Weekend Reads: - Smart Energy Decisions

October 30, 2021

Weekend Reads: The COP26 Edition

It's the weekend! Kick back and catch up with these must-read articles from around the web.

COP26 – We’re toast, but let’s toast Glasgow! (BloombergNEF) Next week, the world’s climate elite roll into Glasgow for COP26, after an extra year’s delay caused by the Covid pandemic. John Kerry, President Biden’s special envoy on climate and former Secretary of State has called Glasgow the world’s “last best hope for the world to get its act together”. Greta Thunberg, the world’s most-quoted climate activist, has dismissed the entire UNFCCC process as “30 years of blah, blah, blah”. Implied in both of their statements is the idea that Glasgow has to produce some kind of miracle outcome to be considered a success. This is incorrect on two levels. First, it misrepresents the time it takes to build new economic, financial and trading world orders – the long-term impact of Bretton Woods was by no means immediately apparent in 1944. Secondly, and more importantly, Glasgow’s success in underlining the long-term power of the Paris Agreement is all but assured.

Hertz deal isn’t just tipping point for Tesla and EVs, but car rentals in climate change era (CNBC) The economics of the rental car industry give companies including Avis Budget Group and Enterprise Holdings multiple reasons to go slow on the adoption of electric vehicles. Just think of how much money they make every time a renter forgets to return a car with a full gas tank. But on Monday, the rental car companies received the biggest reason yet to move quicker to EVs as part of their fleets. The deal between Hertz and Tesla for 100,000 vehicles is a signal to the major car rental companies that a strategy for EVs is going to be needed, and maybe sooner than they had planned on it.

Why COP 26 Has To Succeed (Forbes) What happens if COP 26 doesn’t put the world on a 2°C or lower pathway? We released WoodMac’s latest Energy Transition Outlook (ETO) last week. The analysis projects global energy demand and supply across all sectors through to 2050. It’s a bottom-up, integrated model: energy demand forecast by sector for every country; and the supply of energy, metals and bulk commodities to meet it sourced from our asset database. The ETO shows what happens if COP 26 fails to lay down the law on collective goals and actions to tackle climate change. The ETO assumes that policy and technology continue to ‘evolve’ much as they are doing now. Nations, industries and people strive to reduce emissions and are successful up to a point. But it’s patchy – the easier gains are made, the tougher ones lag.

The bumpy road to India's electric car dreams (BBC) India sold more electric vehicles in September than any month previously. Sales have been rising since April - the start of this financial year - and are already nearing the previous year's total. It's a glimmer of hope for an industry that has been struggling with a global shortage in semiconductor chips, coming on the heels of a period of sluggish growth. But it's only a glimmer. Electric vehicle sales - 121,900 this financial year - account for only 1.66% of India's 20 million automobile sales, according to the Delhi-based think tank Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW). Some electric vehicle firms, especially makers of two-wheelers, are betting big, but the demand is lukewarm for cars and commercial vehicles like lorries. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government is trying to change that with a $3.5bn (£2.5bn) scheme to boost manufacturing.

The fate of the planet will be negotiated in Glasgow, Scotland (Vox) Almost every country in the world signed the 2015 Paris climate agreement, a monumental accord that aimed to limit global warming. But it was forged on a contradiction: Every signatory agreed that everyone must do something to address the urgent threat of climate change, but no one at the time pledged to do enough. In the years since the agreement, the emissions that trap heat in Earth’s atmosphere have continued to rise. The Paris Agreement aimed to limit global warming this century to less than 2 degrees Celsius, compared to temperatures before the industrial revolution, with a more optimistic goal of staying below 1.5°C. Both of these goals would require rapid and radical shifts away from fossil fuels — and eventually, zeroing out emissions of greenhouse gases entirely.  Signatories did agree that they would set more ambitious targets for themselves over time and eventually get on track to meet global climate goals. Whether they will actually do so is about to be tested at COP26, the most important international climate conference in years.

Keywords: Weekend reads

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