COP26 President and UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma, will announce a series of new climate commitments at the launch of Climate Week NYC, which runs alongside the United Nations General Assembly.
He will confirm that major new companies have joined the Race to Zero campaign to accelerate net zero commitments from businesses, cities, regions and investors, including Ford, the first US automotive company to join; LafargeHolcim, and global social media company Facebook. Their decision demonstrates the clear momentum behind the shift towards a decarbonised economy.
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Lord Callanan, will also be speaking at a special event, about the next decade of clean energy cooperation.
Lord Callanan will announce the launch of the COP26 Energy Transition Council to bring together leaders in the power sector across politics, finance and technology to speed up the transition from coal to renewables in developing countries.
The UK will chair the Council alongside the co-chair Damilola Ogunbiyi, the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL). Together, members will drive the shift to green energy ahead of COP26.
The launch of the Council comes as the UK Government announces a £50 million investment in a new Clean Energy Innovation Facility (CEIF) under the UK’s International Climate Finance.
This funding will help developing countries more easily access innovative clean energy technologies to foster clean growth, focusing on key sectors such as industry, cooling, smart energy and storage.
Sharma said climate change “affects every single one of us and we all have a part to play to champion climate action ahead of COP26”.
“Through the Energy Transition Council and the UK’s ambitious climate finance commitments, I hope to drive the transition to cleaner energies, and I urge all businesses, cities and regions to join the Race to Zero coalition.”
Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), said: “We cannot achieve the promise of the Paris Agreement or Sustainable Development Goal 7 – access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all – without a clean energy transition that leaves no one behind.
“Today, just under 800 million people globally lack access to electricity and we must close these gaps with renewable, efficient and affordable solutions.
“The COP26 Energy Transition Council will play a leading role in supporting countries to move away from fossil fuels and unleash a prosperous, equitable and clean energy transition as they recover better from the pandemic.”