NET ZERO TRANSITION – LATEST SIGNALS OF CHANGE (22.10.21)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.
India is set to update its 2030 climate targets under the Paris Agreement, which could include a commitment to reduce the emissions intensity by at least 46 to 48 per cent, from 2005 levels. The UK Government has published its long-awaited “net zero” strategy, which would support 440,000 jobs in new sectors or for people moving from high-carbon industries to cleaner ones, and includes a £400m package of investment alongside Bill Gates to boost the development of new green technologies. China‘s special climate envoy, Xie Zhenhua, said the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow was deeply significant and that the People’s Republic was working for the success of the conference. A group of youth activists say they have been spurred to fight even harder after their landmark case arguing that countries perpetuating the climate crisis violate their human rights was rejected by a UN children’s rights body. ‘CO2’ has been added to the Oxford English Dictionary as part of an update ahead of the COP26 climate summit, along with ‘Eco-anxiety’, ‘net-zero’, ‘Climate deniers’ and ‘Climate sceptic.’
Goldman Sachs is preparing to become the last international bank to sign up to Mark Carney’s targets for finance companies to align lending and investment portfolios with net-zero emissions by 2050. The group is part of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ). The Climate Disclosure Standards Board has released its Accounting for Climate guidance.
Climate Group’s RE100 initiative has welcomed three new members: US manufacturing company Avient, Taiwanise electronic equipment maker Merry and US spirits and wine business Brown Forman. German power utility EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG has committed to set a science-based target, while UK power distribution network Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks has had its science-based target approved.
Ford will spend £230 million converting Halewood car plant to start producing 250,000 electric power units a year from 2024. Nine multinationals including Amazon, Ikea and Unilever have signed up to a pledge to only move cargo on ships using zero-carbon fuel by 2040. And New Zealand headquartered air freight company NZ Post has joined the Business Ambition for 1.5ºC campaign.
Net-Zero Built Environment & Heavy Industry
The UK government has selected two multibillion-pound carbon capture and storage schemes to be fast tracked and set out plans to fund the installation of heat pumps in 90,000 homes across the country, as part of its Net Zero Strategy. British Steel has unveiled its Low-Carbon Roadmap, pledging to invest in a range of technologies to deliver net-zero steel by 2050, and significantly reduce its CO2 intensity by 2030 and 2035. The company highlighted increased customer demand for low-carbon steel from members of Climate Group’s SteelZero initiative. French construction firm COLAS SA has committed to set a science-based target. Belgian steel wire producer NV Bekaert SA and UK-based construction firm SPL Powerlines UK have joined the Business Ambition for 1.5ºC campaign. Chilean chemicals company SQM and South African miner Harmony Gold Mining Company have also joined the campaign.
Net-Zero Land and Nature
The UK government is pushing for an ambitious agreement among world leaders at COP26 to halt and reverse forest loss and degradation. UK MEPs are still showing support for the ambitious Farm to Fork strategy despite lobbying blitz from agribusinesses.