Snippets for 18 November 2021






Welcome to our latest Snippets newsletter.


Well, COP 26 has been and gone. Much was hoped for in terms of a major shift away from fossil fuels and even an outright ban on their use. But with the biggest delegation of 502 delegates being from the fossil fuel sector, bigger than the number of delegates from any one country, including the host the United Kingdom, it was never going to be easy.


As such, some are labelling COP 26 as a failure. But was it really? To focus only on the headline commitments, is to miss the other story that unfolded during COP26, as public-, private-, and cross-sector pledges signalled that the direction of travel is toward net zero. Net-zero commitments made in Glasgow came from coalitions of the stakeholders—governments, financial institutions, companies, multilateral organizations, and others—who must participate if systemic problems are going to be solved. The transition towards net-zero is now a widely shared aspiration.


And the word ‘transition’ is likely to be the word of our next decade. And finance too has transitioned, with the emergence of the 450 strong institutional Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero and their commitment to provide US$130 trillion in investments to a net-zero future, some of which will be in assisting developing nations transition away from fossil fuel dependency. This is almost certain to include India, who has an enormous challenge ahead of it in exiting from coal.


This transition is already being shown by the Asian Development Bank which is committed to buying coal fired electricity generators and then retiring them early, to be replaced by renewable generation.


And it is now sure the age of fossil fuels is drawing closer to an end. A recent study confirms that renewable energy sources could satisfy demand for between 72 to 91 percent of the time, even without energy storage, and up to 83 to 94 percent of the time with an additional 12 hours of storage. Genesis Energy certainly think so, with plans to retire their thermal baseload generation (think Huntly) and replace it with a mixture of geothermal, solar PV and wind generation.


We finish up this week with the changing face of company governance – the Board and how they will be critical in shaping the way their organisation tackles climate change. Boards with a greater mix of gender, race and age are far more likely to act faster and with greater vision than a Board made up of those that don’t have similar diversity.

As we are now post COP 26, we start this edition off with some reflections on what transpired and some pragmatic guidance for businesses on how they can substantiate their net-zero commitments. With commitments outpacing the formation of supply chains, market mechanisms, financing models, and other solutions and structures needed to smooth the world’s decarbonization pathway, the article offers five fundamentals to assist businesses through this transition. Effective planning and looking ahead will be key for businesses to navigate through the volatility and emerge successfully on the other side. Read more...


Transitioning is likely be the word of the next decade. And transitioning to a greener global economy will take planning – and investment. A lot of it. The good news coming out of COP26 is that an alliance known as the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) of 450 banks, insurers, and investors, have pledged to invest US$130 trillion in combating climate change. This will put green investing on a much firmer footing, providing the financial backing desperately needed to support the green transition. Read more...


Our next article highlights how necessary finance will be to transitioning economies away from fossil fuels. With over 70% of all power produced in India coming from coal, transitioning to a renewable grid will be extremely challenging. The coal sector in India also provides jobs to hundreds of thousands of people and a huge amount of tax revenue. It won’t be easy for this still developing nation to kick the coal habit. A just transition, with international support, will be required to ensure livelihoods are maintained throughout India’s decarbonization journey. Read more...

One of the many announcements at COP 26 was that the Asian Development Bank is going to partner with investors to buy and retire coal plants, but not just retire the plants, they will replace with renewable energy alternatives. The bank is launching with a fund of up to US$3.5 Billion dollars. More importantly they will focus on buying plants in Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam, where coal provides for most of their energy needs. Read more...

The focus on renewable energy makes really good sense, as our next article reveals. The study analysed 39 years’ worth of hourly energy demand data from 42 major countries. While some counties have more abundant wind and solar resources, the study confirms that renewable energy sources could satisfy demand for between 72 to 91 percent of the time, even without energy storage, and up to 83 to 94 percent of the time with an additional 12 hours of storage. And as hydro can be storage, who needs coal? Read more...


Genesis Energy has set its sights on becoming a leading big solar developer and has laid out a plan dubbed the Future-gen Program, which aims to displace 2,650GWh of baseload thermal generation with new renewable power by 2030. Genesis is commencing a joint venture to deliver up to 500MW of North Island solar capacity, has launched the Taranaki Waipipi wind farm, and signed a power purchase agreement for the Northland Kaiwaikawe wind farm. Along with power from the Tauhara geothermal plant near Taupo, these 4 projects combined will create 1,935Gwh per year of renewable energy. Read more...



What is a climate competent Board? With the known likelihood of disruptions to business operations from climate change extreme events, Boards would be foolish to not be considering the impact of these events on production, distribution, procurement, investment, and customers in their business. Boards need to start changing their focus from how a business’s activities may affect climate change, to the opposite – how climate change may affect their business. There will be a lot of pressure and influence from those trying to achieve net zero. Read more...


The greater the mix of gender, race and age on a company's Board, the more likely the firm is to take bolder climate action, a study of the world's greenhouse gas emitters has found. Gender diverse Boards are twice as likely to develop a decarbonisation strategy. And younger Boards are even more likely to do so. Less than half of the biggest emitters have at least 30 per cent board seats held by women. And Asia Pacific firms have very low diversity figures, and are generally much slower than western firms to take climate action. Read more...

The average person on the street sees themselves as doing ok in their own actions to preserve the planet, but see all others as not doing enough. Statistically they don’t think they personally need to change as they are already much more committed to the environment than others in their local community, or any institution, including their government. There seems to be an unwillingness to see the need for more personal effort. Governments also need to measure up to people’s expectations and persuade them of solutions. Are you doing enough? Read more...

Our final article looks at how procurement leaders that buy into a sustainable value chain can have a substantial positive impact, not only on the environment, but also on their company’s bottom line. By understanding the environmental impact of their value chain and their delivered products or services, being able to evaluate potential suppliers on environmental grounds, and implementing more sustainable practices as a core of their procurement process, business will be able to differentiate themselves and get ahead on the green-transition curve. Read more...



This week we have an innovation article we hope you enjoy:


Forrest promises to convert first ship to green ammonia within a year











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