EIEE Inside – Fall 2021 – COP26 and the role of the science in supporting the climate transition
The Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change are a series of annual meetings where world governments get together to achieve significant progress in limiting climate change and find solutions for the impacts of a warming climate. This year’s meeting, the COP26, hosted in Glasgow, just ended. The primary efforts of the COP26 summit were directed towards securing global net zero-emission by the middle of the century. How? Through, for example, the encouragement of investments in renewable energy or behavioral changes whereby individuals support the energy transition by switching to green energy or electric vehicles.
These are some of the topics that are part of the EIEE’s research agenda. One of the EIEE’s priority is to design transition pathways encompassing low carbon technologies such as renewables, hydrogen, storage, demand-side management. Another area of EIEE’s research deals with understanding how agents, physical and biophysical systems react to climate change. In EIEE, we also use field experiments to investigate key drivers of pro-environmental behavior. As a conclusion of the summit, negotiators agreed to “phase down” coal. Whether the Glasgow Climate Pact is a success or a failure will only be known some time down the road. Instead, what is clear is that to support the transition process, the research on these topics will remain essential.
Cristina Cattaneo, EIEE Scientist