As the clock to Scotland’s netzero target ticks inexorably forward, there are important markers in the countdown calendar: May 15 and 16 will see Glasgow host All-Energy 2024, the UK’s biggest low-carbon energy and full supply chain renewables event, and Dcarbonise, aimed at private and public sector energy end users.

The conferences, co-located at the Scottish Exhibition Centre, will bring together energy suppliers, developers, investors, buyers, professionals and policy makers from across the globe. This gathering of expertise and experience is timely, with the Scottish Government having set legally binding targets to cut CO2 emissions to net zero by 2045, five years ahead of the UK.

Clare Foster, head of clean energy at Shepherd and Wedderburn, headline sponsor of All-Energy, says: “Cop26, held in Glasgow in 2021, feels a little like a distant memory.

“The promises made – in the context of a main goal of securing global net zero by the middle of this century and keeping a maximum of 1.5C degrees of warming within reach – seem to have faded somewhat due to ‘other’ priorities.

“Governments around the world have been focused on a variety of other matters, including the war in Ukraine (with the resultant turmoil in the energy and gas markets) and extreme weather events, as well as acute tensions in the Middle East with a febrile geo-political situation.

“Closer to home we are facing the challenges of domestic political upheaval (unlikely to be alleviated by upcoming elections) and a cost-of-living crisis. Climate change remains the one constant globally and, if we are to avert the ultimate existential crisis, reaching net zero ought to be regarded by everyone as non-negotiable and given more prominence.

“It was telling in the Committee on Climate Change 2023 report to Parliament the key messages included there still seems to be a lack of urgency and, while the policy frameworks are developing, progress is not fast enough.”

Foster highlights the fact that decarbonising towns, cities, villages and other places we work and call home attracts fewer headlines but remains one of the biggest challenges.

“Cities are responsible for more than 65 per cent of the world’s energy consumption and over 70 per cent of global CO2 emissions. They also play an important role in economic development with over 75 per cent of global wealth generated in cities.

“There are huge opportunities in creating clean, green, warm places that are inclusive and provide opportunities for economic growth on a sustainable basis.

“However progress has been limited, partly driven by lack of funding and constraints on resource in the public sector.”

Foster notes the UK has achieved astonishing results in clean energy generation and decarbonisation in the past 20-plus years but warns there is no room for complacency, with an imperative to continue to challenge industry, governments and each other to do more.

“There is plenty to talk about in terms of clean energy generation and decarbonisation and we will be discussing the opportunities and tackling some of the challenges at All-Energy 2024, where Shepherd and Wedderburn will celebrate its tenth anniversary as headline sponsor.

“Our approach to All-Energy is to share knowledge and learn from others, all in an environment where the goal for everyone is to move the dial on tackling climate change.

“Speakers from across our business will be leading discussions on offshore wind, decarbonisation of cities, accelerating port infrastructure investment, the role of regulation in reaching net zero, as well as innovation in clean energy technologies.

“We hope to help drive debate and action in the sector and look forward to engaging with our contacts, clients and colleagues.” 

For more information and to register for the All Energy and Dcarbonise conferences 2024 visit en-gb/conference.html