COP26 UN Climate Change Conference creates opportunities for tech companies


Written by Anamaria Correal, Trademark Attorney

During November, all eyes have been on Glasgow as one of the most important climate change conferences has taken place. At the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference, countries are being urged to step up with new commitments to reduce emissions and mobilise funding. Currently, more than fifty countries, as well as the entire European Union, have pledged to net-zero emissions.


What are some of the plans to reduce emissions?

Deforestation pledge
Nearly 100 countries had signed up to a deforestation pledge in order to restore forests by 2030. The forests that are pointed out in the agreement include the tropical rainforests of Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as the northern forests of Canada and Russia.


Coal Transition

Almost 200 countries and organisations had agreed to end coal-fired power, including major coal countries such as Poland, Ukraine, Germany, and Vietnam. The commitments have been issued through a “Global Coal to Clean Power Transition Statement”. On the other hand, the Climate Investment Funds (CIF), announced that countries such as India, Indonesia, the Philippines, and South Africa will join a pilot programme that aims to accelerate their transition from coal power to clean energy.


Australia is not moving away from fossil fuels

While different countries are moving to reduce emissions by shifting away from fossil fuels, Australia along with India, China and Japan have decided not to support the Transition Statement. However, to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, the Australian Government aims to reach the net-zero target by focusing primarily on developing new technologies that can cut emissions, but not “wiping out industries”.


How will Australia reach the net-zero target by 2050?

The Primer minister Scott Morrison and the Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor released Australia’s Long-Term Emissions Reduction Plan (the Plan). This plan focuses on achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 based on five key principles including:

  • Technology not taxes: not imposing new costs on households, businesses or the broader economy;
  • driving down the cost of low emissions technologies;
  • deploying new technologies at scale: removing barriers that may slow deployment;
  • seize economic opportunities in new traditional markets;
  • collaborating with other countries to accelerate the technology transformation.

What this means is that the Australian government will be investing heavily in opportunities for new low emission technologies. In particular, the Long-Term Emissions Reduction Plan (the Plan) will reduce the cost of low emissions technologies to accelerate their development and commercialisation. This plan is based on existing Australian policies and does not rely on taxes. The Australia’s priority low emissions technologies include clean hydrogen, ultra-low cost solar, energy storage for firming, low emissions steel, low emissions aluminium, carbon capture and storage and soil carbon.

In addition, the Technology Investment Roadmap will guide more than $20 billion of Government investment to ensure Australia is leading the way in the adoption of new low emissions technologies by 2030, to drive over $80 billion of total public and private investment over the decade.

Harris Gomez Group opened its doors in 1997 as an Australian legal and commercial firm. In 2001, we expanded our practice to the international market with the establishment of our office in Santiago, Chile. This international expansion meant we could provide an essential bridge for Australian companies with interests and activities in Latin America, and in so doing, became the first Australian law firm with an office in Latin America.

We provide innovative technology and resources businesses with legal and commercial expertise to realise their global potential. Our goal is to see innovative businesses establish and thrive in the global market. We are proud members of Austmine.

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