Zero-Carbon Transition – January 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.
US President Joe Biden has committed the US to re-joining the Paris Agreement and introduced a raft of executive orders on environmental issues. The clean-tech venture capital fund led by Bill Gates Breakthrough Energy Ventures has raised $1 billion for a second round of investments. Analysis of 338 companies with science-based targets. These companies have reduced their combined emissions by 25% since 2015, compared with an increase of 3.4% in global emissions from energy and industrial processes over the same period. BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, will push companies to commit to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. The Bank of France is to cut coal from its direct investments by 2024. The Prince of Wales has launched the Earth Charter, or ‘Terra Carta’, designed to channel investment into protecting the health of the planet. And China is set to launch a new carbon emissions trading scheme next month, as part of its plans to decarbonize its economy by 2060.
China more than doubled its construction of new wind and solar power plants in 2020 from a year earlier, government data showed. Total SE has become the first major global energy company to quit the main US oil and gas lobby, American Petroleum Institute, due to disagreements over climate policies. Brazilian power utility EDP Energias do Brasil S.A. has had its 1.5°C aligned science-based target approved. Russian oil and gas company PJSC Tatneft has committed to set a science-based target and joined the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign. Wind power has officially overtaken coal in electricity generation in Texas. The UK saw its greenest ever year for electricity production in 2020. And according to a new analysis Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam have cancelled nearly 45 gigawatts (GW) of coal power in 2020, equivalent to the total installed capacity of Germany.
The EV100 initiative, run by the Climate Group, has surpassed 100 corporate members committed to accelerating the transition to electric vehicles. French global automotive supplier Valeo has committed to the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign and to setting a science-based target. Chinese parcel delivery company ZTO Express (Cayman) Inc. Has committed to set a science-based target. Car batteries capable of fully charging in five minutes have been produced in a factory for the first time. General Motors has launched a new vehicle brand to sell electric delivery vans in the United States and Canada. A third of the global population would be willing to fly less even after pandemic restrictions ease, according to a new poll. Norway has become the first country to sell more electric cars than petrol, hybrid, and diesel engines in a year. Technology giant Apple is planning to produce its first EVs by 2024.
Zero-Carbon Built Environment & Heavy Industry
A new coalition – the Mission Possible Partnership (MPP) – formed to accelerate the decarbonization of global industries representing 30% of global emissions launched at Davos Agenda this month. The MPP is run by the Energy Transitions Commission, Rocky Mountain Institute, the We Mean Business coalition and the World Economic Forum. Baowu Steel Group, China’s top steel producer, has committed to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Brazilian miner Vale is taking steps to exit the coal industry, with the sale of its Mozambique coal assets. Elon Musk is donating $100 million toward a prize for the “best carbon capture technology.” Chinese chemicals group Jiangsu Hongbang Chemical Technology has also committed to set a science-based target. And Danish wind power pioneer Ørsted has given the go-ahead to invest in its first major hydrogen project.
Zero-Carbon Land Use & Nature-Based Solutions
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is considering a ban on soya which has been grown in illegally deforested land. PepsiCo Inc. has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040. France and the UK are encouraging donor countries to channel more climate finance to protect and restore nature, starting with Africa’s Great Green Wall. Finnish food group Meira Oy and UK food group HFG Sverige AB have both committed to set science-based targets, along with Swedish food maker Bama Fresh Cuts and US wine maker Jackson Family Wines. Commodities trader Archer-Daniels-Midland Co., Barclays and Google’s venture capital unit are investing $32 million in Air Protein, which makes meat out of air.