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Scaling up solar: Lightsource bp’s highlights from COP28

Catch up on the highlights from COP28 for Lightsource bp delegates, who took part in a series of discussions aimed at spurring the global energy transition.

In a milestone for our industry, a commitment to tripling renewable energy capacity globally by 2030 made it into the text of the COP28 deal as part of efforts to accelerate the energy transition. A sense of optimism about solar power’s potential to reach the scale needed to help curb climate change underscored Lightsource bp’s participation in the summit.

Senior VP Alyssa Edwards; Adam Pegg, Managing Director APAC; Michelle Lezama, Government Affairs Advisor; and Francis Mann, Government Affairs Lead UK joined discussions in the UAE on behalf of Lightsource bp. They gained valuable insights and used their expertise to advocate for solar power as a critical part of the just climate transition to renewable energy.

People and nature

A significant highlight was the high-level roundtable debate co-hosted with the UK’s Renewable Energy Association (REA) on solar power’s role in delivering an energy transition that is both people-first and supportive of nature.

Michelle Lezama at COP28

The debate focused on how to deliver on promises to triple renewable capacity by 2030 at the same time as maintaining community engagement and supporting a responsible approach that is proactive towards the regeneration of nature and biodiversity.

Michelle Lezama moderated the discussion and noted on LinkedIn that “the relationship between renewables and communities has undergone a paradigm shift, and developers need to rise to the new challenges and engage in meaningful dialogue with the communities that host our projects.”

Tremendous opportunity

Adam Pegg participated in a United Nations side event focused on decarbonising the energy system, where he highlighted the need for technology neutrality to enhance energy security.

If we want to deliver the low-cost solution, and that’s what we’re all about, low cost and reliable, we need to make sure that you’re not inadvertently favouring one technology over the other, and let them compete. And we see tremendous opportunity co-locating wind, solar and battery together,he said.

Speaking about his experience at COP in his own LinkedIn post, Adam noted the challenges ahead but also the solutions-driven role Lightsource bp can play as one of the largest global renewable energy developers. As he put it: “COP28 is all about governments, corporates and other organisations coming together to talk about the challenges of climate change.”

Financing the future

Developing low-cost solutions on a global scale will require not just collaboration between scientists, governments, corporations and communities, but also investment.

On Finance Day, Francis Mann attended sessions on climate finance, biodiversity net gain, a practice we are deeply committed to, and the intersection of solar power and storage. In his video summary of the day on LinkedIn he also highlighted the event on women leaders in climate chaired by Hilary Clinton, saying:

It was personal to me as the father of two daughters, and someone who wants to make sure we are leading the world in the right direction, that the girls and women among us have the right opportunities to be part of this journey, and to contribute, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because we need the inputs and creative thinking that women bring.”

Community counts

Alyssa Edwards speaking at COP28Reflecting on the tone of the summit, Alyssa Edwards described COP asliving in two worlds of intense feelings: enormous inspiration and optimism for the future – plus the knowledge that we are urgently running out of time to meet our climate targets.”

Seeing and being part of cross-cutting conversations with government, industry leaders and the NGO community to talk about removing barriers and creating opportunities for a just transition has given her hope. And this urgently needed transition can only happen with the support of communities all over the world.

As Alyssa put it: “The topic of meaningful community engagement is front and centre on panels, closed door discussions and conversation in the business community. We dug deep to think and re-think how we are going to get this right. There’s so much more work to do, but we are on the right side of this challenge.

Watch a round up of our time at COP28

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