As Alok Sharma admits there’s a ‘mountain to climb’ before COP26’s finale, we’re ascending other peaks. Researchers project that current climate change mitigation strategies will result in 2.4C of heating by 2100, compared to pre-industrial levels – well above the 1.5C target. Car-makers plan to spend more than half a trillion dollars on electric vehicles and batteries before 2030. Boris is returning to Glasgow by train. Elsewhere, England has the highest death rates of older patients in the western world, while Chinese factory gate inflation has jumped by 13.5% to a 26-year high. Former Australian prime minister Paul Keating says Britain and America deploying nuclear-powered submarines will be ‘like throwing a handful of toothpicks at the mountain’.
CLAMBERING TO NEW PEAKS
Corporates are trying to scale, with Sir Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones special effects studio selling for $1.63bn, Marks & Spencer raising its profits outlook for the second time in three months and ITV expecting record advertising revenues. General Electric is planning to split itself into three. As JD Wetherspoon makes up for falling beer sales with a jump in vodka and cocktail consumption, Edison has initiated research on Veganz, which believes it is Europe’s largest brand of purely plant-based food. A 50p coin has fetched £21,000 on eBay. The FTSE All-Share is climbing today.
SLIPPING DOWN THE RANGES
Some matters are down in the dumps, with Tesla’s stock market capitalisation dropping by $199bn in two days and Iain Duncan Smith accused of a ‘brazen conflict of interest’ over his second job. This art critic didn’t notice that melting father and son effigies in an installation depicted Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch. While Edison client Mynaric is getting ready to supply the US Space Development Agency for the high-speed roll-out of hundreds of small satellites, NASA is pushing its planned human moon landing back to 2025.
USING OUR HEADS
Still, this Australian fought off a crocodile with his pocket knife, the brains of London cabbies with ‘the Knowledge’ could help beat Alzheimer’s disease and Heinz has grown ‘Martian’ tomatoes good enough for ketchup.
PERRY’S PERSONAL VIEW FROM GLASGOW
Kelly Perry, Edison director and head of ESG
Day 7 of COP26 shattered some of the conference’s earlier optimism as scientific facts laid bare the reality of climate change. A report from Climate Action Tracker, an independent organisation which has been analysing commitments made during COP, has calculated that the planet is still heading towards 2.4°C of warming by the end of the century. Even if all the pledges and goals of COP26 so far are met, we will still only reach 1.8°C rather than the target of a 1.5°C limit that governments have set. This report has firmly exposed the gap between the action needed and promises made.
With the world still hurtling towards doubling its temperatures, the UK’s Met Office has predicted that one billion people face crippling heat and a threat to life from a 2°C rise in global temperatures. A rise of 4°C could see nearly half of the world’s population affected. This has highlighted the true cost of climate change and the dangerous realities of failing to act. As we approach the last few days of COP26, the need for immediate action rather than mere words has never been more obvious.