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COP26 Summit and Greener Promises

COP26 Summit and Greener Promises
November 10, 2021

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Greetings & Happy Hump Day. Let's take a look at a global political event sure to shape many industries' business practices and goals. 

The COP26 summit is underway in Glasgow, Scotland, as hundreds of world leaders and thousands of interested parties (so many lobbyists!) hammer out the details toward reducing the drastic and harmful effects of climate change. 

For context, this summit comes after the COP21 summit established the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, setting the goal of slowing down global warming to 1.5°C degrees by 2100. We’re on track now to exceed that goal by hitting 2.6°C if current emissions continue. 

                                                  Callum Shaw, Unsplash

Presidential Problems
So far, Biden has been trying to reverse Trump’s climate policies, making solemn promises and calling out China’s absence from the talks. Obama swooped in to rally the young people and acknowledge their righteous anger over devastating news and inaction from elected officials. But with no demonstrable legislation in hand from the U.S. (like a Green New Deal), America's bargaining power on the global stage doesn’t carry the same weight. 

The industries under fire as the most significant contributors to rising carbon emissions are the aviation, shipping, and heavy trucking industries, as well as carbon-emitting manufacturing processes like steel production and meat processing. The summit thus far is garnering criticism for less than drastic measures, essentially inviting industry leaders to pledge promises rather than creating the political will to initiate legislation and enforcement. Greta Thunberg isn’t alone in voicing her concerns that the summit is just another high-powered
greenwashing event (complete with many private jets).

The Little Guys
Meanwhile, it helps to turn to novice private companies building a net-zero carbon footprint right into their business plans. Branch Energy is making it easy and affordable for consumers to switch to all renewable energy. Cloverly is creating an API for carbon offsetting, changing the meaning of SaaS to Sustainability-as-a-Service; the copany has plugins for e-commerce stores to allow customers to carbon offset their purchases at checkout. Amp Robotics is using AI and robotics to categorize and sort recycling streams for greater efficacy. 

For more on private industries helping (or hurting) the environment, check out climatetech and other industry keywords on our database.

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[NY Times]
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