Global leaders are gathering to discuss critical climate action. Will technological advances catalyze commitments to take action at scale?
For the 26th time since 1992, world leaders convene in Glasgow, Scotland for COP26 to discuss their targets and plans to radically reduce emissions. It is a scene we’ve witnessed before, as international leaders gather around the objective of preventing further catastrophic impacts to humanity, economies, and the biosphere.
Yet much has changed since Paris in 2015, the last such episode, wherein 195 countries pledged to develop plans. The world has endured myriad extreme weather events, shifting the “climate crisis” from concept to lived experience devastating countless people, businesses, crops, water supplies, species, and ecosystems. Shifts in both policy action and political instability; increases in both wealth disparities and inclusive investments– not to mention a global pandemic– have all impacted how leaders plan for the future.
Technological advancement marks another critical catalyst for change since Paris– a shift that has accelerated beyond predictions in both speed and scope. The influence of the Tech industry– on the global economy, businesses in every sector, governments and geopolitics, and information ecosystems– has demonstrated technology’s power to catalyze change. Now we arrive at a pivotal moment in our species’ trajectory when our tools can actually align with financial, social, and political will towards sustainable and regenerative transformation.
We Have Technologies, What We Don’t Have is Time
Technological solutions are not a panacea. No technology is without risk; our modern tools have a litany of societal and environmental dangers. But techno-scientific solutions are crucial for the following reasons:
- To scale solutions towards energy transition (infrastructure, supply chain, products, data, iteration/R&D time to market)
- To enable new capabilities, systems, markets, and structures rendering extractive methods and business models obsolete
- To demonstrate cost efficiencies (to justify scale and efficacy of