COP26 is now completed and the changes will impact the cleantech sector in the years ahead. Some came away disappointed at the lack of commitment from the 197 participating countries at COP26; however, there were many positive steps as outlined below.
The major outcomes from COP26
- The “Glasgow Climate Pact” was introduced. It aims to limit global warming to 1.5 °C. It calls for a more ambitious climate response on cutting emissions, climate management finance, and pledging to double adaptation finance, and funding for loss and damage already being caused by warming. Countries were asked to “revisit and strengthen” their climate pledges by the end of 2022.
- New transparency rules to ensure countries report sufficient information to determine whether or not they are meeting their pledges.
- The first ever COP decision to explicitly target action against fossil fuels, calling for a “phase-down” of unabated coal and “phase-out” of “inefficient” fossil-fuel subsidies.
- COP26 finalised rules for global carbon trading; however under the rules, the fossil fuel industry will be allowed to “offset” its carbon emissions and carry on polluting.
- Record-breaking pledges of US$365 million to the Adaptation Fund. This was a tripling of the amount raised last year, with first time contributions from the USA and Canada.
Note: The Adaption Fund is set up to help developing countries build resilience and ‘adapt’ to climate change.
Sectors and companies to benefit from the COP26 changes
The renewable energy sector will continue to be a beneficiary. In particular, solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal energy. So too will nuclear energy benefit. The push for a global warming increase limited to 1.5 °C, and the focus for countries to revisit and strengthen their climate pledges by the end of 2022, should also be a positive catalyst going forward for renewables and nuclear energy.
Carbon capture and storage (“CC&S”) should also continue to benefit. The “phase-down” (not “phase-out”) of coal means CC&S can continue to play a role to reduce carbon emissions.
Zero-emission vehicles such as electric vehicles (“EVs”) indirectly got a boost with the COP26 decision to phase down “inefficient” fossil-fuel subsidies. If implemented fossil fuels would become relatively more expensive making EVs relatively more attractive.
Those companies working in the cleantech sector will benefit from the renewed COP26 push to reduce emissions.
Many InvestorIntel member companies set to benefit
When you look over the list of InvestorIntel member companies the standout feature is that many are involved, either directly or indirectly, in the cleantech and green related sectors. For example, Carbon Streaming Corporation (NEO: NETZ) invests into carbon credits, Cielo Waste Solutions Corp. (TSXV: CMC | OTCQB: CWSFF) turns polluting waste into renewable fuel, dynaCERT Inc. (TSX: DYA | OTCQX: DYFSF) reduces emissions from vehicles, H2O Innovation Inc. (TSXV: HEO | OTCQX: HEOFF) uses technologies to create clean water and treat wastewater, Ideanomics, Inc. (NASDAQ: IDEX) is investing in and supporting the EV industry, Nano One Materials Corp. (TSX: NANO) works to develop and commercialize better and cheaper cathodes for lithium ion batteries, and NEO Battery Materials Ltd. (TSXV: NBM) is developing silicon anodes for lithium ion batteries..
The mining companies that produce or are working to produce the raw materials that go into solar and wind energy, as well as electric vehicles, batteries, and other energy storage products, stand to benefit. This includes the rare earths (Appia Rare Earths & Uranium Corp. (CSE: API | OTCQB: APAAF), Search Minerals Inc. (TSXV: SMY | OTCQB: SHCMF), USA Rare Earth, LLC, Vital Metals Limited (ASX: VML); lithium (Avalon Advanced Materials Inc. (TSX: AVL | OTCQB: AVLNF), Critical Elements Lithium Corporation (TSXV: CRE), Neo Lithium Corp. (TSXV: NLC); cobalt (CBLT Inc. (TSXV: CBLT), Global Energy Metals Corporation (TSXV: GEMC); graphite; nickel (Nickel 28 Capital Corp. (TSXV: NKL); manganese; copper (Kodiak Copper Corp. (TSXV: KDK), Murchison Minerals Ltd. (TSXV: MUR); vanadium and scandium (Imperial Mining Group Ltd. (TSXV: IPG), Scandium International Mining Corp. (TSX: SCY). Another is the rare earths’ magnet materials maker Neo Performance Materials Inc. (TSX: NEO).
Finally, a phase-down of coal is a positive for the smart nuclear sector and hence the uranium miners and explorers such as Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE American: UUUU | TSX: EFR), Ur-Energy Inc. (NYSE American: URG | TSX: URE), Western Uranium & Vanadium Corp. (CSE: WUC | OTCQX: WSTRF), Fission 3.0 Corp. (TSXV: FUU | OTCQB: FISOF), Appia Rare Earths & Uranium Corp. (CSE: API | OTCQB: APAAF), and Azincourt Energy Corp. (TSXV: AAZ).
COP26 was perhaps more successful than what some are reporting. The phase-down of coal is a good achievement, with India joining this for the first time. The new transparency rules are underappreciated, given currently that there are no penalties for not following the climate change targets (only naming and shaming). New rules for global carbon credits trading are also a positive step forward. Also, the tripling of pledges to the Adaptation Fund to help developing companies is welcome.
Investors could look through the list of InvestorIntel members and select the companies that they think best align with the COP26 changes and the massive trend towards reducing emissions and producing green energy and technology this decade.
See you next time for COP27 in November 2022, this time in Egypt.