The "26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change" (COP26), which is scheduled to be held from the end of October in Glasgow, the UK, is imminent. As if in time for this, the governments, companies and organizations of each country are all making a rush declaration of "carbon neutral". (Photo quoted from Yahoo’s image)


Leaders of Japan, China, and South Korea, including Europe and the United States, have already declared their carbon-neutral achievement goals.


At this point, Russia has also kept pace. In mid-October, President Putin stated at the international conference in Russia, Energy Week, that Russia would aim to be carbon-neutral by 2060.


According to data from the International Energy Agency (IEA), Russia is the fourth largest carbon dioxide (CO2) emitting country in the world. The declaration by Russia, which is a major resource-rich country such as crude oil and natural gas, has given momentum to the international society. As a side note, India, the world's third-largest GHG emitter, has not officially announced at this time that emissions will be virtually zero by 1950.


Putin also added that Russia will increase its liquefied natural gas (LNG) production to 140 million tonnes on an annual basis by 2035. He stressed that Russia intends to fulfill all supply contract obligations and increase gas supply if necessary for countries including Europe, where soaring natural gas prices are a concern for the electricity crisis.


The efforts of major resource companies are also conspicuous. Rio Tinto, a British-Australian company, announced on October 20 a plan to halve CO2 emissions by 2030. It will invest $ 7.5 billion to achieve this. By using electricity derived from renewable energy, it will lead to a reduction scale that is three times the previous target. Rio Tinto also said it expects to increase its capital investment in 2022 from $ 7.5 billion to $ 8 billion and to $ 10 billion in 2024.


Spanish energy giant Repsol has recently announced a new goal for net zero emissions by 2050. According to the report, it plans to add 1 billion euros to low-carbon projects and invest a total of 6.5 billion euros. It also plans to increase the project investment ratio by 2030 to 45% of the total investment.


The movement of industry groups is also transmitted. The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) in the US announced Net Zero strategy by 2050 on October 12. It also revealed that three aviation organizations such as NBAA will work on energy conservation at an annual rate of 2% from 2020 to 2030.


According to media reports such as Reuters, the "Climate Change Institutional Investor Group" (IIGCC), which has over $ 60 trillion in assets under management, made a request to electric power companies around the world is up to 15 years ahead of schedule to achieve virtually zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The hurdles are even higher for many utilities that have a zero-emission target by 50 years.


Under these circumstances, the UK Government, which chairs COP26, announced 10 priority items in its Net Zero strategy on October 19. The government emphasized that it would aim for up to £ 90 billion in private investment and 440,000 jobs in the green industry by 2030. Specifically, the main points are the promotion of electric vehicles (EV), the development and construction of new nuclear power plants, and the inclusion of 10% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).


COP26 is originally scheduled to be held at the end of 2020. However, due to the pandemic of Corona, the event was postponed by one year. During COP26, the World Leaders Summit will be held on November 1st and 2nd, with the participation of the leaders of each country.


The announcement of the 10 priority items seems to be aimed at urging the international community to strengthen its efforts by showing the UK's stance of "starting from the beginning". Attention will be focused on whether British Prime Minister Johnson, who plays the role of chairman, can summarize the opinions of the participating leaders as a measure against global warming without waiting.



Jiro Arihara

 Global Commodity Watcher