New webinar series: The road to COP26

February 08, 2021

RSK and leading law firm Weightmans will begin a series of webinars on 23 February to address the issues surrounding reaching net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases. The webinars will take place in the run-up to the 26th UN Conference of Parties (COP26). This is an annual meeting of the signatories to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, a multilateral treaty that aims to “stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”.

This year, from 1–12 November, the UK will host the 26th annual conference in Glasgow and will welcome about 30,000 attendees from all over the world. COP26 will be more significant than its predecessor because it marks the five-year anniversary of the Paris Agreement, when all parties must update their nationally determined contributions. COP26 will offer participants a chance to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

On Tuesday, 23 February 2021, RSK and Weightmans will host the first in a series of virtual events based on the key themes of COP26, with a keen focus on the roles of renewable-energy generation and emerging technologies in the UK’s journey to achieving net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050.

RSK Business Development Director Mike Kelly will present a talk titled “Capturing the opportunity for onshore wind power”. Mike’s talk will focus on the drivers behind the continued contribution that onshore wind must play in the push towards net zero and he will explore the potential barriers and opportunities involved in that contribution. Mike says, “There are many reasons why the continued development of onshore wind is critical to the net-zero cause but there are clear hurdles to negotiate along the way and opportunities to innovate. The webinar will provide a great forum to touch on these issues and to continue the discourse around the contribution of renewable-energy generation.”

Dr Stephanie Wray, an RSK Director and founder of Nature Positive, will speak about delivering sustainable renewable development projects. She points out that “often, renewables developers focus solely on their contribution to net zero, assuming that their contribution to reducing the carbon intensification of energy generation alone makes their projects sustainable. But true sustainability encompasses many complex environmental and social factors and their interrelationships. As society tackles the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity decline, we all need to understand better how our actions contribute to a net-zero and nature-positive future.”

Danielle King, RSK’s Senior Climate Change Consultant, reiterates the importance of the upcoming COP26, “Arguably, it is the most international event of the year. It is certainly the most significant climate-change event since the Paris Agreement. It presents a critical opportunity for signatories to the convention to enhance their commitment to the agreement. As the host, the UK is exceptionally well-positioned to shape and support the necessary global effort to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.”

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