Articles & stories

Post COP26, who's building the road to net zero?

The Critical Climate Conversations podcast series asks: What now?

We know that when it comes to the climate transition, the cost of not acting is higher than the cost of acting. But with only eight years, by some estimates, to achieve the necessary 1.5-degree climate outcome, are corporate and societal leaders mobilizing the system, transforming and reinventing the norms? As individuals, are our best efforts just a drop in the ocean in our fight to combat climate change?

The net zero road-building machine

The Aspen Critical Climate Conversations podcasts provide us with the opportunity to look under the hood of the post-COP net zero road-building machine. Thought leaders reveal the moving parts in the debate that include, to name just a few, nuclear energy, carbon offsetting, biodiversity, the energy transition, sustainable food systems, the role of the consumer and the regulatory environment. By engaging with the webinars, we listeners put ourselves in the room with diverse perspectives so that we can make our personal choices in the climate change imperative.

The post-COP26 Climate Change Imperative

Every member of society can play their part in combating the climate crisis, although caution should be taken not to overemphasize the personal actions of individuals as consumers. Our individual power doesn't just lie in how much we reduce, reuse and recycle. As shareholders, we can exercise our rights, but just how do we hold to account those with a big footprint? Is it up to us to decide if a company's efforts on climate change are "good enough," or just "less bad"? Do we have a role in the UK's lower emissions energy mix in 2035?

The way ahead has curves and gradients

In six Aspen Critical Climate Conversations, 24 speakers and six moderators focus on the pertinent questions from differing perspectives and offer critical considerations for the way ahead. For example, in the podcast "Positive Actions- the way ahead," speaker Paul Polman, business leader, campaigner and co-author of Net Positive, might make you ask yourself whether financiers are calculating the risk of their risk avoidance. Samata Pattinson, CEO of Red Carpet Green Dress (RCGD), could convince you that the government needs to make it harder for industry to write their own reports and give themselves an "A." Enass Abo-Hamed, co-founder and CEO of award-winning energy storage tech company H2GO Power Ltd, may leave you wondering if innovators will have to wait for a situation of even greater urgency before their ideas are scaled.

Destination net zero

As we move down the road towards stabilizing global temperatures, better discussions between our thought leaders could help us anticipate the tech that will revolutionize our progress. Critical Climate Conversations may enable us to identify the inconvenient truths and find ways to overcome what is keeping us from reaching our targets. Perhaps, by increasing our own awareness, we can become the mechanics of the net zero road-building machine.