From FORESIGHT Climate & Energy, Watt Matters is a podcast all about the energy transition and the shift to a decarbonised economy
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Off the back of an intense two weeks in Egypt, the COP27 negotiations were once again deemed underwhelming. There were some successes: Developed countries will provide finance to emerging economies affected by climate-related disasters. But much of the focus remained on climate adaptation rather than mitigation.
After nearly 30 years of international climate talks, questions are being raised over the efficacy of these events and what value they hold as the global community seeks to decarbonise.
This week the team is joined by Simon Evans, deputy editor and senior policy editor at Carbon Brief, a website specialising in the science and policy of climate change, to discuss his experiences of the talks, what needs to be done to truly begin phasing out damaging fossil fuels from the global economy, and the power of social media in the debate around the energy transition.
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Illustration: Masha Krasnova-Shabaeva. Art director: Trine Natskår.
Barcelona students to take mandatory climate crisis module from 2024
A policy toolkit for global mass heat pump deployment – Regulatory Assistance Project
A ‘buildings breakthrough’ agenda at COP means heat pumps are in the limelight – FORESIGHT
COP27: Key outcomes agreed at the UN climate talks in Sharm el-Sheikh – Carbon Brief
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There are many opportunities afforded by transitioning to a low-carbon economy, which will only diminish the longer they are left unexploited. The whole sector needs to be more ambitious in its targets, bolder in its risk-taking and more courageous in its actions
The cost of the energy transition as it stands is astronomical. But the returns are even greater. The longer investment targets are missed and policy frameworks are neglected, the pathway to a decarbonised economy becomes longer and more expensive. Added support for the developing world is also needed
Finance for development initiatives in emerging markets is intrinsically tied to climate change—from new roads and energy infrastructure to transportation and new buildings. Yet despite the billions of dollars in overseas development assistance funding, the promised $100 billion of new and additional climate finance by 2020 has failed to materialise
Companies involved in activities that carry high climate-related, financial and reputational risks can no longer be certain of securing funds. Investors today have a choice. Green energy has become a comparatively better bet, with a lower risk profile and demonstrably higher returns. Companies can either realign their business strategies or watch institutional investors walk away
Technology start-ups in Africa are making use of the roll-out of mobile phone networks to bring digital innovation to remote areas through pay-as-you-go models for services that can increase prosperity. For the first time, smallholders can afford solar panels for electricity while others can sign on to thriving energy-as-a-service business models that do not require an initial capital outlay
Clean energy technology is becoming more efficient and powerful, while more money than ever is seemingly flowing into renewables. But administrative barriers thrown up by red tape and permitting bottlenecks threaten to put a damper on the energy transition
Oil and gas companies are making a ton of cash by selling fossil fuels that are destroying our future. Could the industry instead be spending lavishly to make amends? It turns out things are not so simple
Citizen activism is working to force change that is beneficial for all
The world’s development banks are funnelling ever-greater volumes of finance into clean energy — but the challenge of shifting entire economies away from climate-wrecking activity and towards actions that align investment goals with those of the Paris Agreement requires a more holistic approach