|Learnings from the Fall 2021 H2-CCS Conference!|
|The second H2-CCS conference and the second sold out conference. As billions in projects continue to pour in, information is critical. Save the date for the 2022 conferences:
|COP26 Glasgow more political less doing
COP26 in Glasgow followed the COP model, enlightening and underwhelming. It is a political process. The COP agreement or treat has nor rule of law or consequences. The only loss in not meeting the agreement is loss of creditability on the world stage.
Net Zero by 2050 + 45% reduction in 2030
Paris COP21 ushered in Net Zero by 2050 translating the goal of limiting temperature rise to 2.0C. Glasgow COP26 changed the target to 1.5C. Which implies a reduction of of 45% by 2030 in developed countries.
Nearly half of the required reductions will now need to occur in the next 8 years!
Interim annual national plans
To address the gap in easily made current admiration commitments that will be decades separated and out of office with outcomes, interim plans are introduced. This is perhaps the biggest accomplishment of COP26. Specific country plans need to be developed, monitored and updated.
Presumably, country peer pressure will bring laggards into compliance. Worked in elementary school so why not on the international stage? What could go wrong?
Developing nations dilemma
According to the BP world energy review 2021 LINK. From 2010 to 2019 OCED developed countries reduced emissions by 4% while developing increased by 25%. Factoring in the developed countries objective of 45% reduction by 2030, 18 or the top 20 emitters will be developing countries.
Yet we have countries like India sticking to watered down objective such as Net Zero by 2070. Or shifting the metric to a per capita goal of emissions. Or inclusion of past emissions in aggregate.
South Africa has suggested the $100 billion annual developed country support of developing countries increase to $1.3 trillion LINK.
Economic and social equality have long been included as part of climate change emissions reductions. This issue will continue to surface in future COP meetings as the key issue.
What did not happen?
A long standing activist goal of banning a specific high emissions fossil fuel – coal. On a per unit energy basis coal emits significantly more CO2 than other fossil fuels. This has led to the potential ban on coal. Several forces diluted the this goal to ‘as soon as practically possible’ – a non commitment.
Coal is cheap and available in developing countries, creating many mining jobs. Major exporters such as Australia want to keep lucrative export sales. Germany phased out nuclear energy and has had to rely on coal as the primary energy source. The precedent of banning other fossil fuels has energized countries such as Saudi Arabia that depends on oil exports.
The depth and speed of the coal ban considered by activists as a key foundational strategy will cause a major rethink.
Remove the hype, how has COP26 changed the picture for the US?
The 1.5C, 45% by 2030 and the need for annual plans will put pressure on the Biden administration. That administration considers the emissions agenda and international leadership as core to the Presidency.
The only solution is a more pragmatic approach embracing big Energy to deliver reductions now. The orthodoxy of only renewables will get a back seat as it is seen as decades away.
The dogma of green versus blue hydrogen and CCS plus fossil fuels will dissipate. It was an issue the general public could never understand. Practicality will become the admirations new marching orders. Get it done now.
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