Zero-Carbon Transition: Latest signals of change (01.05.2020)
As the world grapples with the devastating impacts of the coronavirus, our thoughts are with those affected by the illness and those struggling to carry on despite incredibly challenging conditions – particularly those at the frontline who are caring for the sick and vulnerable.
At this time, it is difficult to think of anything other than getting through the coming days, weeks and months. But we also need to look forward with hope that in rebuilding from this devastating crisis we can ensure greater resilience and steer a renewed pathway to the zero-carbon future.
The hard work of shaping that future continues, but with even greater determination. Here are just some of the signals of change from the past week, demonstrating the transition to a resilient, zero-carbon future remains underway. Find out more here >
At the launch of the Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Germany this week, a group of 68 companies from a wide range of sectors called for governments to ensure compliance with the Paris Agreement during the stimulus response to the coronavirus. The signatories included global cement producer HeidelbergCement, logistics giant Deutsche Post DHL Group, and power utility Vattenfall. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has joined the UN Secretary-General and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in calling on governments to ensure COVID-19 recovery plans do not exacerbate the climate crisis. And the number of companies committing to bold climate action continues to increase with five additional companies committing to set science-based targets and two companies committing to 100% renewable energy with RE100.
Solar and onshore wind power are now the cheapest sources of new electricity in more than two-thirds of all countries, according to a BNEF report. US power utility Duke Energy outlined its plans to reach its 2050 carbon neutrality goal, including a doubling of renewables by 2025. US food manufacturer General Mills and Australian software company Interactive have joined RE100. DSM is on track to achieve 75% renewable electricity with its latest and largest Power Purchase Agreement to date. Analysis finds that Australia could get 90% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2040, without an increase in power prices. A 50-turbine onshore wind farm has been given the green light in Scotland. An auction for an Abu Dhabi solar contract has attracted a new record low bid. More than 50% of Woodside Petroleum shareholders have called on the Australian oil and gas major to set a science-based greenhouse gas target. And the UK has set a new record for going without coal in its energy mix.
The world’s tenth largest truck maker Scania has had its science-based target approved as being 1.5ºC aligned. Australian Postal Corporation, which includes air freight operations, and RATP, which is responsible for most of the public transport in the Parisian region, have committed to set science-based targets. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has said the city will not return to polluted and congested roads when the lockdown lifts, as data shows the level of avoided deaths across Europe due to reduced pollution. The EU is looking at ways to attach green strings to airline bailouts. And a study finds that EVs are used more intensively than petrol cars, countering claims they are mostly ‘trophy vehicles’.
Zero-Carbon Build Environment & Heavy Industry
US real estate company Digital Realty has committed to set a science-based target, while German engineering and technology company Robert Bosch GmbH has had its target approved. The UK government has unveiled proposals to decarbonise the country’s heating systems. Portugal is planning a new hydrogen plant as part of a ‘green’ post-coronavirus recovery.