Countdown to COP

Our new campaign plots the course to the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow this November and looks at the key topics for utilities.

Editor's picks

Over 40 world leaders have signed up to a pact aimed at driving down the costs of green technology by 2030. This includes a pledge to ensure affordable hydrogen is globally available by the end of the century.
News
Process emissions and reducing demand for water have been highlighted as key challenges on the road to net zero and adaption at the COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow. Lord Deben called on wealthier countries to accept their financial responsibility for the changing climate to preserve water supplies into the future.
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Ofgem is one of the founding members of a new global coalition that will facilitate collaboration between regulators to speed up decarbonisation across the world.
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Featured

Balancing the supply and demand of energy is a crucial but highly complex part of the jigsaw puzzle that moving to net zero represents. To be affordable, decarbonisation will require energy to be used and stored in new ways, and consumers to be engaged. Can the sector deliver? In this extract from a major new report from Utility Week and Capgemini, Denise Chevin discusses.
Analysis
With just two weeks to go until the UN’s climate conference is hosted in Glasgow, Utility Week is concluding the Countdown to COP campaign with a series of interviews with sector leaders, expressing their hopes for the summit and what their companies are doing to drive forward net zero. We kick off with Electricity North West chief executive, Peter Emery.
Interviews
The Environment Agency's third climate adaptation report to government carries the stark message to "adapt or die". It said urgent action was required to help communities and industries live with the effects of climate change and this should be given as much focus as reducing emissions.
News

Latest in Countdown to COP

In our latest review of sector coverage in the national media, a major bank has said it stands “ready to play our part” in supporting the decarbonisation of heat. Meanwhile, Ofgem’s move to speed up payments though the Supplier of Last Resort process have come under fire and there is analysis of the impact of decarbonisation on the share prices of oil and gas firms.
News
David Welling, a COP26 Champion who works in Data Centre Network & Security at National Grid, cycled over 1,000km across seven days from London to Glasgow ahead of COP26. During his journey he visited key sites along the route which are making a significant contribution to the UK’s climate ambitions. Here he talks about how these projects demonstrate progress being made to get the UK’s energy system to net zero and shares his ask of world leaders gathering at the global summit this week.
Opinion
In our latest review of sector coverage in the national media, there is widespread coverage of the challenges to be discussed at COP26. There is also speculation on the future of Bulb, warnings from National Grid about energy prices over winter, an interview with Ovo founder Stephen Fitzpatrick and analysis on whether Macquarie can effect real change at Southern Water.
News
As part of our Countdown to COP series, Anglian Water’s chief executive argues that climate change mitigation and adaptation must be given equal focus. He also discusses the key challenges for the water sector in achieving net zero, including the approach that should be taken to offsetting emissions.
Interviews
Environmental benefits and cost savings alone will not be enough to convince people to make the changes required for the transition to net zero, according to Catherine Hunter, senior account manager at public relations and marketing agency Aspectus Group.
Opinion
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has teamed up with distribution network operators from the around the world to launch a new global knowledge-sharing initiative led by the University of Oxford. The International Community for Local Smart Grids will bring together electricity networks and community energy groups to share findings from innovation projects and examine the relationships between smart grids and local communities.
News
As a principal partner for next week’s UN climate conference in Glasgow, National Grid wants to show that decarbonisation is possible with the technologies and opportunities we have today, if we have the right policies, regulations and investments in place. Utility Week speaks to the company’s chief sustainability officer, Duncan Burt, about his hopes and fears for the event and how we can tackle the public awareness gap around what net zero means.
Interviews
As part of our Countdown to COP series, Ovo Energy’s director of sustainability, Dr Rebecca Heaton, discusses the company’s Plan Zero as well as what COP26 means to her.
Interviews
Energy UK has called for the introduction of a new Energy Bill as part of a commitment by the sector to deliver a net-zero power system in the 2030s. The pledge, outlined in a new report out today (27 October), follows on from the government’s commitment to a decarbonised system by 2035 which was confirmed in its Net Zero Strategy.
News
United Utilities has added four low-emission HGVs to its fleet following successful trials of compressed natural gas. The company is also exploring opportunities to use biofuel in place of diesel in vehicles and boilers.
News
As part of our Countdown to COP series, Utility Week speaks to Gordon Rogers, head of long term strategy, environment, planning and innovation at United Utilities. He discusses his company’s decarbonisation commitments as well as the wider need for action to adapt to a climate that is already changing.
Interviews
SGN’s chief executive talks to Utility Week as part of our Countdown to COP campaign about the challenge of engaging customers in decarbonisation of heat. He also questions whether the UK is being ambition enough on hydrogen and why our net-zero goals must be aligned globally.
Interviews
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