Transition to clean energy has been at the heart of COP26. The part that innovation plays in fuelling the green transition has become even more apparent during this climate change summit.
Sir David Attenborough highlighted the role of innovation when he addressed world leaders at COP26 stating that, “a new industrial revolution powered by millions of sustainable innovations is essential, and is indeed already beginning. We will all share in the benefits – affordable clean energy, healthy air, and enough food to sustain us all.”
The Innovation at the Forefront of Climate Action panel at COP26 allowed Zeigo’s founder Juan Pablo Cerda to join the discussion around innovation along with Agnes Czako, co-founder of AirEx Technologies; Henry Bishop, co-founder of Furthr; Christopher Ramsay, founder of Pelican Founders and Luke Nicholls, Content Director of edie, hosted by RE_SET and Springwise in partnership with EXTREME International and One Young World. This dynamic group led an engaging discussion covering topics on why we need innovation to accelerate the fight against climate change, to divestment of funds towards sustainable businesses.
Zeigo’s founder steered the discussion highlighting the need for innovation and breaking out of the current mould, at COP26.
“We have proven that the current status quo is not getting us very far, since the UN Framework convention in 1992 CO2 emissions from energy and industry have increased by 60%. We need new ideas, new solutions to a big problem. We cannot rely on governments or anyone else to solve this problem, we are talking about our very own existence. And if we look at the true definition of innovation, it literally means new. And that involves the death of the old paradigm and traditional way to do things. It means stopping the old that was not working and introducing something new. This is the basis of change. There is no point slightly changing something.”
Energy Day at COP26 took a step toward inciting that change by agreeing to ‘consign coal to history.’ At least 23 countries made new commitments to phase out coal power, including five of the world’s top 20 coal power-using countries.
Some stats from Energy Day below!
COP26 President, Alok Sharma said “From the start of the UK’s Presidency, we have been clear that COP26 must be the COP that consigns coal to history. With these ambitious commitments we are seeing today, the end of coal power is now within sight. Securing a 190-strong coalition to phase out coal power and end support for new coal power plants and the Just Transition Declaration signed today, show a real international commitment to not leave any nation behind.Together we can accelerate access to electricity for more than three quarters of a billion people who currently lack access, consigning energy poverty to history as we create the clean power future needed to keep 1.5 alive.”
According to the UNDP, “Phasing out fossil fuels and taxing carbon will spur growth and innovation. UNDP studies show that the move could provide for up to 10 years of spending on green innovation and infrastructure which would bring growth and new, safer jobs.”
A further agreement was also made by 450 financial organisations agreeing to back clean technology, such as renewable energy. This commitment pushes the net zero agenda of private companies while providing for investment in green technology. Innovation in renewable energy has become an even more apparent way of implementing these commitments; now that the end of coal power is within sight, and clean power is scaling up.
The world needs climate action now, and young innovators have the right framework to create change.
Juan Pablo Cerda, CEO and founder of Zeigo, has a final message for young innovators, “If you have an idea, go for it and try to make as much impact in this world as possible NOW!”
To watch the full panel discussion click here.