Views from the Energy Leaders’ Summit
Wednesday 6 December saw CMS host the Energy Leaders’ Summit on behalf of the Global Success Partnership at CMS Dubai.The event welcomed Edward Hobart, British Ambassador to the UAE, and Andrew Bowie MP, UK Minister for Nuclear and Net Zero, who shared their perspectives of the UK’s role as a global leader in climate action and energy transition, and the opportunities for collaboration with the UAE and other countries in the region.The panel discussion covered a wide range of topics on the various aspects of the energy transition - the role of innovation, finance, policy, and partnerships in achieving net zero emissions, and the challenges and opportunities for industrial decarbonisation and reskilling. Thank you to the panellists:Munir Hassan, Head of Energy & Climate Change, CMSAnnika Ramsköld, Chief Sustainability Officer, VattenfallAngela Churie Kallhauge, Executive Vice President and Head of the COP28 Delegation, Environmental Defence FundJan Spin, President of Americas, Blue Green Water TechnologiesAnna Hancock, Executive Director, Pollination Group, AustraliaLeon Kamhi, Executive Director, Head of Responsibility, Federated Hermes Limited A huge step forward in the reduction of methane The Global Methane Pledge made at COP28 has been joined by over 100 countries and aims to accelerate the implementation of existing and new measures to reduce methane emissions, such as capturing and using methane from landfills and oil and gas operations, improving waste management, and promoting low-emission agriculture. The World Bank is set to roll out a minimum of 15 country-led programs within the next 18 months to slash up to 10 million tons of methane (over investment lifespans). So, lots of positive messages about reducing methane. The sense on the panel was that it was a huge step forward that methane was discussed to such an extent and the commitment that some of the largest oil companies have made to reduce methane could be a game changer. The International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) have an important role in monitoring and verifying the methane reductions using satellite data and we heard about the need for more funding and innovation to support methane abatement in low- and middle-income countries, especially in the oil and gas sector. Reskilling is a huge opportunity The panel discussed the social and economic impacts of the energy transition, and the need for a just and inclusive approach that considers the needs and aspirations of the citizens and the workers. We heard about the importance of reskilling and upskilling the workforce, sharing best practices and lessons learned from different countries and regions. Where the infrastructure can be easily transformed to support clean energy, this reskilling presents an opportunity to both businesses and local communities. However, panellists reflected that this was not always possible, so some communities may struggle to thrive if their current livelihoods cannot be transitioned to clean energy. The role of investors and financial institutions There was considerable discussion about the role of investors and financial institutions in supporting the transition, and the need for consistent and credible disclosure and reporting standards. There are challenges and opportunities for creating new revenue streams and business models, and the role of carbon markets and social bonds in financing the transition. For the investment infrastructure to be created so that investors can support governments in delivering their programmes, it needs to be easier for private investment to entertain the risk.Blue Green Water Technologies remove harmful alga blooms from lakes and oceans. These projects are often financed by companies using carbon credits and this source of funding has enabled local communities to benefit from cleaned bodies of water. Biodiversity has dramatically increased, as has the value of land. Creative funding solutions can benefit many different stakeholders by enabling projects such as these.Climate risk is an accelerating risk, and this should be considered by financial institutions. As they calculate the value of climate risk and its impact on their capital allocation, remuneration and expenses, the valuations must adjust.The view on disclosures and standards was that their have a role, but any investment should lead to a change in behaviour, not just to be disclosed as part of disclosure requirements. Making disclosures is a huge investment for a business and so the sense was that businesses should avoid measuring in a certain way purely for disclosures instead of really delivering change and solutions. The role of governments Finally, we heard about the role of governments in facilitating and enabling the transition, and the need for collaboration and cooperation at all levels. We learned about the importance of setting clear and ambitious targets and policies and aligning them with the global goals and commitments. We also heard about the importance of engaging and empowering the stakeholders, especially the non-state actors, and creating trust and confidence in the transition. COP28 has a role as a platform for showcasing solutions and forging partnerships.The Leadership Group for Industry Transition is one example of how governments can be brought together with companies and civil society to support and accelerate the transition to net zero emissions in industry and create new markets and jobs. Communities will make the difference The discussion closed with some reflections on the importance of different communities in making the energy transition happen. Communities of all types, such as those who attended the Energy Leaders’ Summit, will come together to use the technology available to translate the deals and agreements into action. We need government support to remove the brakes, and we need actors of all types to come together. We need people to question, to demand more and to change behaviour.