Back from the summit

26th November 2021


COP26 is now over, and we’re all digesting what the deal agreed in Glasgow actually means for us, our businesses and the planet. It was my privilege to represent IEMA members at the event.

Despite the perhaps disappointing outcome, I was amazed and inspired by the members I was lucky enough to meet during the conference – people all over the world doing incredible things that are making a real difference to the planet.

We must now think about how we can continue to implement the actions that will bring us to net zero, and we have plenty of food for thought for you in this edition of Transform. Jørgen Randers co-authored the seminal 1972 report The Limits to Growth, which completely changed the conversation around how we were using the planet’s resources; on page 14 we speak to him about his work a generation on, and its continued relevance for sustainability.

There were many conversations at the Glasgow summit about zero-carbon energy and how we are going to achieve it. For many countries, onshore and offshore wind are a vital part of the mix – but how do you go about ensuring that wind turbines are zero waste, too? Huw Morris has been finding out; read his report on page 32.

“I was amazed and inspired by the members I was lucky enough to meet during COP26”

Huw has also been investigating another little-discussed but vital question concerning sustainability: how much water is used in cooling the computer and IT information systems we rely on for our digital ways of working. The amount of water utilised is immense – can we reduce the impact while ensuring we remain connected? Find out on page 18. Meanwhile, Chris Seekings reports on an important COP26 side event that addressed the connnected issues of climate justice, education and gender equality, particularly regarding the role of girls’ education in fighting the climate crisis; you can read about this on page 27.

I hope you enjoy this edition of Transform as much as I have. As always, we welcome your thoughts and comments, and we are always interested in hearing new ideas for features and articles.

Have a great couple of months, and speak soon.

Sarah Mukherjee MBE, CEO, IEMA


Transform articles

National climate plans can keep global warming below 2°C, study finds

Limiting global warming to 2°C above pre-industrial levels is now possible if all nations honour the climate pledges made at the Glasgow COP26 conference last year, a new study has found.

14th April 2022

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Divestment from high-emitting countries and industries has become more popular following last month's COP26 climate summit, a global survey of investors has found.

9th December 2021

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Limiting global warming to 2°C above pre-industrial levels is possible following COP26, but only if all new mid-century net-zero targets are delivered alongside national 2030 emissions goals.

3rd December 2021

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Chris Seekings reports on a side event from the COP26 conference that explored the role of girls’ education in fighting the climate crisis

26th November 2021

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The UK public has more trust in local councils to take action on climate change than it does in world leaders, according to research carried out by the Local Government Association (LGA) and published at the COP26 summit.

26th November 2021

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Indigenous groups have said COP26 showed that world leaders’ interests lie with economic bottom lines, rather than tackling the climate crisis.

26th November 2021

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World leaders, business groups and NGOs have said the 1.5°C target of the Paris Agreement is still alive, despite disappointment with the COP26 outcome.

26th November 2021

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IEMA's CEO Sarah Mukherjee MBE attended COP26 and reflects on her experience there and shares key observations on the event and proposed outcomes.

15th November 2021

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The first ever international agreement to reduce coal use was struck on the final day of COP26, with countries also reiterating their intention to deliver the Paris Agreement's 1.5°C target, and to provide more financial support for developing nations.

15th November 2021

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