COP26 Update: UK Business Commitments to Net Zero, Global Investment Summit and UK Tidal Power



The UK Government confirmed plans to host a new Global Investment summit (GIS) this October in preparation for November’s COP26 event. [1]

The GIS will take place over the course of one day in October and will gather some of the world’s most influential business leaders and executives in order to mobilise investment ahead of COP26.

The Government said it will use the Summit to showcase the UK’s innovative clean tech industry and cement the UK’s position as a global hub for green finance. This means there will likely be a number of opportunities for businesses operating in this space to engage with Government and showcase their ideas.

This week also saw the UK host a series of virtual climate related events, including the Climate & Development Ministerial event and the IEA-COP26 Net Zero summit, which brought together leaders from over 40 countries to discuss the international collaboration required to bring about a clean energy transition.[2]


This week the Government announced that nearly a third of the UK’s largest businesses have pledged their commitment to combatting climate change. As of Tuesday 30 March 2021, 30 of the UK’s FTSE 100 companies have signed up to the UN’s Race to Zero campaign – the largest global campaign with the aim of encouraging leadership from businesses to support net zero initiatives.[3]

In total, more than 2,000 companies across the world have so far joined the campaign, including hundreds of British firms from across a range of sectors. This milestone means that the UK business community is now the largest single contributor to the list of companies signed up to the campaign, a welcome achievement for the UK as host of COP26.

The Business and Energy Secretary, The Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP, also encouraged more businesses to sign up to the campaign and to commit to the net zero target. Businesses leaders including Sainsbury’s, AstraZeneca and Rolls-Royce are amongst those already signed up.

The announcement follows the launch of two new high profile climate initiatives by two of the UK’s biggest media companies, ITV Studios and Sky News.[4]


MPs on the Environmental  Audit Committee (EAC) launched a new call on the Government to consider the role that tidal power can play in helping the UK meet its net zero target.

The Committee’s Chair, The Rt Hon Philip Dunne MP, wrote a letter to the Business Secretary urging him to reconsider the amount of support currently on offer for the tidal energy sector. The letter stated that there were promising projects that currently lacked sufficient funding to undertake the required studies to secure further backing to assess long-term viability.[5]

Specifically, the EAC stated that the Government should consider an administrative strike price for Contracts for Difference round 4 which would allow tidal projects in development to proceed to the grid offer.

In relation to concerns over the high costs, the EAC suggested that the Government consider a purchasing power agreement model whereby developers and investors are paid for energy generated without the costs being passed on to domestic bills

The letter follows the Committee’s Technological Innovations and Climate Change inquiry which looked at how Government policy can best support new innovations that could contribute to tackling climate change.


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[1] Department for International Trade, ‘UK rolling out green carpet for Global Investment Summit’’, 27 March 2021, link

[2] Cabinet Office, ‘Global summit to help those most vulnerable fight climate change’, 31 March 2021, link

[3] Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, ‘Third of UK’s biggest companies commit to net zero’, 30 March 2021, link

[4] Business Green, ‘Race to Zero: ‘Third of UK’s biggest companies now committed to net zero targets’, 30 March 2021, link

[5] Rt Hon Philip Dunne MP, ‘Technological Innovations and Climate Change inquiry: tidal power’, Correspondence, 30 March 2021, link



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