COP26 Update: Summit Priority Areas, Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy and Scottish Renewables

As COP26 approaches, Brevia will be tracking the latest milestones in the UK’s preparations for the upcoming climate conference. This week’s developments cover the COP26 priority areas, the publication of the Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy and renewable energy in Scotland.


COP26 President, Alok Sharma MP, delivered a written statement this week in Parliament outlining the four core priority areas for the upcoming climate conference. These were set out as:

  • Encouraging countries to set net zero emissions targets, as well as targets for emissions cuts by 2030;
  • Developing climate adaptation plans;
  • Ensuring equity and fairness in climate finance, with an emphasis on the role that richer countries need to play;
  • Collaborating through bringing together Governments, Businesses and Civil Society. [1]

The statement also provided further detail on the governance, structure and parliamentary accountability of the COP26 team. Sharma confirmed that his role will be subject to full select committee scrutiny, with the Chairs of nine Select Committees coming together under the informal ‘Committee on COP26’ to question and examine his team’s activities and progress. Sharma will also face regular questions in the House of Commons, with the next COP26 questions scheduled for after the Easter Recess, on Wednesday 14 April.

Writing in the Guardian, the COP26 President reiterated the importance of these aims and also urged countries to ensure a green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic stating: ‘We need a green thread running through all Covid-19 recovery packages.’ Sharma also highlighted some of the UK’s achievements so far, including the phasing out of cars and coal, as examples for other countries to follow.[2]


On Wednesday 17 March, the Government published its Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy setting out its blueprint for bringing about the decarbonisation of heavy industry and delivering the world’s first low-carbon industrial sector.

The Strategy includes a number of ambitious commitments, such as cutting emissions by two thirds within the next 15 years, as well as targets to bring ore based steelmaking to near net-zero emissions by 2035.[3]

The paper outlines the Government’s intent to establish the right policy framework and funding mechanisms required to support low-carbon heat innovation. £171 million from the Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge was awarded to nine green tech projects in order to support the deployment and use of Carbon Capture Usage and Storage (CCUS) and low carbon hydrogen.[4]

A further £932 million has been allocated to the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which provides grants for public sector bodies to fund heat decarbonisation and energy efficiency measures. Of note, the Government extended eligibility for the scheme to include biomass, signalling the Government’s ambition to drive forward heat decarbonisation through a number of different technologies. [5]


The Scottish Affairs Committee has launched a new inquiry into renewable energy in Scotland as it prepares to host the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow this November. [6]

The Committee is looking to examine how to best deploy and accelerate renewable energy in Scotland, as well as how to ensure a ‘just transition’ for oil and gas workers in the North Sea – something likely to be addressed in the awaited Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy.

The Committee is also seeking to understand how the UK and Scottish Governments can work together to reach their respective net zero goals.  The Scottish Government has set in place more ambitious decarbonisation targets than the UK, with the current date for reaching net zero by 2045.

The Committee will also be holding an Oral Evidence session next Thursday 25 March to examine the preparations for the conference. The inquiry will be accepting evidence until the 14 May 2021.


Discover how Brevia can help you and your organisation by contacting the Brevia Energy Team on 020 7091 1650 or emailing us at:


[1] Alok Sharma MP, COP26 President-Designate, Written Statement: COP26 Update, House of Commons, 18 March 2021, link

[2]Alok Sharma MP, The Guardian, ‘Time is running short – but we can get a grip on the climate crisis’, 18 March 2021, link

[3] Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy, 17 March 2021, link

[4] Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, ‘Major blueprint to create green jobs and slash emissions from industry, schools and hospitals,’ 17 March 2021, link

[5] Bioenergy Insight, ‘Biomass to be included in UK’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme’, 18 March 2021, link

[6] Scottish Affairs Committee, ‘Scotland’s green energy credentials examined ahead of COP26’, 19 March 2021, link



What the Energy Security Strategy tells us about the Government’s current priorities

After several weeks of reported delays, disagreements and leaks, the Government has finally published its Energy Security Strategy. Crucially, the Strategy provides us with an insight into the main influences and influencers of this Government. With the next general election a mere two years away, the Prime Minister appears to be moving away from the climate focus seen at COP26. Instead focusing on internal party politics and maintaining support within the Conservative . Below, Brevia has unpacked some of the telling signs of what is currently influencing Government direction on energy policy.

Read More »

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will impact UK energy policy

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has changed the world. The ways it has done so are yet to be fully understood. Many of our post Cold War assumptions have been upended: Germany has abandoned its longstanding policy of maintaining a limited armed forces to commit €100 billion to defence spending; Switzerland has departed from its historical neutrality to apply sanctions to Russia; Finland is now openly discussing NATO membership and things we had assumed would never happen continue to do so on a daily basis. Set against the human tragedy that is unfolding in Ukraine, these events can seem small or insignificant in comparison. Nonetheless, they are likely to have enduring consequences for everyone in Europe. Particularly when it comes to how Europe, including the UK, powers itself.

Read More »

What did the White Paper tell us about the Levelling Up Agenda?

Last week, the Government published its long-awaited Levelling Up White Paper. The White Paper goes some way to answering the vexed question of ‘What is levelling up?’, by setting out twelve missions the Government hopes to accomplish by 2030. In addition, the Paper sets out a framework for extending devolution in England which could increase the transparency of the process. However, new funding commitments are thin on the ground, and critics suggest the Government has not provided enough money for Levelling Up to succeed.

Read More »
  • Get in touch to arrange your free monitoring trial.