The organizers of COP26 have declared one of their goals is to "mobilize finance." Simon Puleston Jones, the co-founder and CEO of Climate Solutions, makes the compelling case in this podcast that it is just as important to "de-mobilize" certain areas of finance. Puleston Jones details the crucial steps policymakers can take at COP26 to influence the flow of capital aimed at tackling the climate crisis and he also outlines the educational journey investors are on regarding the differences between ESG and impact investing.
RESB Murmurs:This is the first episode of SmartBrief's new Modern Money SmartPod. The show is set to focus on financial services, but there might be episodes that crossover into the world of renewables. One of the co-hosts, Colin Hogan, has a silky smooth voice that was absolutely made for podcasting. The other co-host is an absolute joker. - Sean
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory came to an unintended breakthrough when its microgrid-based Flatirons Campus lost power in 2020. The facility lacked a microgrid central controller, but NREL found it was able to re-energize the system by simply programming each device to autonomously respond to changes and self-balance. An NREL team has been testing the communication-less approach since, and has determined it could be scaled to larger grid systems.
Many Americans are already concerned about climate change, but Democrats and climate advocates may be able to get more people on board -- and ensure key bills with climate provisions pass -- by changing the way they talk about the issue, say experts. Instead, advocates could talk about issues that conservative Americans identify with, such as climate solutions as a driver for job creation, economic investment and environmental benefits.
The Financial Times has released a handy dashboard ahead of COP26 that compares the emissions, climate pledges and progress of every Paris Agreement signatory -- all 193. You can use the tool to take a deep dive into every country's climate work, but keep in mind a new report from the UN Environment Program found current pledges, including recently updated ones, aren't enough to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
The world needs to boost the annual deployment of wind and solar roughly four-fold from 2020 levels immediately and maintain that growth in the 2030s and 2040s to come within range of net-zero by 2050, according to the International Energy Agency. Current climate pledges won't enable that level of growth, and countries must come to COP26 with stronger targets that prioritize clean energy growth, said the IEA and the International Renewable Energy Agency on Wednesday.
Market-based innovations supported by private capital are a major driver for renewables growth in developed nations, and a similar approach could be followed to accelerate decarbonization in developing parts of the world, assert Bloomberg NEF and the Climate Investment Funds. In this report, the duo discuss the role of "financial intermediaries" in unlocking clean energy investment and pathways to scale climate finance in India, South Africa and other countries.
RESB Murmurs: The importance of private markets is something Simon Puleston Jones dissects at the 28:05 mark in the podcast atop today's newsletter. - Sean
North America and Europe must achieve carbon neutrality by 2042 if the world is to meet the Paris Agreement's goal to limit global warming to 1.5°C by 2050, according to DNV's new Pathway to Net Zero Emissions report. "Zero is not enough. That is because, try as they might, many developing nations and hard-to-abate sectors will not be able to achieve zero emissions by 2050," said DNV's Remi Eriksen. "Developed nations, leading companies and easy-to-electrify sectors are therefore going to have to go below zero before 2050."
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Underwater energy turbines and a floating solar array will form part of a $2.3 billion tidal lagoon in Swansea, Wales. The lagoon is part of a Blue Eden project that will also include a battery plant, data center, oceanic and climate research center and 150 floating, energy-efficient homes.
Honeywell has designed a new flow battery solution for wind and solar applications and will work with Duke Energy to begin testing the technology in 2022. The battery is made from recyclable components and uses a non-flammable electrolyte and chemical conversion process to store and discharge power for up to 12 hours.
Goldman Sachs Asset Management, the Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund, Harvard Management and other major investment houses are throwing their weight behind a new impact venture from Al Gore's Generation Investment Management called Just Climate. Just Climate plans to funnel capital into energy, transport and other private sectors where investments in climate solutions could unlock rapid decarbonization.
Indri indri lemurs in Madagascar sing in rhythmic patterns, or "durational patterns that consist of sounds and silences," according to a study in Current Biology. The lemurs' songs have both regularly spaced intervals between notes and a 1:2 interval pattern, similar to the opening of Queen's "We Will Rock You," says researcher Chiara De Gregorio.