COP26 Report from Mark Shayler – TCBL Days 2021

TCBL Days kicked off with a very timely intervention from Mark Shayler “from a green bubble” inside the innovation zone of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26. Here’s a summary of the feeling at the event, the big announcements made, and the reasons Mark thinks we can be cheerful about the direction things are taking.


There’s a bit of an eco-Disney feeling at COP26, which we could dub “green-COPping,” with a lot of people taking selfies in front of the flower background and being good this week, but will the virtue continue when corporations and the people that make them up leave COP? What happens when we get back and re-enter the real life of the difficult economic period we’re in?

What are the big announcements being made at COP26?

  1. There will be guaranteed targets for carbon reduction and 100 BN dollars a year provided to help third world countries cope with climate change.
  2. Second, China and America are talking about coming up with an agreed reduction in carbon emissions, which sends an important signal to the rest of the world.
  3. Third, leaders in other countries have promised to stop deforestation by 2030, which is another great start, though “forests are not the only thing” – what else can we do that is less visible or totemic but equally fundamental?
  4. Fourth, agreements have been made to reduce 30% of current methane emissions by 2030 (can we make it 2025? Why wait?).
  5. Fifth, more than 40 countries have agreed to shift away from coal, thought to be the single greatest contributor to climate change.
  6. Finally, there’s a drive to rearrange finance systems away from fossil fuels towards new technologies.

Mark’s Reasons to be cheerful

We’ve clearly done too little, too late, but there still are some reasons to be cheerful.

  1. We have seen, in the past 30 years or so, a significant decline in Carbon grid intensity, a four-fold reduction.
  2. Advances are being made in the mining of, or use of, renewable energy like hot water heated by the Earth’s core.
  3. There’s a revolution taking place with regard to the way we farm, with a huge opportunity in regenerative agriculture, which also increases income for farmers.
  4. There’s a great opportunity to revolutionize transportation, it just takes the right approach.

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