Race to Net Zero
Your weekly CogX briefing on green tech and the future of energy
The week's developments in green tech & energy policy, explained | 7.10.23
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Green fund managers have raised concerns following the UK’s backward shift on green policies. The uncertainty over climate ambitions could both jeopardise achieving net-zero by 2050 and threaten the UK’s attractiveness as a destination for green investment.
A recent survey reveals scepticism among Brits about achieving net-zero emissions targets by 2050 - worryingly, most only expect to hit the target by 2075. Meanwhile, the EU is set to reveal a wind power package in a bid to overcome supply-chain hurdles and growing financing challenges faced by wind developers.
We cover these stories and more in today’s edition — from how AI, robots, and satellites are helping firefighters tackle wildfires, to Asia’s hydropower crisis.
—Charlie and the Research & Intelligence Team
P.S. Did you miss some of the sessions at the Festival? CogX Festival 2023 is now available on demand - watch more than 35 inspiring sessions from the likes of Steven Bartlett and Yuval Noah Harari on our YouTube channel now.
CogX Must Reads
UK climate policy reversal worries green investors
Major green investors are expressing concerns following the UK government's decision to adjust their green policy. The policy changes including delays on the ban of sales of petrol and diesel cars and installation of gas boilers, could reduce investor confidence and impact the UK's position as a hub for green finance. (Bloomberg)
Brits are doubtful about net zero
One in five UK adults do not believe the government will reach its net-zero emissions targets by 2050, with most expecting it closer to 2075, a new report shows. Confidence in this target dropped slightly from the previous year and there was an increased feeling of frustration and helplessness among respondents. (British Gas)
AI, robots, and satellites aid wildfire fight
As wildfires intensify due to climate change, technology is playing a crucial role. AI tools like Pano AI’s cameras and OroraTech’s satellite sensors can detect and constantly monitor for early signs of wildfires, while Shark Robotics’ firefighting robots are shielding human crews from the scorching frontline fires. (Bloomberg)
Climate change multiplied risk of deadly Libyan floods
Deadly Libyan flooding, which resulted in almost 5,000 casualties and left 10,000 people missing, was made 50 times more likely due to human-induced climate change, a new study finds. Experts are raising concerns over the growing danger of building in flood-prone areas, particularly as climate change supercharges extreme weather events across the globe. (Reuters)
Stat of the week
By 2050, hydrogen production is set to soar to 500 million metric tons per year, a fivefold increase from our current levels.
Global hydrogen review 2023
The world is witnessing a surge in low-emission hydrogen projects. However, only 4% of this potential production has secured final investment, with experts citing cost challenges as the primary hurdle for widespread adoption. (IEA)
EU wind power package to address challenges
The European Union plans to unveil a wind power package in October to tackle supply-chain bottlenecks and rising financing costs affecting wind developers. The initiative aims to boost domestic production while addressing challenges such as material costs and lengthy permitting processes, particularly for offshore projects. (Bloomberg)
Global Solar Share 2022:
Asia’s hydropower crisis
Asia is experiencing its most significant decline in hydropower generation in decades, with a 17.9% drop over seven months. China and India are compensating for this drop by increasing their use of fossil fuels. As droughts worsen, how will these countries meet their emission reduction targets? (Reuters)
Plans for new oil and gas power plants have grown by 13% in 2023
The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that the "golden age of gas" is coming to an end, with gas expected to peak by 2030 driven by soaring prices. Despite this, plans for new oil and gas power plants have grown by 13% globally, raising concerns about stranded assets and higher carbon emissions if realised. (Carbon Brief)
In case you missed it
DeepMind’s climate action lead Sims Witherspoon explains how powerful neural networks are accelerating the development of technological advancements in low carbon energy supply systems:
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