Hear four ERM experts give their perspective on what to watch during COP 27 for the renewables, technology, finance, and power industries.

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Michael Ottaviano

Michael Ottaviano

Managing Partner - Renewable Energy; APAC

So I think I think one of the biggest issues for the renewables sector going into COP 27 will be the response to some of the major geopolitical events that we're seeing globally at the moment and over the last 12 months, the most obvious of that being the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the dramatic impact that's had on energy prices across Europe. And I think if anything, that is a real urgent dramatic reminder around the need to not just to embed a cleaner source and cleaner sources of generation into our energy mix, but also more security. And that security can be delivered through renewables. Renewables are by definition localized generation. So, it's renewables that offer that clean, secure alternative to traditional fossil fuels. And they will also prove to be the cheapest alternative in the long run as well.

The renewable sector will be extremely well represented at COP 27. We've got proven a wind and solar and storage technologies that can remove carbon out of the electricity sector and there's still so much work to be done in that space globally. So, renewables will be present in the form of the developers, the large, particularly the larger developers globally that are deploying gigawatts of wind and solar at the moment, but we'll also see it in the finance sector. We still have the opportunity to bring more capital into this space in more innovative ways as well.

And you know where we will have some senior executives on a panel talking about the opportunities for renewables and some of the challenges and barriers as well.


Alison Drury

Alison Drury

Senior Partner - Global Technology Lead, North America

I would say progress on climate commitments given most of our technology companies have goals of reaching Net Zero by 2030 and talking about where they are and what more needs to be done. Additionally, I would say water stewardship and securing water rights along with biodiversity and nature positivity or top of mind. And then lastly, the value chain. Not only decarbonizing supply chains, but also ensuring responsible and sustainable supply chains with an emphasis on human rights adaptation and climate resilience. The goal of truly realizing a circular economy for their products.

And I think overarchingly the technology industry is very keen to accelerate the pathway to net zero. And the way to do that is through collaboration, for example through cross sector partnerships and investment as well as promoting sustainable business models. I also think in addition, technology itself can help solve many of today's climate challenges. So from a mitigation and adaptation perspective, climate innovation is really where the technology industry can make some a real global contribution, both toward reducing carbon emissions as well as helping other industries and governments prepare for and cope with the consequences of climate change.

There's a strong connection and interest between biodiversity, nature positivity and climate and the effects on vulnerable communities and assets. Additionally, the Green Zone at COP 27 sounds like a great place for technology companies to share their journey to net zero and some success stories on climate leadership.


Trista Chen

Trista Chen

Partner, Finance Sector Regional Lead; Asia Pacific

So, this year at the COP 27, it is inevitable that finance is central to this year's climate talk, and in fact one of the four key goals at COP 27 is related to finance and in particular climate finance.

In 2009, developed country committed to give 100 billion a year by 2020 to developing countries to help them to reduce the emission and prepare for climate change. And this target was missed and moved back to 2023. So, at this year's COP, we are expected to target the goal of making significant progress with regard to climate finance, in particular the implementation of how to deliver this commitment. On the other hand, while the developing nation is waiting for this commitment to fulfill, they are also calling for the payment for the loss and damage. And that will be interesting space for us to watch how the finance institutes and the governments will gather together and make it happen.

Interestingly, this year we already see major banks and asset management, for example, BlackRock and Citigroup, saying that they would not send their CEOs. I personally think that with the absence of the C-suite may send a message. But however because this is not the five year circle of the COP, it is more about what are we going to do to deliver the commitment that they made previously, right. So in a way of absence of those chief executive may not be underlining the commitment, the pledge, but more like focusing on implementation which is which is what we need to do.

I would say that aside from the cooperation and discussion happening at COP, we also see companies stepping up and sign their pledges, make further conversations about climate financing and there will be further collaboration across different finance institutes because this is not a situation that one can say that we will be able to battle on our own. We need all parties - public and private financing, government bodies to be from eyeing their goal together and make this happen.


Gretchen Taylor

Gretchen Taylor

Partner; North America

I think from my perspective, green hydrogen, no question, is one of the biggest agenda items that at least the power sector should be paying attention to this year at COP 27, switching from fossil fuels to low carbon hydrogen is going to be pivotable, pivotal in launching the global efforts to reach Net Zero by 2050, the commitments that were made last year. Hydrogen is a practical, scalable solution to decarbonize our existing industries that currently depend on fossil fuels.

So it's my hope that's happened in a lot of other industries such as technology that the power sector will show up ready to share best practices and technologies so we can accelerate the renewables development in general. I'm hoping that it's less competitive and more collaborative going forward.

I think there's a real acknowledgement that now that those commitments were made at COP 26 last year and elsewhere to meet certain targets as with this past year has been very active people, companies, governments trying to figure out their plan to get there and then realizing that there's a gap and how are we going to rethink our path, our strategies to get there. And I think we all need to be open minded and quick at the same time.