Net-zero transition – September signals of changeWe Mean Business Coalition
Here are just some of the signals of change from the past month across transport, energy, industry, land use and the whole economy, demonstrating the transition to a resilient and inclusive net-zero future is accelerating.
Over 600 businesses, representing over $2.5 trillion in revenue and employing more than 8.5 million people worldwide, have signed an open letter coordinated by the We Mean Business Coalition, calling on the G20 leaders to align with 1.5ºC, end coal financing and deliver on the $100 billion climate financing commitment to developing nations. While current national decarbonization targets fall far short the 1.5°C pathway, a number of key high-priority actions can help close the gap, the latest report by the Energy Transitions Commission finds. Norway’s sovereign-wealth fund announced it is about to receive the political green light to insist that all companies in its portfolio have clear targets for cutting CO2 emissions. The UK Business Group Alliance for Net Zero is coordinating a public letter already signed by leading businesses and organisations – including EDF in the UK, Low Carbon Ltd, Aldersgate Group and the Food and Drink Federation – calling the UK Prime Minister for ambitious domestic climate action that supports strong international diplomacy. And a new report finds that India could gain $11tn by acting on climate change, limiting its temperature increase and ‘exporting decarbonisation’ to the world.
The Australian government committed to provide $180 million in grants to support the development of carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS) projects. Swedish power utility Vattenfall has joined the Business Ambition for 1.5ºC campaign. Former head of oil at Glencore Alex Beard, who used to trade as much as 7% of the world’s oil, is now raising money to build a portfolio of strategic battery sites across the UK to support the renewable energy industry. India’s Chalet Hotels has joined Climate Group’s EP100 initiative, to double energy productivity. UK energy company Centrica has joined the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign. Based on current wind and solar development trends in Australia, renewables will meet 100% of consumer demand for electricity at certain times of the day by 2025 in the country, while the government has introduced legislation that could help clear the way for offshore wind farms to go ahead. And a new study shows that most fossil fuel reserves owned today by countries and companies must not be extracted if the world is to achieve its climate targets.
Brazilian trucking company Unidas joined the Climate Group’s EV100 initiative. German delivery and supply chain management company Deutsche Post DHL Group and German car manufacturer BMW Group have joined the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign. BMW is planning to reduce carbon emissions across the life cycle of its vehicles at least 40% from 2019 levels by 2030, including by increasing the proportion of recycled and reusable materials used in manufacturing its vehicles from 30% to 50%. Royal Dutch Shell has announced plans to expand its network of EV charging points in Great Britain, aiming to install 50,000 on-street posts by 2025. Toyota will invest $13.6bn in battery development and supply over the next decade. New York Governor Kathy Hochul has signed into law a bill that sets a goal for all new passenger cars and light-duty trucks to be zero-emission models by 2035. All new homes and offices will feature electric car chargers under new UK legislation expected to come into force next year. The International Chamber of Shipping and Intercargo have proposed a levy based on mandatory contributions for each tonne of CO2 emitted from ships exceeding 5,000 gross tonnes and trading globally and the US government has announced a goal of replacing all jet fuel with sustainable alternatives by 2050.
Net-Zero Built Environment & Heavy Industry
Airbus is confident it will bring hydrogen-powered planes into service by 2035: ‘Hydrogen has an energy density three times that of kerosene – [technically it] is made for aviation.’ Ford announced $11.4bn investment in electric vehicle plants, in a move that will ‘build zero-emission cars and pickups at scale for American customers’ and ‘create 11,000 jobs.’ The UK Department of Transport is consulting on raft of regulatory measures to support EV charging infrastructure, drones and autonomous shipping. Rolls-Royce announced it will only produce electric cars by 2030, with its first fully-electric powered car to be on market in the fourth quarter of 2023. German steel manufacturer thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG, US real estate company Cushman & Wakefield, Australian building and construction materials manufacturer Boral Limited, Brazilian cement company Votorantim Cimentos and French civil engineering construction company Eiffage have joined the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign. Holcim Group has unveiled new targets for net-positive impact on biodiversity by 2030, including commitments to develop nature rehabilitation plans for all quarries by the end of 2022 and to assess the company’s biodiversity baseline across all managed land. UK construction and engineering firm Dyer & Butler has committed to set a science-based target and UK construction firm Severfield, US restaurant group Panera Bread and US real estate company Weyerhaeuser have joined the Business Ambition for 1.5ºC campaign.
Net-Zero Land and Nature
US food and beverage processing company NW Commonwealth, LLC and Chinese milk and dairy product producer China Shengmu Organic Milk Limited have joined the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign. Amazon has announced the launch of the Agroforestry and Restoration Accelerator in partnership with The Nature Conservancy to create a more sustainable source of income for thousands of local farmers while also restoring native rainforests. UK frozen food company Nomad Foods has joined the UN’s Race to Zero campaign, with a focus on supporting its 75% most-emitting suppliers to develop their own science-based targets by 2025. And African tropical mountain forests store far more carbon than previously thought, new research shows. The UN is calling for reform of the world’s $540bn in farming subsidies to help the climate and promote better nutrition. New hybrid coral reef presents effective defence against erosion and wave damage, preventing $1.8bn a year of flood damage in America alone. Nestlé announced it is investing $1.29 billion over the next five years to support and accelerate the transition to regenerative agriculture across its global supply chain. And online retail giant Amazon has announced a €20 million allocation for nature-based projects to improve environmental conditions in the communities where it operates across Europe, as part of its Right Now Climate Fund.