Zero-Carbon Transition – Latest signals of change (06.11.20)
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.
US presidential hopeful Joe Biden pledged to rejoin the Paris Agreement on his first day of office if elected. A group representing European and US investors with $30 trillion in assets urged the US to quickly rejoin the Paris Agreement. Russian president Vladimir Putin has ordered the government to try to meet the 2015 Paris Agreement while ensuring economic development. The Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance has said that all companies owned by the $5 trillion group needed to develop plans to transition away from thermal coal.
The world’s third biggest power utility Iberdrola has committed €75 billion to double its renewable energy capacity over the next five years. Norwegian oil major Equinor has committed to be net-zero by 2050, flagging investments in renewables and CCS, but still plans to increase oil and gas production. Shareholders in Standard Bank have voted through a lending policy for South African coal projects, which takes into account climate risk. Tesla and French energy group Neoen are set to build one of the world’s largest lithium-ion batteries in Australia. Analysis shows that Australia’s increase in renewable capacity has cut emissions more than Covid-19. And the UK’s biggest battery storage project to date has been switched on in South Yorkshire.
Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline has joined the Climate Group’s EV100 campaign, committing to transition its fleet of 19,000 vehicles globally to EV by 2030. Swedish automaker AB Volvo has joined the Business Ambition for 1.5ºC campaign. Luxury carmaker Bentley has committed to go fully electric by 2030 and will offer only plug-in hybrid or battery electric cars by 2026. Nissan has committed to sell only electric and hybrid cars in China by 2025. Sales of new energy vehicles (NEV) in China are forecast to rise to 20% of overall new car sales by 2025 from just 5% now, according to the State Council. And India’s Telangana state has approved a ground-breaking EV policy, aimed at driving investment in the EV market, creating jobs and ramping-up shared mobility.
Zero-Carbon Built Environment & Heavy Industry
Indian chemicals group UPL Limited has committed to set a science-based target. Mining company Anglo American has committed to reach net-zero emissions by 2040, having met their 2020 emissions reduction target. Mining company BHP has committed to the responsible production of copper, by agreeing to adhere to the Copper Mark framework. Unilever, SC Johnson and Danone reported improvements in the amount of recycled plastic in their packaging. UK real-estate investment trust Workspace Group has had its science-based target approved. New research shows that shifting away from conventional construction materials and using more wood could be effective at cutting emissions. A new report finds that the European hydrogen market could be worth €120bn by 2050.
Zero-Carbon Land Use and Nature-Based Solutions
The Nature Recovery Network, led by Natural England, has launched a new initiative to restore the natural world in the country. A group of UK health professions have called for climate tax on meat to reduce emissions. Food production companies Albert Bartlett and Sons in the UK and Hochland Deutschland in Germany have committed to set a science-based target.