Race to Net Zero
Your weekly CogX briefing on green tech and the future of energy
Record breaking heatwaves spur action: can green tech save our future?
Extreme weather events are on the rise with deadly heat waves scorching Southern Europe. 6 July was the hottest day ever recorded on Earth, which came on the back of the hottest June in history.
The EU is pushing for more urgent action at COP28, aiming to increase the rollout of renewables, improve energy efficiency and advance the phaseout of fossil fuels. But will China and others agree?
Meanwhile Oklo, an energy start-up, is using cutting-edge AI to help replicate nuclear fission and countries like China and Norway are experimenting with offshore solar to revolutionise clean energy.
Read on for more on these topics — as well as the latest on hydrogen heating, oceans turning green and fatal flooding in the CogX Must Reads.
Record heat waves scorch the northern hemisphere
Temperatures have soared this summer, worrying authorities who saw heatwaves claim 61,000 lives in Europe last year. Experts warn that rising sea temperatures, influenced by climate patterns like El Niño, could increase the frequency and severity of extreme weather events.
EU pushes for ambition at COP28
The EU’s climate chief wants a global pledge agreed at COP28 to eliminate unabated fossil fuels ahead of 2050. This would require urgently expediting renewable energy deployment and improving energy efficiency. However, the reliance of many countries on fossil fuels may pose a significant obstacle
Our oceans are turning green
Climate change is causing a greening of 56% of the world's oceans over time. These alterations disrupt the delicate balance of ocean ecosystems, impacting the food chain and carbon absorption capacity, scientists say.
Fatal flooding on the rise
Extreme rainfall and devastating floods are becoming more common across the US, India, and China amongst others. The warmer climate has contributed to both the frequency and severity of floods. Experts say that the number of people residing in flood-prone regions has increased by 24% since 2000.
Is offshore solar the next breakthrough in clean energy?
Off the coast of the Shandong province, Chinese and Norwegian developers are conducting an experiment to test the viability of offshore solar, installing solar panels on rafts out at sea. If successful, it could increase clean energy generation in land-constrained countries. China, Japan and the Netherlands are all investing.
Oklo merges AI and nuclear
Oklo, an AI startup specialising in nuclear microreactors, has announced it will go public in 2024, looking to raise $500 million. It aims to replicate nuclear fission on a smaller scale to generate clean energy without nuclear waste or constant human supervision, which could revolutionise energy production.
US-China dialogue on climate change
U.S. climate envoy John Kerry met senior Chinese diplomats in a rare sign of cooperation between the two countries. Kerry urged China to accelerate decarbonisation and reduce methane emissions. Chinese and US action on net zero is essential to meet global climate targets, as they jointly contribute 40% of world pollution.
Will the UK adopt hydrogen boilers?
The UK’s Energy Security Secretary cautioned against hydrogen heating, claiming that the technical challenges could prove “too great”. Current hydrogen technology is five times less effective at reducing emissions than other clean heating systems, but ruling it out could undermine the energy transition.
CogX Must Reads of the week
In case you missed it
Check out this CBS report on how green tech is saving our future:
We'd love to hear your thoughts on this week’s Issue and what you’d like to see more of.