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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 | 25.11.23

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COP28 is finally here, and the stakes could not be higher. Tens of thousands of politicians, campaigners, and business leaders have descended on Dubai this week to discuss critical issues at the heart of climate action.

The planet will be watching closely to see whether rhetoric becomes reality in the Emirati desert. Will COP28 lead to concrete action on phasing out fossil fuels? Or will it falter under unresolved debates and financial challenges?

Elsewhere, the UN is urging developed countries to reduce meat consumption, aligning global agrifood practices with the Paris climate goals. Plus, a new cutting-edge sodium-ion battery technology is set to revolutionise the energy storage industry — but how does it compare to its lithium counterpart?

We cover these stories and more in today’s edition — from how China is transforming arid lands into renewable energy havens, to the scientists developing pollution-extracting mutant plants.

CogX Must Reads


Top Stories

🌎 COP28 will see nations tackle critical climate issues. The agenda will focus on zeroing in on fossil fuel phaseout commitments, directing vital funds for energy shifts toward developing nations, and performing the first formal stocktake of global climate progress since the 2015 Paris Agreement.  (Reuters)


⛽ IEA's oil sector call. In its latest report, the agency called for a drastic halving of the $800 billion yearly oil and gas investments by 2030, coupled with a 60% emission cut. This pivotal move is framed as a key first step to maintaining warming within the critical 1.5°C  threshold.  (IEA)

The relentless rise of CO₂ emissions

In 2021, CO₂ emissions surged to over 37 billion tonnes, marking a dramatic 60% increase since 1990. (Our World in Data)


Climate Change

🐄 UN urges developed nations to cut meat consumption. COP28 will see the UN's FAO unveil a new road map for the global agrifood industry. The initiative will target a third of global emissions stemming from the food sector, with a focus on livestock farming. (Bloomberg)

🗻 Over half of Peru's tropical glaciers have vanished in the last 60 years. This substantial loss has disrupted ecosystems and led to the emergence of mountain lagoons, significantly raising severe flooding risk in neighbouring regions.  (Reuters)


Stat of the week 

According to the IEA, over 

£1.35 trillion

is being funnelled into an array of green initiatives, including nuclear energy, grid enhancements, energy storage solutions and low-emission fuels. (IEA)


Green Tech

🌳 Scientists develop mutant plants to extract pollution from the air, using a ‘CO2 turbocharger’ gene from algae. The technology promises to enhance carbon absorption in plants, enabling faster plant growth and more efficient carbon capture. (The Times)

⚡️ China is transforming arid lands into renewable energy havens. China is converting its vast deserts — such as the Kubuqi and the Gobi — into colossal solar fields and wind turbine hubs. This ambitious initiative aims to triple the country's renewable energy capacity to 3.9 terawatts by 2030. (Bloomberg)

🔋 Swedish start-up Northvolt has developed a new sodium-ion battery free of critical minerals like lithium, cobalt, or nickel. This breakthrough promises safer, temperature-resilient energy solutions with a smaller carbon footprint than traditional lithium batteries. (Financial Times)



 In case you missed it

From climate chaos to cutting-edge solutions, find out how Europe is stepping up at COP28 to tackle the growing environmental challenges:

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