Throughout the COP27 summit, people have been demanding the phase-out of fossil fuels to help developing countries combat climate change and its effect on their doorstep. At this year's summit, a lot more attention has been put on clean and climate tech as an answer to some of the climate crisis issues.
While that may seem an obvious statement, it was only last year at COP26 in Glasgow that Andrew Forrest was trying to set up meetings with world leaders to promote green hydrogen as an alternative to fossil fuels but had no success. "There just wasn't enough interest," Forrest said.
Twelve months later, Forrest was among several chief executives invited to a COP27 green hydrogen investment roundtable co-chaired by Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Germany's Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
Many new technologies have been on display at COP27. And, with a considerable surge of funding in clean tech recently, what was ignored a year ago is being considered a solution. But the real question is, can it make a difference?
Investing in new technologies is critical. Prime minister Rishi Sunak committed £65.5 million to help researchers and scientists in developing countries accelerate their clean tech development. This is on top of the commitment to triple the current climate adaptation funding from £500 million to £1.5 billion in 2025. But can the commitment of funds translate to new clean tech coming through quickly enough?
The truth is that technologies that fight climate change need to be commercialised sooner rather than later, and getting the tech out of the labs is what everyone is waiting for.
But according to some of the delegates at COP27, technologies such as green hydrogen are moving faster than most people realise; Chief Purchasing Officer at Volvo Group, Andrea Fuder, spoke to ft.com about the advancements made since COP26. Last year in April, Volvo Group announced that it planned to use fossil-free steel in its products made with green hydrogen. By October of the same year, it had unveiled its haulier machine prototype that had been made with "green steel". As of June 2022, they delivered a complete machine to the Nordic construction group NCC.
While tech such as green hydrogen is yet to be as developed and understood as its other renewable energy counterparts, such as wind and solar, there is still a lot to be gained from continuing to push forward on innovations in clean tech and climate tech. Although the world is looking for quick answers to the current climate crisis, the opportunities discovered in Clean Tech cannot go unmissed.
At Zero, we work with clean tech and climate tech companies to help them find the people and skills they need to tackle the climate crisis challenges.