Zero emissions energy: an achievable challenge
We all remember the enthusiasm the Paris Climate Agreement generated. In December 2015, all of the leading nations on Earth made a commitment for the first time to keep the increase in temperatures to under 2°C. The images still feel incredibly vivid: the announcement by France’s then-Minister for the Environment Laurent Fabius, the USA’s Secretary of State John Kerry, who signed the agreement with his grand-daughter on his knee, and the idea that we could deliver a sustainable future to new generations. Unfortunately, what followed was a story of broken promises: the difficulties involved in effectively reducing CO2, the USA’s exit from the agreement (before it rejoined in 2021), the failure of the Madrid summit, and the trauma of the Covid pandemic which captured the attention of the entire world.
At the UN’s COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in November 2021, we had a one-time-only opportunity to get back on course, to return to the spirit of Paris and rebuild the idea of an ambitious and courageous world. This is why the work and outcome of the summit should be looked upon in the same spirit in which the generation before mine viewed man travelling to the Moon and the astronauts stepping out of their module for the first time on its surface: to see the unthinkable actually happen and redefine our idea of the future.
Unlike the generation that was inspired by President John F. Kennedy’s Moon Shot speech, our mission is not to conquer the Moon but to protect the Earth.