Net-Zero Transition – Latest signals of change (11.06.21)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 number of companies committed to the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign has surpassed 600, with new joiners including Chinese software company Chindata Group and Brazilian food and beverage company BRF S.A. G7 finance ministers have agreed to mandate climate reporting in line with TCFD recommendations, while the People’s Bank of China plans to introduce mandatory disclosure of climate-related information. Germany has announced it will contribute more money to international climate financing, as G7 leaders are expected to increase their financial contributions to help poorer countries decarbonize their economies. UK banks will be forced to reveal their exposure to climate change as part of the Bank of England’s “climate stress tests” this year. Businesses bidding for UK Government contracts worth more than $7m will have to pledge to work towards a net-zero carbon output by 2050. A group 79 companies and investors managing $41tn have issued separate calls for world leaders to accelerate action on climate change by enacting more ambitious climate policies. NGOs and tech and entertainment giants have announced a partnership – the Business Alliance to Scale Climate Solutions – to pool solutions on scaling funding for responses to climate change. And new analysis from an umbrella group of the world’s top central banks shows that a relatively quick and orderly transition to a low-carbon economy could lead to some increase in global GDP and lower unemployment.
Four companies have pledged to switch to 100% renewable electricity with the Climate Group’s RE100 initiative, including Taiwanese tech companies Acer, UMC, Japanese chemicals company Kao Corporation and German automotive supplier Vitesco. Italian energy company Snam S.p.A. has joined the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign and New Zealand energy generator Contact Energy had its science-based target approved. The EU has approved the $21.3bn “Just Transition Fund”, which aims to support the communities most affected by the shutdown of coal, peat and oil shale. Indonesia aims to increase the proportion of renewable power in its 2021-2030 national electricity plan to at least 48%, from 30% in the 2019-2028 plan. Maine has become the first US state to pass a law to divest from fossil fuels, directing the $17bn Maine Public Employee Retirement System to divest $1.3bn from fossil fuels y 2026 and requiring the state treasury to divest by the same date. The developer of the Keystone XL pipeline, to transport crude from Canada’s oil sands to Nebraska, has officially cancelled the project. The UK will need roughly 108GW of offshore wind capacity by 2035 – more than 10 times current capacity – to achieve a net-zero electricity system by the middle of the next decade, new research shows. A new IEA report shows that clean energy investment in developing economies must increase seven-fold by the end of the decade for the world to stay on track to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. And the world has more than enough renewable energy potential to comfortably transition away from fossil fuels and achieve the 1.5°C global warming target, while expanding energy access for all, new modelling shows.
The Climate Group’s EV100 has welcomed three new members – Indian food delivery company Zomato, UK power network operator National Grid and Swiss technology company ABB. UK railway infrastructure manager Network Rail plc has joined the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign. UK logistics company Gregory Distribution have committed to set a science-based target, while Spanish EV charging solution company Indra, German logistics company RTS Transport Service GmbH and Dutch micro mobility company Dott had theirs approved. Renault will combine three of its plants in northern France to form an electric car hub with the aim of producing 400,000 vehicles a year by 2025. General Motors has announced it would agree to tighter federal fuel economy and tailpipe pollution rules. French-owned delivery company DPD is to become one of the UK’s biggest operators of electric vehicles after ordering 750 zero-emission vans, doubling its battery-run fleet to 1,500, while the UK postal group Royal Mail has announced a 10-fold increase in its EV fleet. India will revise its scheme to incentivize uptake of EVs in the country with a focus on electric two-wheelers. And Swedish battery start-up Northvolt has raised $2.75bn, help it expand capacity to 60 GWh – enough to supply batteries for 1m cars.
Net-Zero Built Environment & Heavy Industry
UAE real estate holding company Majid Al Futtaim Properties and Japanese construction and engineering company Nishimatsu Construction Co., Ltd. have committed to set a science-based target, while Japanese real estate firm Tokyu Fudosan Holdings Corporation and construction and engineering company Yashima Construction Co,ltd had theirs approved.
Net-Zero Land Use & Nature Based Solutions
UK packaging company DS Smith and US textile company Elevate Textiles, Inc. have both joined the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign. Irish poultry producer Moy Park Limited, US restaurant chain store Panera Bread, Chinese textile company Décor and US packaging company WestRock Company have committed to set a science-based target. New research shows GHG emissions from food systems – which represent one third of the human-produced total – have long been systematically underestimated and points to major opportunities to cut them. Restoring nature can boost biodiversity and ecosystems, a joint IPCC and IPBES report shows. Dove has announced it will restore and protect 20,000 hectares of woodland in Northern Sumatra, Indonesia – approximately twice the size of Paris and the equivalent of 3m trees. WWF has launched “Forests Forward,” a new program that engages with companies and other stakeholders to deliver effective nature-based strategies for forests. And a new multi-million grant scheme has opened to pay UK landowners to create woodlands to help wildlife recover, cut flood risk and increase public access to nature.