National Grid 'Excited to be a Principal Partner for COP26' article

Excited to be a Principal Partner for COP26

The biggest climate summit the UK has ever held, COP26 will host all the countries signed up to the UN’s treaty to combat climate change. National Grid is driving more ambitious change towards a clean energy future.

The UK is hosting COP26, the next UN climate conference, and we’re delighted to be the first of a number of Principal Partners of this important global climate event.

COP26 will be biggest summit the UK has ever hosted, with around 30,000 attendees expected in Glasgow from 1 to 12 November 2021; including prime ministers, presidents, high-level government officials and global businesses.

The conference will be the most significant climate event since the 2015 Paris Agreement – when all parties to the UNFCCC agreed to keep the average global temperature increase to well below two degrees and to try to limit it to 1.5 degrees. At COP26, governments around the world will be reporting on their countries’ progress and agreeing to new actions to cut carbon emissions.

Partnering with NatWest Group, Scottish Power and SSE, we will be working to ensure the conference is successful and ambitious in scope.

COP26 is a unique opportunity for us

As one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the world, we play a vital role at the heart of a clean, fair and affordable energy future.

We’re at the forefront of the UK’s journey to net zero; investing, building and maintaining the critical national infrastructure required to facilitate the transition from traditional to renewable energy.

COP26 is a unique opportunity for us to drive more ambitious change towards that clean energy future – in the UK, north eastern US and internationally – and show that achieving net zero is possible with the technologies and opportunities we have today.

COP26 President Alok Sharma says: “I am delighted to announce our first sponsors for COP26, who have all shown ambitious climate leadership through setting net zero commitments and Science Based Targets.

“When it comes to climate action, we all have an important role to play. Only by continuing to come together can we build the zero carbon, climate resilient future that is essential for our people and our planet.”

Our CEO John Pettigrew says: “Tackling climate change and reaching net zero is at the top of National Grid’s agenda.

“To transition to net zero, we are connecting more renewables to the electricity grid, creating the right charging infrastructure in the US and UK to enable an increase in electric vehicles and continually developing and deploying new decarbonisation technologies.

“It’s crucial that every country, every government, every industry and every one of us works together to find ways to cut the carbon we produce. If we don’t, we will put the planet in jeopardy.”

Ambitious plans to deliver a multi-billion pound underwater super-highway

Alongside their sponsorship of COP26, National Grid, SSE and Scottish Power have today committed to the first stage of work to deliver a multi-billion pound underwater super-highway that will see the North Sea become the hidden power house of Europe.

Subsea surveys have started on the project, which will see the world’s longest subsea HVDC cables with a combined capacity of up to 4GW. The project will be led by National Grid, SSE and Scottish Power and is expected to bring in investment of over £3bn, supporting hundreds of green jobs throughout construction and operation.

The cables will significantly increase the UK’s capacity for clean, green, renewable power. It will enable enough electricity for around 4.5 million homes, travelling up to 440km from Peterhead and Torness in the east of Scotland – a hub for offshore renewables – down to two points in the north-east of England, Selby and Hawthorn Point.

It’s a great example of companies working together on impressive engineering feats that will help the country hit its net zero carbon target by 2050.

Nicola Shaw, our UK Executive Director, says: “This project will help transport enough renewable electricity for around 4.5 million homes across the UK and will become part of the backbone of the UK’s energy system. It’s a great example of companies working together on impressive engineering feats that will help the country hit its net zero carbon target by 2050.”

Survey works have recently commenced with construction works expected to start from 2024.

Helping advance our journey towards a clean energy future

Expect to hear much more about COP26 activities over the next year, and at the conference itself, as we gear up for a year of climate action ahead of the summit.

We will be working with stakeholders within the energy sector and beyond to put on a series of events, from January 2021 onwards, that will help advance our collective journey towards a clean energy future.

Find out more about COP26