Zero-Carbon Transition – Latest signals of change (11.12.20)
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.
EU leaders have agreed a more ambitious climate target of cutting net emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. The move follows calls from over 200 leading businesses to strengthen the targets, co-ordinated by CLG Europe. Unilever, Microsoft, and Brooks are among 13 additional companies to join The Climate Pledge – the commitment co-founded by Amazon and Global Optimism to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement 10 years early. 270 companies have made this year’s CDP climate change A List. A group of 30 investors with over $9 trillion in assets under management have agreed to set to 2030 targets in line with the goal of reaching net-zero by 2050. The New York state pension fund has committed to transitioning its investments to net-zero by 2040. The UK government’s advisors on climate change found that for less than 1% of national GDP, the UK can reduce 78% of emissions by 2035, based on 1990 levels. While another report finds that Europe can hit its climate neutrality goal at net-zero cost. Over 50 of the world’s leading cities are on track to help keep global heating below 1.5ºC, according to a new report. New research finds that emissions cuts in line with the Paris Agreement would have a positive impact on limiting the global temperature rise ‘within two decades’. And Ceres CEO and President Mindy Lubber has been honored as a UNEP ‘Champions of the Earth’ laureate.
Nine companies have joined RE100, including Japan’s Diamond Electric Holdings and South Korea’s SK Holdings. Online retail giant Amazon has become the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy. Singaporean power utility Sembcorp Industries has committed to set a science-based target. French power utility EDF Group and Germany’s RWE AG have both had their targets approved. Last week Italian power utility Terna S.p.A. also committed to set a science-based target. Malaysian bank CIMB has committed to phase out coal from its portfolio by 2040. WBCSD has released a new report to help companies increase their renewable electricity procurement in Europe using cross-border PPAs. And Japan’s government facilities will switch to renewable sources for 30% of their energy supply starting in fiscal 2021.
The EU’s Frans Timmermans has committed to have 30 million zero-emission cars on EU roads by 2030. Indian air freight company Mahindra Logistics has had its science-based target approved, while Spanish ground transportation company Global Via Infraestructuras has committed to set a target. United Airlines has committed to a multimillion-dollar investment project for direct carbon capture as part of its plan to be 100% “green” by 2050. Brussels is to introduce mandatory recycling targets for battery makers, including electric car manufacturers from 2030.
Zero-Carbon Built Environment & Heavy Industry
Chinese chemicals company Yingyang (China) Aroma Chemical Group has committed to set a science-based target, while India’s Tata Chemicals has had its target approved. US real estate group Digital Realty has also committed to set a target, while Danish building products company Rockwool Group, French real estate group Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield and US real-estate group CBRE have had their targets approved. And Germany’s HeidelbergCement has gained a CDP ‘A’ rating for climate change leadership.
Zero-Carbon Land Use & Nature Based Solutions
A new report from WBCSD aims to remove the hurdles to investment in nature-based solutions. Coca-Cola European partners, the world’s largest independent Coca-Cola bottler, has unveiled its 2040 net-zero target and strategy as part of The Climate Pledge. One of the largest manufacturers and exporters of textile products in Pakistan Sapphire Textile Mills Limited has committed to set a science-based target. And the second biggest chocolate producer and confectionery company in the world Ferrero International has had its target approved as 1.5ºC aligned.