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

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

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



6 May 2021 UK elections : analysis and implications

Yesterday, the final Police and Crime Commissioner ballot results from the 6 May 2021 elections were announced. This brought to a conclusion the process started last week to elect 145 English local councils, 13 English mayors and 39 police and crime commissioners in England and Wales. As well as the Welsh Parliament (60 seats), London Assembly (25 seats) and, crucially, the Scottish Parliament (129 seats) and the Hartlepool Westminster by-election. These results will have significant implications for all the major political parties in the UK. This will undoubtedly impact the lobbying strategies of companies seeking to influence the direction of policy in our country.

Read More »

Break up and move on?

The momentum behind COP26 has created an apparently benign climate for low carbon investment in the UK, however that could all change at next week’s Scottish Parliament election. The 2021 Scottish Parliament elections will be the latest in a series of public ballots, since 2014’s Scottish Referendum, where the future of the United Kingdom is at stake. Due to Brexit and COVID19 it has perhaps been understated how important the Scottish election will be. However, depending upon its result, we could see British politics dominated by the issue of Scottish independence in the same way it was dominated by Brexit in recent years. Businesses whose investments depend on policy decisions yet to come must be mindful of this. As the question of Scottish Independence may leave politicians and officials will little time to consider anything else.

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