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The REA team at the UK Pavilion at the start of Week 1

Day 1

After a few challenging journeys to get to Glasgow, the REA’s COP26 team finally all met up on Monday. 

We wasted no time and dived straight into our first COP event with the Global Sustainable Mobility Partnership as they launched their new report: ‘Policies for a mature, flourishing equitable EV charging ecosystem’.

We then attended the Climate Change Committee’s event, ‘Making Ambition Count – the role of Climate Councils in turning ambitions into actions’, where we heard from Lord Deben, Chairman of the Climate Change Committee, and Andrés Couve Correa, Chile’s Minister of Science, amongst others.

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REA Chief Executive, Nina Skorupska, listens to President Biden's address

Day 2

Tuesday was packed with engagements – a Reckitt lunch with the CEO of EY and the President of the CBI; a great catch up with a long-time friend of the REA, Hywel Lloyd, to discuss current challenges and future opportunities for our industry; and hearing from Theresa May at an Aldersgate group event exploring the decarbonisation of heavy industry.

It was quite a moment to be in the room for the Presidency Event: ‘Accelerating Clean Technology Innovation and Deployment’, and we heard significant committments from the likes of Boris Johnson, Joe Biden and Narendra Modi. A breakthrough agenda, but we have to work to make this change happen faster.

Hear what our Chief Executive, Nina Skorupska thought of the announcements: 

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Nina with Steve Meersman of Zenobe Energy

Day 3

Wednesday kicked off with our Director of Policy, Frank Gordon, joining the South East LEP for their online event: ‘What does Clean growth look like for the East?’.

We also joined REA members Suez, who were leading workshops on how the waste sector will play its part in Net Zero. The REA’s Head of Organics and Natural Capital, Jenny Grant, was in attendance and gave her thoughts on the day that you can watch here:

The REA team also attended a McKinsey talk – where Nina caught up with Steve Meersman of Zenobe Energy; a UKEF trade event; and a Solar Energy UK reception

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REA Chair, Martin Wright, at the Supergen 'fishbowl' debate

Day 4

Thursday was Energy Day and began with a virtual BDB Pitmans event, attended by Nina in Glasgow and the REA’s Head of Power, Mark Sommerfeld, in London!

REA Chair, Martin Wright, then took part in a Supergen Bioenergy Hub debate on the future of net zero energy systems (pictured). Our Director of Policy, Frank Gordon, was also in attendance at the Presidency Event: ‘Accelerating a Just and Inclusive Energy Transition’ as well as the the final engagement of the day at the Ashden Awards in the Green Zone.

If that wasn’t enough Frank also did a bumper round of BBC local radio interviews, speaking to listeners from the Isle of Wight to Cumbria.

Hear Nina’s thoughts at the end of Energy Day from the Blue Zone in this video:

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REA Head of Organics, Jenny Grant, and her daughter Rachel

Day 5

Friday was Youth and Public Empowerment day. It was fantastic to have Jenny’s daughter Rachel join us and take part in the Fridays For Future march through Glasgow (pictured).

Nina also appeared on Times Radio for Cathy Newman’s ‘The Ladder’ – you can listen to the interview here:

Day 6

This morning, Director of Policy, Frank Gordon, joined Tesla for a roundtable event, discussing EV policy and how to increase uptake, and make the transition more affordable for consumers. In the afternooon, he will be attending a number of Blue Zone sessions which focused on ‘Nature Day’.

What to expect next week…

Next week is set to be another busy few days, with Adaptation, Loss and Damage; Gender; Science and Innovation, Transport; and Cities, Regions and Built Environment all on the agenda in the Blue Zone. Of course, our range of engagements will continue, and we will be co-hosting an event with the NFU on Wednesday. Mark Sommerfeld, Jacob Roberts and George Li will be welcome additions to the REA team in Glasgow for Week 2!