The 26th Conference of the Parties, also known as COP26, was the 26th United Nations conference focused on Climate Change. Held during November 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland, COP26 brought together over 200 nations in hopes of continued acceleration in the fight against climate change. The key goal of the conference was to find solutions, through carbon reduction measures, that will keep global temperatures limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. This resulted in the signing of the Glasgow Climate Pact, a document warning that significant action is needed to mitigate irreversible climate damage and requesting commitments from participating nations to take swift action to reach these goals. Many viewed this conference as a final chance at creating a strategy to stop irreversible climate change over the next decade, resulting in 151 of the participating nations submitted new climate action plans, all pledging to reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly by 2030.
Here in the United States, COP26 is expected to continue to impact business operations and opportunities. It is expected that further commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions will result in significant federal incentives for corporations willing to increase their efforts toward sustainability. We expect to see increased renewable energy incentives from both the Federal and State level, including further tax incentives for renewable energy projects, efficiencies upgrades and emissions reduction measures.
COP26 brought the concept of Net Zero further into focus and will increase the importance placed on achieving net zero for energy users in the United States.1 While this is an intriguing concept for most business owners or leaders, the difficult question is how to get there. Having a realistic plan is an important first step in achieving these goals and ensuring that plan is attainable is even more essential. Businesses who can take steps in this direction will have a leg up from a consumer and investor standpoint. They will also be more prepared to tap into the financial incentives associated with emissions reductions that are likely to increase over the next decade.
Business resiliency is also expected to be important in coming years as climate change impacts are expected to contribute to further climate hazards. Businesses that have resilient energy systems, including onsite renewable generation, will be well equipped to handle these circumstances while also meeting emissions goals. Electric fleets are a part of this consideration, and when powered by renewable generation can be entirely protected from shifting fuel costs.
The Freedom team welcomes the opportunity to learn about your goals and help create a plan to reach them. We have several solutions that can be tailored to help your facility become more efficient, reduce emissions, or tap into renewable energy generation.