Zero-Carbon Transition – Latest signals of change (02.10.20)
Here are just some of the signals of change from the past week, demonstrating the transition to a resilient and inclusive zero-carbon future is accelerating.
The Science Based Targets initiative has launched a new framework to allow financial institutions to align their lending and investment activities with the Paris Agreement. One of India’s largest asset managers has launched a fund focused on stocks that meet ESG criteria. The UK’s national health service (NHS) has committed to reach net-zero emissions by 2040. The UK’s largest asset manager is set to integrate its new climate risk model across all of its investment processes. The price of EU carbon offsets is pushing towards record highs above €30/t of CO2, linked to the proposed increase in EU-wide 2030 carbon targets. And Greta Thunberg has resumed in-person climate strikes, with social-distancing measures being observed.
Volkswagen and its Chinese partners have committed to invest €15 billion into electric vehicles (EVs) in China over the next four years. India is planning to offer $4.6 billion in incentives to companies setting up advanced battery manufacturing facilities in a bid to promote the uptake of EVs in the country. Tesla has secured its own lithium mining rights in Nevada, in its push to cut EV battery costs. COP26 host city Glasgow is set to receive a fleet of 19 hydrogen-powered refuse trucks and the first hydrogen-powered train has rolled onto the tracks in the UK.
EP100 has welcomed 10 new members including Chinese textiles group Changzhou New Wide Knitting & Dyeing Co. Oil trading company Trafigura announced plans to spend £2 billion building or buying 2GW of solar, wind and power storage projects, as other oil traders scrabble to find renewable investments to back. Cambridge University is to divest its £3.5 billion endowment fund from fossil fuel corporations by 2030. And Saudi Arabia has sent the world’s first shipment of blue ammonia to Japan, where it can be used in power stations to produce electricity with net-zero emissions.
Zero-Carbon Built Environment & Industry
Nine companies from the construction and real estate industries have joined EP100, with eight joining through the Net Zero Carbon Buildings pathway – committing to only owning or occupying assets operating at net-zero carbon by 2030: Skidmore, Ownings & Merrill, Argent, Hoare Lea, AECOM UK, Grainger, IPUT Property Fund, Lendlease Europe and Brunswick Property Partners. Japan’s Daito Trust Construction has committed via EP100 to double its energy productivity by 2030. And UK construction company Willmott Dixon Holdings has had its science-based target approved.
Zero-Carbon Land Use & Nature Based Solutions
Political leaders representing 75 countries across five continents have signed the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature, committing to reversing biodiversity loss by 2030. Food giant Nestlé is increasing research and development into dairy alternatives, amid rising interest in vegan products. And Ben & Jerry’s is re-releasing one of their dairy-free ice cream flavours under the name ‘Save Our Swirled Now!’ to raise awareness of climate change.
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