December 15, 2021

COP26 has ended, and here are our takeaways. 

It was Globant’s first COP, and perhaps because of the committed and deep work we all genuinely put into it, or perhaps because we rely on our bridging, operational and, disruptive inventing capacity, our overall takeaways have been incredibly positive.

The relevance of advocacy 

Without awareness, knowledge, and readiness, enormous mistakes can be made. If we had known more about hydrogen in the past century, or had invested more in understanding its processes, or even just raised attention in favor of it through shared information, we could be breathing a better atmosphere and be fully exploiting clean energy processes today.

Knowledge, sharing, and advocating are critical for scientific and tech advancements, and we should not underestimate their ability to move people into action!  COP26 blended both private and public sectors, so starting immediately, an augmented volume of private enterprises will be able to share, advocate, and claim net-zero emissions pledges with entirely new value and supply chains. Here at Globant, our over 21,000 employees will continue to be a voice for the greater good of net-zero. Talking the talk can be extremely relevant to see change! 

A plan of action

Nations have agreed to do more. They have discussed how to finance climate-related initiatives among both established and emerging economies and are working on a plan of action. This is crucial, as we heard in one of the Bloomberg talks, “Gimme a simple, easy, straightforward plan…..but just gimme a plan!”  There is a plan now for Article 6 on how to create or recreate a carbon trading market, having CO2 as the new commodity. There are also transparency rules for reporting emissions; another positive step for reporting and marketing carbon.

Fossil-based energy and methane

We may have not been able to phase out unabated coal power, but we are closer to disincentivizing fossil-based energy. As John Kerry said, “Before phasing out, you need to phase down.” And the coal pledge, although not as strong as we would have wanted, is guiding towards the phasing down of such fossil sources.

We now have the methane pledge binding the energy industry closer to a methane-free natural gas and oil production. If that was to be fulfilled, 60% of emissions could be tackled and abated. To solve the current energy crisis, we need an energy transitions plan. We need to sit and work on clean, complementary, and inclusive strategies for energy, and solidly define an energy just transitions path. Additionally, the conversation on energy solutions needs to be based on knowledge, and not only on geopolitics!

Tackling deforestation

We were unsure when we came to COP26 if the trillion trees pledge was a real, science-backed proposal. We now know that the carbon sink of 1 million trees can actually help us out of emissions, so this proposal now has our full support.

The power of proximity

There were around 40,000 people in attendance in Glasgow that are committed to participating in purpose-driven work.  We need workforces and task forces that stretch their creative minds to find, propose, and enact solutions. Yes, we are all tired of listening to words, for the 26th year in a row, but history is slow to materialize; the Paris treaty was signed only 5 years ago, and since then, we’ve had a global pandemic to deal with, too. 

Globant came to COP26 with an extended team ready to thrive off the energy of the collective in attendance. We proposed sustainable technology solutions for net-zero, presented our awards that encourage the inclusion of women in tech and STEM, proposed new funds for the appropriate use of technology, and shared our knowledge partnering on sustainability. 

We have now returned home, to the very many places of the world that Globant populates. And while me might not have been able to guarantee a price or a taxation for CO2 or abolish or phase out coal, we do return home full of ideas, incentivized to do more, do it better…and through technology, do it quickly!

We cannot wait to attend COP27 in Egypt, and hope that by then, disruptive thinking and disruptive action will be unified. Through technology rebels, leaders and followers look forward to zeroing on the most polluting actions in our economies.

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To be ready and stay relevant in the new green economy, companies need different rules, processes and expertise. The Sustainable Business Studio provides organizations and stakeholders with the tools and know-how to build their climate roadmap in favour of just transitions and climate actions. We support organizations embracing a problem-solving approach based on Agenda 2030 to achieve responsible business.