Zero-Carbon Transition: Latest signals of change (05.06.2020)The We Mean Business coalition
Here are just some of the signals of change from the past week, demonstrating the transition to a resilient and inclusive zero-carbon future remains underway.
Coinciding with World Environment Day, the COP26 Champions team launched the global Race to Zero campaign to drive climate ambition in the runup to COP26, with more than 1,000 businesses, 410 cities, 24 regions, and 36 of the biggest investors. The number of companies committed to the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign has reached 237, which is a 34% increase on COP25 last December, with new joiners including Rolls-Royce, H&M Group, Colgate Palmolive and Diageo. A group of high-profile CEOs, from companies including Signify and Ingka Group (IKEA), took to social media to voice their support for #BuildBackBetter. The World Business Council for Sustainable Development released its new climate action roadmap – SOS 1.5 – to help companies reach net-zero carbon emissions before 2050. More than 200 leading businesses, led by CLG Europe, urged the UK Government to deliver a clean, inclusive and resilient recovery plan. Germany’s €80-100 billion economic stimulus package includes climate action measures including subsidies for EVs and investment in hydrogen. Hungary has set its climate neutrality goal for 2050 in law, but left its 2030 emission reduction target at 40%. And Jamaica, Kenya, Senegal and Gamon are preparing to submit upgraded Nationally Determined Contributions.
Six major businesses have joined The Climate Group’s global electric vehicles initiative EV100, including UK energy provider OVO and business services provider Rentokil Initial. The Climate Group also launched a new partnership with BT Group to promote a faster switch to electric vehicles (EVs) – the UK Electric Fleets Alliance. UK-listed industrial technology company Rolls-Royce, which produces engines for planes, trains and boats, has committed to Business Ambition for 1.5ºC campaign and reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. The world’s fourth-largest container shipping group French-based CMA CGM has committed to become carbon neutral by 2050. And Manchester has made a £9.7 million commitment to electric refuse lorries.
The Climate Group’s RE100 initiative welcomed five new members including biotech company Novozymes and Japan’s ONO Pharmaceutical. The Climate Group has also launched the first ever RE100 Leadership Awards, in partnership with CDP to celebrate companies transitioning to 100% renewable electricity. The falling cost of renewables marks a turning point in a global transition to low-carbon energy, according to a new report from IRENA. And French oil and gas major Total has acquired a 51% stake in a £3 billion North Sea wind project.
Zero-Carbon Heavy Industry and Built Environment
13 businesses from the financial services, facilities management and utilities sectors have joined The Climate Group’s smart energy initiative EP100, including ten companies committing to owning, occupying and developing buildings that operate at net-zero carbon emissions by 2030. The London Metal Exchange is planning to launch a platform to trade ‘low-carbon’ aluminium produced with mostly renewable energy. UK building materials company Tarmac has joined EV100 with a commitment to accelerate the transition to EVs. And Swiss start-up Climeworks has raised a further $75 million to fund technology to capture carbon dioxide directly from the air.