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.
News
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.
News

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

Great Britain’s power grid saw its “greenest ever” moment on Easter Monday as low demand over the holiday weekend, combined with sunny spells and strong winds, allowed renewables to dominate the energy mix. National Grid Electricity System Operator said the carbon intensity of the power grid dropped to a new record low of 39gCO2/kWh at 1pm, with zero carbon sources providing nearly four fifths of electricity.
News
Energy UK has expressed concern about “negative rhetoric” towards the Contracts for Difference scheme in a recent government paper.
News
New research commissioned by Northern Gas Networks (NGN) has shown that just one in five Brits believe that we can meet the UK’s net carbon zero target by 2050, but that there is also a strong public appetite for a greener future. As part of our Countdown to COP campaign, chief executive Mark Horsley shares his views on how the gas sector must win hearts and minds as 2050 draws nearer.
Opinion
The government’s attempt to bury the news that it was axing the Green Homes Grant was emblematic of a muddled approach throughout what should have been a flagship green recovery plan, writes David Blackman.
Comment
Debt markets have a key role to play in supporting decarbonisation projects but lender mindsets still need to shift further towards a holistic view of overall project risks rather than applying specific pre-determined credit criteria. Stuart Cook and Sophie Burgis, of Cyan Finance, give their views as part of Utility Week’s Countdown to COP series.
Opinion
As part of our Countdown to COP focus on investment in net zero, David Blackman looks at plans for a new National Infrastructure Bank. What type of projects is it likely to support and what lessons can be learnt from the history of its short-lived predecessor, the Green Investment Bank?
Analysis
The chair of the Climate Change Committee has branded the delivery of efforts by the government to decarbonise the economy as “crap” and called for the establishment of a “powerful” body to oversee them.
News
Action needed to cut emissions to net zero is threatened by the “fragile” nature of the political consensus surrounding it, which could be seized on by populist parties, a new report by the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change has warned.
News
As part of the investment strand of our Countdown to COP campaign, Utility Week talks to Michael McNicholas of Omers, the backers of SGN and Thames Water. He discusses the investment case for UK utilities and ways to incentivise long-term, low-risk capital to drive forward decarbonisation.
Interviews
To ensure a successful energy transition, utilities must change the way they reward customers and start thinking in terms of services not commodities. Laura Sandys discusses these and other key findings from her ReCosting Energy report.
Opinion
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