29 November 2022

Renewable energy was top of the agenda at COP27. Rishi Sunak has pledged to make the UK a clean energy superpower by speeding up the country’s transition to renewables. The government remains committed to achieving net zero by 2050 and protecting the UK’s energy security while creating high-wage jobs in the new green economy.

Sunak used his COP27 speech to call for a faster transition to renewable energy to meet short-term net-zero goals to keep the 2050 mission alive. COP27 was a milestone in the world’s battle against climate change, presenting what’s been described as the “last best chance to limit global warming to 1.5°c”.

The goal of COP27 is to turn the Paris Climate Change Agreement commitments into action to build a sustainable future for humanity. The agenda for COP27 focused on reducing emissions by speeding up the transition to renewables and providing support and funding for the developing countries most impacted by climate change.

The UN Secretary-General used his COP27 speech to warn that the world is on a “highway to climate hell”. The best way that the UK can fight for a liveable plant and the future of humanity is by investing in renewable energy. The fight against climate change will be won or lost within the next ten years.

What is COP27?

The Conference of the Parties – also known as COP – is a United Nations climate summit held annually in partnership with governments around the world that are committed to limiting the rise in global temperatures.

The parties that attend COP27 have signed the United Nations 1992 Climate Agreement. The 17th COP meeting – COP27 – was held in Egypt in November 2023. COP27 focused on three primary concerns, including reducing gas emissions, aiding countries with preparing and dealing with the effects of climate change, and securing technical support and funding for developing countries.

Where the UK Stands on Renewable Energy

The UK is leading the way in cutting carbon emissions and transitioning to renewable energy. We’re cutting carbon emissions faster than any other G7 country with a four-fold increase in our renewable energy in the last decade. Wind and solar now make up 40% of the UK’s energy supply.

Rishi Sunak made a late decision to participate in COP27 and used his speech to declare that “fighting climate change is not just a moral good – it is fundamental to our future prosperity and security”.

His speech included several announcements to turbo-charge the global transition to green energy. It includes £65.5m in green tech innovation and significant clean energy investments in Kenya and Egypt. The other landmark announcement includes a ‘Forest and Climate Leaders’ Partnership’ with £150m being used to protect rainforests and natural habitats, including the Amazon.

The significance of COP27 is the context of domestic energy and the war in Ukraine. Our current cost of living crisis, economic downturn, and energy crisis has focused minds on our reliance on foreign energy markets and fossil fuels.

The Global Picture of Climate Change

It’s impossible to look at the impact of COP27 on the UK without taking into consideration the global picture of climate change. Sunak used his COP27 speech to tell his fellow world leaders that they cannot “backslide” on the commitments made during COP26 in Glasgow.

It came in the backdrop of the World Meteorological organisation’s warning that the 1.5 degrees target is “barely within reach”. The 12 months since COP26 have shown that some of the world’s poorest countries are those who have contributed the least to global warming. We’ve seen these countries suffer the worst under climate change, from the droughts across Africa to the devastating Pakistan floods this summer.

We’re seeing extreme weather events occurring on a more frequent basis with developing countries often at the epicentre. It’s why there’s an increasing debate about developing renewable energy infrastructure and providing health and education services for those who suffer the worst consequences of climate change.

How We Can Meet Our Renewables Targets

COP27 showed that we only have a decade to make or break our battle against climate change. How can we unleash the potential of renewable energy in the UK for the global battle against climate change? Farmers are part of the solution.

Away from the world leaders, COP27 played host to organisations and groups playing their role in promoting the transition to renewable energy. NFU was one of the groups that attended COP27, calling for farmers to be recognised as having a vital role in achieving net-zero.

Farmers are on the frontline of the climate change battle, experiencing fires, flooding, and droughts that are the biggest threat to global food security. COP27 highlighted the role of farmers in tackling climate change and enabling the transition to green energy.

NFU called for investments to build a robust infrastructure framework and streamline the planning process to enable farmers and their development partners to build solar and wind farms, along with battery storage solutions. These changes would allow the UK to reduce its reliance on foreign energy markets and fossil fuels while supporting more sustainable food production.

The farming industry can assist with boosting renewable energy production and make the agricultural industry more climate-friendly while providing affordable food sources.

Helping the UK Achieve Net Zero by 2050

COP27 showed that we have a mountain to climb.

While the UK gets 40% of its energy from renewables, the net zero goal is falling out of reach. We must work with landowners and farmers on private developments to expand renewable energy capacity. Battery storage systems are vital to utilise renewable energy to the fullest.

At Green Switch Capital, our land leasing programme transforms unused land into renewable energy developments and battery storage facilities. It provides farmers with a form of passive income with every step of the planning and development process overseen by our team.

Green Switch Capital exists to create a sustainable, and self-sufficient green energy market that will enable the UK to meet its net zero target and COP27 commitments. 

We’ve invested over £350m in renewable diversification and our developments are saving over 150,000+ tonnes of carbon emissions every year.

Discover more about our land-leasing programme by contacting our team at info@gscapital.uk or by using our contact form.