The COP26 President and UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Alok Sharma announced a series of new climate commitments during the launch of Climate Week NYC, which ran alongside the UNGA.
Major new companies 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, the world’s largest cement company; and global social media company Facebook.
Mr Sharma who spoke at a special event on Monday, alongside leaders from government, international organisations and industry, about the next decade of clean energy cooperation, ‘’The decision of these companies demonstrates the clear momentum behind the shift towards a decarbonised economy. ‘’
He also announced 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 access innovative clean energy technologies faster to foster clean growth, focusing on key sectors such as industry, cooling, smart energy and storage.
Alok Sharma, COP26 President and UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said:
“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.”
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.
Patricia Espinosa, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, said: “Those involved in the Race to Zero have made a commitment to build that future. The world cannot afford to be let down. Nor can this campaign become something that allows nations to defer action until a later date. It’s about needing more climate ambition and climate action now—in 2020.”