Powering change at COP 28

By: Roy Bedlow, Founder and Chief Executive of Low Carbon

We have the power to solve the climate crisis. While I was at COP 28 it was clear that the solutions exist, and we are heading in the right direction. There were 85,000 participants in Dubai, and I’m encouraged by the determination that I saw from solution-driven organisations who are sharing ideas and building partnerships, all with a committed desire to fight climate change.

This COP has famously been marked as the ‘beginning of the end’ of the fossil fuel era. To underpin that groundwork, there is also a firm target to triple renewable energy by 2030. Globally, we can achieve that goal and Low Carbon is and will continue to play its part in maximising the creation of renewable energy at scale.

Reaching big goals takes partnerships and in Dubai many other organisations showed their willingness to join our effort to put climate at the centre of everything we do. At COP, I was joined by Ed Colligan, Low Carbon's Director of Strategy, and Neil Brown, our Head of Capital Formation. Together, we engaged with key figures in renewable finance and sustainability, witnessing a resounding financial commitment to transitioning the world to 100% renewable energy.

Low Carbon is playing a key role in the energy transformation and in doing so is committed to treading as lightly as possible on the planet. We are reducing our own carbon footprint for every project we undertake, tracking the data and continually learning from the process. We are open and transparent with our progress and data, helping others excel in progressing the energy transformation.

As we reach the end of 2023, the hottest year on record for the Earth, we remain off-track for targets set to limit global warming from 1.5 degrees. Analysis by the International Energy Agency said the pledges made at COP28 “would not be nearly enough” to keep within those limits. While I was at COP, I looked beyond the pledges and saw the solutions; efforts to protect global biodiversity, scaling clean energy solutions, ramping up solutions to capture carbon at source, and young people committed to scalable innovation.

I contributed to “Use your Voice” discussion with Open Planet and our partnership with Emirates Great Britain SailGP Team, to inspire bold action from young people through climate education resources. I represented Low Carbon on UK business action on meeting net zero targets alongside UK business leaders including Amazon and National Grid hosted by Cambridge Institute for Sustainable Leadership and the Corporate Leaders Group. At sideline events, I was included in discussions with the UK Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, the UK Committee on Climate Change, and the European Commission.

At these COP summits, you ride highs of optimism and lows of frustration, but by focusing on what we can control, we can make a huge difference in the face of climate change. Low Carbon is part of a global shift to change the status quo in the historic effort to move the world to 100% renewable energy.