, with a pipeline of more than 5GW in development, and have ambitions to extend our reach across the globe. Now in our 10th year in operation, we have completed more than 1GW of projects, investing more than £600 million in capital along the way.
Investing in net zero is something that everyone can participate in – beyond governments and businesses, private households can make a difference. By choosing a renewable energy supply, making your home more energy efficient, switching to electric transportation or using public transportation, shopping locally and seasonally, you can make a difference.