COP26 Opening: Hope through action

  • Posted: 02 Nov 2021

As the most important climate change summit of the year kicks off in Glasgow, we give our thoughts on day one of the summit and finding hope through action.

As a business established to tackle climate change more than a quarter of a century ago, the events unfolding at COP26 invoke a mixed response. Frustration that it has taken so long for this existential threat to come to world attention, cynicism at the air miles built up by world leaders attending and deep, deep sadness at the suffering of vulnerable communities facing the climate crisis every day. 

Hope seems hard to find as the world faces up to the enormity of the climate emergency. But as Greta Thunberg so eloquently said in 2019, “The one thing we need more than hope is action. Once we start to act, hope is everywhere. So instead of looking for hope, look for action. Then, and only then, hope will come.” 

We at Thrive were established more than a quarter of a century ago to take action. All the stakeholders we bring together – shareholders, bondholders, businesses and communities – are taking action now on climate change through their commitment to clean energy. And our collective hope comes from harnessing the abundant power of nature – wind, sunshine and rain – to reduce carbon emissions and make a better future. 

People all over the globe have been taking action through Fridays for Future and other hugely creative and passionate grassroots campaigns. And it seems that the message is getting through. As Boris Johnson said in his opening speech: “The anger and impatience of the world will be uncontainable unless we make this COP26 in Glasgow the moment when we get real about climate change.” 

There was much talk of action on the opening day: 

"The time for words has now moved to the time for action", Her Majesty the Queen highlighted in her address to world leaders. “….. my administration is working overtime to show our climate commitment is action not words, said the President of the United States. 

And that is what we want to see at COP26, immediate and ambitious action. Essentially, the vision we aspire to is one of hope, characterised by David Attenborough who also addressed world leaders yesterday: 

"If working apart we are powerful enough to destabilise our planet, surely working together, we are powerful enough to save it.”

We continue to work, every day, bringing people together to fund and build the clean energy projects we need to transform our energy system. And in the meantime, at COP26, we continue to hope that world leaders will take long overdue action.