Hello from Climate Week in New York City! It’s that time of year when the climate world descends on the Big Apple to work on climate policy, celebrate progress and freak each other out with how much work there is left to do.
Per usual, there is a slew of news coming out from the one hundred plus events scattered across the city. Here’s a round up of the news and moments that popped out as good-to-knows for corporate energy:
Companies need to focus on strategy, not measurements, to make a climate impact.Getting Going, a new report from Oliver Wyman and the Climate Group, makes the case that how a company contributes to the transition, rather than its own emissions outcomes, are necessary for a transformation shift. The report echoes a recent article from Bloomberg Green that points out how companies often sell carbon-emitting assets to claim the carbon decarbonization numbers — despite the fact that the asset is still emitting, just under new ownership.
Renewable energy increases energy security. During a panel at the opening ceremonies, Australia’s minister for climate change and energy Chris Bowen took aim at those who “falsely claim that the current energy crisis is due to renewable energy.” Indeed, renewable energy — with the proper infrastructure — adds resilience that isn’t subject to fossil fuel supply contrast. Francesco La Camera, director-general of the International Renewable Energy Agency echoed the sentiment, flipping the script on renewable critics who point out that solar and wind is intermittent. As European countries have seen since Russia’s restriction on gas imports, “if we have no gas, we have no gas.”
We’re not headed in the right direction yet. Despite the increased awareness and commitments to climate change, Petteri Taalas, secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization, shared harsh truths at the opening ceremony. One stat that jumped out to me: 2022 has already passed the total emissions of 2019. And there are still three months left in the year.
RE100, the corporate clean energy initiative composed of more than 380 companies, developed six policy ‘asks’ to encourage the uptake of renewables — and encourages corporations with clean energy goals to get involved. The ‘asks’ include policy that ensures a level playing field between renewables and fossil fuels, removes regulatory barriers for corporate renewable electricity sourcing, updates electricity market structures to catalyze direct trade between corporate buyers, and promotes direct investments in on- and off-site renewable electricity projects.
The utility National Grid unveiled a model to develop a large-scale, clean and fossil-free energy hub across the entirety of Long Island. The plan includes solar, offshore wind, clean hydrogen, battery storage and transmission, according to the release.