Net-Zero Transition – Latest signals of change (04.06.21)We Mean Business Coalition
Here are just some of the signals of change from the past week, demonstrating the transition to a resilient and inclusive net-zero economy is accelerating.
The Bank of England – which has announced it aims for net-zero emissions by 2050 – wants financial institutions to take better account of climate risks, while France’s central bank said that a global agreement that would require all listed companies to disclose climate risks in a standardized way is within reach. The Investment Association, which represents the UK’s $12tr investment management industry, is urging G7 leaders to implement standardized climate risk disclosure rules for companies. Russia’s lower house of parliament has approved a bill to curb GHG emissions – a first step towards carbon regulation for the world’s biggest exporter of natural gas and second larger exporter of oil. The new US budget proposal – if passed by Congress – will include $14bn in new money devoted to climate change, including $11.2bn for the Environmental Protection Agency. 23 countries have launched Mission Innovation 2.0, the second phase of intergovernmental initiative first launched at COP21 that aims to galvanize public and private investment in green technologies, with investment of $248m over the next decade. And EU GHG emissions fell by 3.8% in 2019 – with about 80% of the reduction from the heat and power sector – bringing EU emissions to 24% below 1990 levels
US electricity producer Vistra Corp. and Kenyan electricity producer Kenya Electricity Generating Company PLC joined the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign. Global investment in energy is set to rebound to $1.9tn, $820bn of which is expected to go towards the power sector driven by spending on renewable power – clean energy projects are set to account for 70% of new investment in electricity generation, new IEA report shows. Shareholders at HSBC have voted overwhelmingly to end coal financing, with a phase out for all coal-fired power and thermal coal mining by 2030 in developed markets and by 2040 in other markets. BP is investing $220m in US solar projects across 12 US states, amounting to 9 GW worth of energy that will power about 1.7m homes. Romania will exit coal by 2032 at the latest and pass a law by mid-2022 to address the closure of mines and adopt socio-economic measures to support coal communities and the reskilling of workers. China went all in on solar manufacturing and now produces three-quarters of the world’s supply. The wind industry will need half a million new workers to meet global wind demand by 2025 with over 70% of the newly trained workers coming from Brazil, China, Japan, India, Mexico, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, the US and Vietnam. And the European Commission and Bill Gates joined forces in an initiative that wants to mobilize as much as $1bn investment in clean technologies such as green hydrogen and sustainable fuels.
Australian Postal Corporation and German logistics company TCT-Speditions GmbH had their science-based target approved. Experts are urging UK ministers to ban the sale of the most polluting vehicles such as SUVs immediately and “be more ambitious” with measures to tackle transport emissions if the UK is to meet its climate goals. BMW, which is aiming for a quarter of its sales in China to be battery electric vehicles by 2025, is planning that its factories in the country will reach carbon emissions neutrality by the end of this year, while its total carbon emissions in its Chinese production chain will fall 80% by 2030. And Ford produced more battery-powered Mustangs so far this year than gasoline-fueled versions of its iconic car.
Net-Zero Built Environment & Heavy Industry
UK construction and engineering company JBA Group Limited, US pharmaceutical companies Boehringer Ingelheim Limited and Pfizer and US chemicals company Corteva Agriscience joined the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign. Spanish steel manufacturer Tubacex, S.A. had its science-based target approved. The EU is said to be planning to impose a carbon border tax on imports of steel, aluminum and cement via a mechanism linked to prices on the bloc’s emissions trading system. And HeidelbergCement, one of the world’s biggest cement companies, is to create a carbon-neutral plant in Sweden, planning to meet its net-zero target by 2030 by eliminating the plant’s CO2 emissions using carbon capture or sequestration and storage in the seabed and through the increased use of biofuels.
Net-Zero Land Use & Nature Based Solutions
Swiss coffee, cocoa and cotton producer ECOM Agroindustrial Corp Ltd, Chinese fast food restaurant company Yum China Holdings, Inc. and Brazilian meat processing company JBS joined the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign. Japanese woodworking company Tanihata Co., Ltd. had its science-based target approved. The US, UK, Chile, Costa Rica and France have launched the International Partnership on Marine Protected Areas, Biodiversity and Climate Change, which aims to boost the use of protected ocean areas as a climate solution. The European Commission is planning to adopt a combination of mandatory and voluntary due diligence rules later this year to prevent global deforestation in its supply chains. A joint UNEP and FAO report calls for the large-scale revival of nature in farmlands, forests and other ecosystems, urging governments to deliver on a commitment to restore at least 1bn hectares of land by 2030 and make a similar pledge for the oceans. And clouds could have a greater cooling effect on the planet than climate models currently suggest.