Zero-Carbon Transition – February 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 zero-carbon future is accelerating.
The US has officially rejoined the Paris Agreement, a move welcomed by a swath of companies and international leaders. To mark the occasion, thousands of non-federal climate leaders have launched America is All In, a coalition to drive a society-wide mobilization for bold climate ambition. Amazon and Global Optimism announced that 20 new signatories around the world have joined The Climate Pledge, including Johnson Controls, IBM and Ørsted. The number of companies committed to the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign has surpassed 400, with recent joiners including Swiss financial group Credit Suisse Group. And climate action could save “millions of lives”, new research has found.
In just a year, the number of EVs deployed by EV100 members has more than doubled to 169,000 and the number of locations with charging already installed increased by 84%, according to the Climate Group’s initiative Progress and Insight Report. EV100 has also welcomed seven new members, taking the total to more than 100 members committed to accelerating the transition to electric vehicles (EVs). The new joiners include Europe’s largest Coca-Cola bottling company Coca-Cola European Partners, German electronic giant Siemens and Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis. Jaguar has committed to becoming an all-electric car producer by 2025 and plans to have ditched the internal combustion engine entirely by 2036. Ford has committed to stop selling cars with any form of combustion engine in the UK and Europe by 2030. Mercedes-Benz said it will earn as much from EVs as from its combustion engine models by the end of the decade. Shipping giant Maersk has announced its first carbon-neutral container vessel will be operational by 2023, seven years earlier than planned.
India is on the “cusp of a solar-powered revolution” with capacity set to grow 18-fold by 2040, according to the latest IEA report. The Climate Group’s RE100 initiative has reached a milestone of 50 Japanese businesses committed to 100% renewable power, with recent joiners from the country including technology firm Nikon, construction group Kumagai Gumi and Nissin Food Holdings. Denmark has approved a renewable energy island in the North Sea, which will cover the needs of 3 million households in Europe. Aviva has warned it will ditch stakes in 30 of the world’s largest oil, gas, mining and utilities companies unless they do more to tackle climate change. Major oil companies, including BP and Total, bid record prices for the rights to build offshore wind farms in a Crown Estate auction.
Zero-Carbon Built Environment & Heavy Industry
In the UK, permission for a new Cumbrian coal mine has been put on hold by local authorities after mounting criticism. Russia’s biggest gold producer, Polyus, will power its two biggest mines using hydropower. EP100, led by the Climate Group has welcomed Singapore-based real estate company City Developments Limited and Siemens, with a commitment to net-zero carbon buildings in collaboration with the World Green Building Council (WGBC). LafargeHolcim’s net-zero pledge has been named “Net Zero Carbon Strategy of the Year” in the edie Sustainability Leaders Awards.
Zero-Carbon Land Use & Nature Based Solutions
The Coca-Cola Company has committed to selling 100% recycled bottles in the US. IKEA announced it has increased its use of recycled polyester from 59 to 83 percent of all textile products. One of the world’s largest producers of farmed salmon SalMar ASA, Finnish food producer Oy Karl Fazer Ab, Swedish paper company Holmen AB, Japanese food company Meiji Holdings Co and the UK’s Hilton Food Group have all committed to set a science-based target. Swedish food company Bertegruppen and Danish drinks maker Heineken NV have had their targets approved. And the UK has unveiled a £10 million in funding to drive private investment in nature projects.