Bloomberg What to Watch: Morning Briefing
November 8, 2021
As the COP26 summit enters its second week following a weekend of protests, many critical questions remain for the world leaders and climate diplomats convening in Glasgow, Scotland. Bloomberg Green reporters and editors broke down key takeaways from the first week of COP26 and what to expect as discussions turn to adaptation, loss, and damages. We also spoke with climate and industry leaders about carbon offsets, Article 6 talks, Scope 3 emissions, and more.
Click HERE to view the video of the full discussion.
- Myles Allen, Professor of Geosystem Science, School of Geography and the Environment and Department of Physics; Director of Oxford Net Zero Initiative, University of Oxford
- Wes Bricker, Vice Chair – US Trust Solutions Co-Leader, PwC
- Alan Jope, CEO, Unilever
- Mark Kenber, Co-Executive Director, External Affairs, Voluntary Carbon Markets Integrity Initiative
- John Fraher, Senior Executive Editor, Bloomberg
- Mallika Kapur, Deputy Global Editor, Bloomberg Live
- Akshat Rathi, Reporter, Bloomberg Green
- Aaron Rutkoff, Executive Editor, Bloomberg Green
- Jess Shankleman, Reporter, Bloomberg Green
- On the climate adaptation movement: Bloomberg Reporter Jess Shankleman said narratives framing the climate change movement as an elitist hobby that doesn’t benefit ordinary people are ignoring critical context surrounding the risks of climate change. “Vulnerable countries are going to lose 64 percent of their GDP as a result of the impacts of climate change,” Shankleman said, citing a report from U.K. charity Christian Aid. “People talk about the cost of net zero, but far less than actually the cost of what climate change is…nobody is immune,” Shankleman said.
- On the role of carbon offsets in getting to net zero: Myles Allen, Professor of Geosystem Science, School of Geography and the Environment and Department of Physics; Director of Oxford Net Zero Initiative, University of Oxford said the debate about offsets should be framed around the urgency of the net zero timeline. “We need to stop global warming before the world stops using fossil fuels, that’s just something that everyone in this COP needs to get their minds around,” Allen said. The more productive discussions around offsets, according to Allen, should focus on which offset transactions today are actually helping get to net zero versus which ones are slowing the process down.
- On carbon offset protests at COP26: Mark Kenber, Co-Executive Director of External Affairs at the Voluntary Carbon Markets Integrity Initiative said protesters’ concerns were “absolutely well founded” given the problematic history of some Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects — but warned against dismissing offsets all together. “I think it’s binary to say ‘are they good or bad?’ They can be good if they’re rooted in science,” Kenber said, noting that some CDM projects succeeded in reducing emissions and driving finance toward important development projects.
- On the role of business at COP26: Alan Jope, CEO of Unilever, said he’s been “delighted” to see the representation of the business community in Glasgow. “We’ve discovered this ambition loop between the private sector and government..when business steps up and makes ambitious commitments and shows action, we found it emboldens the government to reach harder on their NDCs and vice versa,” Jope said. He noted higher levels of ambition in NDCs, more nature-based solutions at scale, and growing financial commitments from affluent nations to less affluent ones as highlights of his COP26 experience. The low point? The lack of progress on a price on carbon. “Ultimately, the highest impact action that I think we can take is to get a price on carbon north of 50 euros or 50 dollars a ton,” Jope said.
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