COP26 ‘missions’ to scale-up cleantech

12 November 2021 by Dulce Flores
blog author

A cohort of governments from a variety of nations, including China, India, the UK, US and EU, are due to announce new plans today to accelerate investment in cleantech.

The announcement of the ‘Mission Innovation’ platform at COP26 in Glasgow will cover sectors including transport, steel, chemicals, building materials and construction, with plans published for the priority technologies that decarbonise cities. Thisaccounts for 60 per cent of global energy consumption annually,according to UN Habitat,which works with partners to build inclusive and sustainable cities and communities.

Heavy industrial sectors could be decarbonised under the new plans, as well as decarbonisation of the chemicals sector, scaling up of both renewable fuels and man-made carbon capture technologies and the production of renewable materials.

A total of 23 governments will take part in the plan delivery, including historically heavy emitters (the US and Australia). Many nations represented, including the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Canada and France were collectively responsible for 90 per cent of global public investment in low-carbon energy innovations created in 2020.

Mission Innovation was launched originally in 2015 and convened at COP21 in Paris with financial backing from Bill Gates and the World Economic Forum. Its overarching aim is to make clean technologies more affordable and accessible compared to their higher-carbon counterparts by the end of the decade.

Last week an agreement called the Breakthrough Agenda was signed by more than 40 world leaders on scaling cleantech and renewable energy solutions and the Mission Innovation claims its aim and new plans are consistent with the agenda.

Both initiatives are using the IEA’s net-zero by 2050 roadmap, in which half of the emissions reductions needed are dependent on immature technologies.

The first of the missions announced today is the ‘Urban Transitions Mission’, which aims to deliver at least 50 large-scale, integrated demonstration projects in urban environments around the world by 2030.

The second mission focuses on the net-zero industries and will address emissions from the heating processes and materials used in heavy industrials such as steel, cement and chemicals. The aim is to help businesses install low-carbon technologies at the end of their next refurbishment cycles, laying the foundations for a net-zero transition by 2050 at the latest.

The third ‘integrated biorefineries’ mission will develop drop-in replacements for fossil-based fuels in the transport and chemicals sector. Green groups are likely to require more clarity on the life-cycle environmental impacts of the fuels, to ensure they are not contributing to trends like biodiversity loss through monocropping.

The fourth and final mission focuses on carbon dioxide removal technologies and has an ambition of installing new arrays to capture 100 million metric tonnes of CO2e globally by 2030.

Regarding the new plans to catalyse investing in cleantech, Dulce Flores, Senior Consultant Europe, commented:''This is a remarkable step in accelerating the decarbonisation of cities and Europe has the opportunity to set up the benchmark in climate tech. The challenge is now taking steps in creating the financial tools and mechanisms that stimulate and facilitate innovation. Europe has the right mindset, now it is time for policy leaders and financiers to make the step''

Operating globally from our hubs in London, New York and Amsterdam, Acre is supporting the world's leading organisations, along with the most innovative start-ups, to build resilience, adapt and manage the risks involved with taking pragmatic action to tackle climate change. If COP26 has left you feeling inspired to address sustainability and climate change within your business, please contact us at to learn more about how we can support you.

Dulce is a Senior Consultant in Acre's Benelux team with a focus on mid-level and senior roles in the Energy and Cleantech space. Her specialisms include Renewable Energy, E-Mobility, Waste & Recycling and Water Management. Based in Amsterdam, Dulce supports forward-thinking corporates, consultancies and technology innovators committed to achieving the Energy Transition in Europe. Prior to joining Acre, she worked for three years in a boutique recruitment firm placing high impact commercial professionals within the Renewable Energy field across Europe. She holds a BA in Business and a Master's degree in Project Management.