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COP26 is the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties, hosted by the UK in Glasgow between 31 October and 12 November 2021.
The COP26 summit brought together a variety of stakeholders to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement – a legally binding international treaty. Its main goal is to secure global net-zero by mid-century.
Alongside the Glasgow event, OxLEP – supported by the Greater South East Energy Hub – hosted an official UN COP26 regional roadshow on 9 November (during the Presidency's 'science and innovation' day) at Lady Margaret Hall in Oxford.
Watch again: Official COP26 event hosted by OxLEP - 'The Billion Tonne Drop' (9 November 2021)
OxLEP’s programme was built around a ‘billion tonne drop’ theme, showcasing how the county’s world-leading innovation ecosystem can generate major global carbon emission savings through the significant capabilities generated within Oxfordshire, including in the fields of fusion energy, solar power, construction, electric vehicles and aviation.
The COP26 event also explored how the county’s expertise could be scaled-up, at pace, and ultimately benefit the global fight against climate change.
Watch supporting event film: 'The Billion Tonne Drop - How Oxfordshire leads the global charge to address the climate emergency'
Supported by a powerful, short-film that showcased some of Oxfordshire’s key projects that have the ability to play a significant role in creating a greener future globally, the event saw a number of key figures from the world of business, academia and green finance come together to discuss how:
- With the right level of investment, Oxfordshire – and in-turn, the Oxford-Cambridge Arc – is well-set to ‘do more’ and create further solutions that can drive the world towards a zero-carbon future.
- Oxfordshire’s history of delivering pioneering solutions to the world’s greatest issues (most-recently seen through the development of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine) can again be mobilised when it comes to addressing climate change.
- Oxfordshire is inspiring young minds and entrepreneurs to understand that we are the 'location of choice’ when it comes to opportunities available to address the climate emergency.
- Oxfordshire is a genuine world-leader in creating solutions that support a zero-carbon future and demonstrate that the county’s innovation ecosystem is already delivering many answers to the climate emergency.
Businesses and projects featured in the 'Billion Tonne Drop' film included:
- Bennamann Ltd
- Culham Centre for Fusion Energy
- Greencore Construction
- Harwell Science and Innovation Campus
- Oxford PV
A panel event, hosted by broadcaster Howard Bentham, saw the following representatives take part:
- Dr Alex Money – Director, Innovative Infrastructure Investment Programme, Smith School
- Pippa Gawley – Founder and Managing Director, Zero Carbon Capital
- Tony Gott – Non-Executive Chairman, Saietta Group
In addition, members of the Voice of Oxfordshire’s Youth (VOXY) – alongside elected members, entrepreneurs, investors and foreign embassy officials – were also in attendance.
In Oxfordshire – prior to the pandemic – the low-carbon energy sector generated £1.15bn a year and over the past half-decade, the county has attracted £2bn in foreign direct investment in this area.
The Oxfordshire Energy Strategy – which was launched in November 2019 and led by OxLEP, with support from both the private and public sectors – backs a drive towards zero-carbon growth by 2050 with the aim of spearheading a further £1.35bn annually to the county’s economy, creating at least 11,000 new jobs in the low-carbon sector by 2030.