COP-26 Glasgow Keeping agenda 2030 simple, prioritized, monitored

The city of Glasgow, Scotland will be hosting the global climate conference known as ‘COP-26’ from 29th October till the 12th of November, 2021. A two week marathon summit, probably the most important/significant one since COP’s inception. In my view, if ‘Agenda-2030’ is indeed kept simple, prioritized and monitored, this decade could potentially prove to be the single biggest investment national governments coupled with the private sector and international financial institutions would have ever made in ‘human capital’ . And that is the lens through which I for one look at ‘climate change’.

Agenda 2030: Cleaning up our existing energy/power generation and transport infrastructure from GHG’s . These are the two biggest sources of global greenhouse gas emissions. In one of my previous articles, I dedicated the entire ‘cover story’ section to this issue citing a detailed study and report aired by Sky News. WEF in one of its recent reports estimates the global population to touch the ten billion (10 billion) mark come 2050. Combining this with International Energy Agency’s 2020 report on ‘key world energy statistics’ , which clearly shows a continued pattern of crude oil dominating our energy paradigm(40-50%) , one must question the sustainability, let alone the impacts on the environment of such an upstream and downstream system. We must take this into context.

The IPCC 2021 report, the compiled data sets covering various aspects of our planet’s governing system shows a significant breach and imbalance most notably to the inner atmosphere. So, the prioritized agenda 2030 could potentially be as follows:

  1. Solar PV plus lithium-ion battery storage systems to be mandated across all three sectors.
  2. Inland transportation & commuting switching to plugged in battery electric or hybrid drivetrains/powertrains.
  3. Rewilding our cities, vertical gardens, bringing back the greenbelt.    

The first point will not only ensure less grid dependency but also allow that breathing space needed to phase out existing utility scale thermal power plants with ideally ‘green hydrogen’ , followed up by on/off-shore wind farms, utility scale FTM solar plus storage  & hydro-electric power stations. ‘Green Hydrogen’ is a near perfect replacement and fit for application when it comes to a phased out transition from existing fossil fuel based power plants, but also for heating our homes and commercial spaces. A senior executive from UK’s energy regulator ‘ESO’ in a recent interview to Sky News advocated this concept and Orkney, Scotland is a ready reference/case study in case on ground operational assessments are to be made.

The second point paves the way for cleaning up the air we breathe, the toxic urban air. Furthermore, tackling the issue of ‘heat islands’ which our cities suffer from, a major cause of which is our existing ICE vehicles and the sheer number of them within the vicinity of urban districts. The global plugged in battery electric and hybrid vehicles is projected to hit sixteen million (16 million) mark by the end of this year. So, it’s nothing novel, nothing out of the ordinary. The technology is on the roads, the drivetrain/powertrain powered by lithium-ion battery packs is present in sizeable numbers across multiple sectors. Courier, goods transport, public transport, school buses and of course, the ones parked in our garage.

With Asian Development Bank’s chief recently announcing a revised figure of $100bn that the organization will make available on account of green financing, decision makers in Glasgow simply need to do the same. Governments have constitutional, legal powers to get things done and COP-26 is an opportunity, to do just that.

We must always remember, the Pacific, Indian, Atlantic oceans are all linked to one another. To somehow think otherwise in terms of climate change is naivety.