COP26 | Energy Day

Published on 4th Nov 2021

Welcome to the fourth instalment of our daily COP26 updates: a digest of what is on the agenda each day, and a review of the previous day's events. 

Yesterday was Finance Day where delegates discussed how to accelerate the mobilisation of public and private finance for climate action. Highlights included:

  • More than 20 countries and financial institutions including the US, UK, Denmark and the European Investment Bank pledged to halt financing for fossil fuel development overseas and divert an estimated $8bn annually to green energy from next year. 
  • Banks and pensions funds with assets worth $130tn committed to meeting the goals made by the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFNAZ). Signatories to GFNAZ commit to using science-based guidelines to align their assets to net zero emissions by 2050.
  • UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, announced London will become the world's "first ever Net Zero Aligned Financial Centre" with all portfolios aligned with a transition to net zero by 2050 at the latest. As part of this, larger firms in the UK will be required to publish their detailed net zero transition plans in 2023. 
  • The UK, along with the US, announced that they would support a new “Climate Investment Funds’ Capital Markets Mechanism” to issue green bonds to fund renewable energy in developing countries. 
  • On the pledge from developed countries to provide $100bn in climate finance annually to de-veloping countries, COP26 President Alok Sharma said that it was "regrettable" that the original deadline hadn't been met but "on the basis of information submitted by donors, the OECD analysis shows that developed countries will make significant progress towards the $100bn goal in 2022 and I believe it also provides confidence that we will meet it in 2023."

Today is Energy Day, where delegates will discuss how to accelerate the global energy transition to clean power, while improving energy efficiency and making clean energy affordable and accessible to all. The transition away from coal in particular is a key feature on the agenda. This follows the pledge by G7 leaders earlier this year to end new direct government support for unabated international coal-fired generation by the end of 2021 and, shortly before COP26, the announcement of China's com-mitment not to build any new coal-fired projects abroad. 

On the agenda today: 

  • Accelerating a just and inclusive energy transition (Energy Day opening event): global ministers and non-state actors will announce their progress on ending unabated coal-fired power and how to collectively deliver a just and inclusive energy transition. It is expected that more than 40 countries will announce their pledge to phase out their use of coal-fired power, with bigger economies committing to doing so in the 2030s and small economies in the 2040s.
  • Making the global transition to clean power a reality (hosted by the Energy Transition Council): two panel discussions will take place where senior figures from governments and international organisations will announce and discuss new measures to accelerate the transi-tion to clean power. 
  • Green Grids Initiative Expo: this event will focus on accelerating the development and de-ployment of modern green grids globally and will feature speeches by energy ministers from the UK, India and around the world. 
  • Powering the world past coal (hosted by the Powering Past Coal Alliance): this event will highlight priorities in respect of phasing out coal globally and feature discussions on ending public and private coal finance, as well as the important role of non-state actors in driving the transition from coal to clean energy. 

* This article is current as of the date of its publication and does not necessarily reflect the present state of the law or relevant regulation.

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