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COP26 Update - Statement on the Breakthrough Agenda

Yesterday at COP26 in Glasgow, 42 countries including the UK and the US endorsed the Breakthrough Agenda, which is a commitment to work together internationally in the 2020s to accelerate actions needed to meet the Paris Agreement goals.  Those goals include keeping the increase in global average temperature well below 2 degrees Celsius.

The Breakthrough Agenda launches four separate Glasgow Breakthroughs, which are "goals that aim to make clean technologies and sustainable solutions the most affordable, accessible and attractive option in each emitting sector globally before 2030."  The Glasgow Breakthrough categories are: 

  • Power, aimed at clean power; 
  • Road Transport, targeting zero emission vehicles;
  • Steel, focused on near-zero emission steel; and 
  • Hydrogen, seeking globally available, affordable renewable and low carbon hydrogen.  

Each Glasgow Breakthrough includes unquantified global metrics that will evidence progress towards the breakthrough goal and leading global initiatives that are already making progress towards each initiative.  While the breakthroughs do not yet have concrete milestones established, they make headway towards addressing climate change by confirming commitments to very tangible goals in specific market areas. Each Glasgow Breakthrough may be signed on individually by participating countries; both the UK and the US have signed on to all four.

The intention is that the Breakthrough Agenda will be discussed at future leader level events, in particular how it can help to deliver the goals of the Paris Agreement. Global progress towards the four Breakthroughs is to be reviewed at ministerial level regularly, informed by an annual report to be led by the International Energy Agency (IEA) in collaboration with other institutions, bodies and industry leaders.

The 2020s must be a decade of delivery across all major emitting sectors. While we acknowledge our different national circumstances, we will endeavour to work together in each sector, including through public-private collaboration and by mobilising finance at scale, to make the global transition to a clean economy faster, lower cost and easier for all, while making solutions to adaptation more affordable and inclusive.


cop26, climate change, esg