Zero-Carbon Transition: Latest signals of change (12.06.2020)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.
Over 50 major companies have called for renewables to be built into the EU’s COVID-19 economic stimulus package – including over 40 of Europe’s biggest corporate buyers of renewable electricity, such as Mars, Ingka Group and VF Corporation. 105 global investors, representing over $10 trillion in assets, are taking part in a CDP flagship campaign to put pressure on some of the globe’s highest impact corporations for environmental disclosure. Germany submitted its ten-year energy and climate plan to the EU, which includes its national goal to cut emissions by 55% by 2030. More than 20 health groups have called on the UK government to deliver a green recovery, highlighting that health and climate change are intrinsically linked. And the transition to a low-carbon and renewable energy economy could create nearly 700,000 jobs in the UK by 2030, a new report finds.
US manufacturer of recreational vehicles Thor Industries has committed to set a science-based target, along with Finnish postal company Posti Group Ltd and Indian auto engines group Mahindra Heavy Engines Ltd. Norwegian energy utility Statkraft has committed to accelerating the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) with EV100. France pledged to invest €1.5 billion into building a ‘carbon neutral plane’ by 2035. Austrian airlines have secured a government aid deal, but it includes concessions on environmental and climate protection. Chinese EV battery maker CATL, which supplies Tesla and VW, has made a breakthrough with a power pack that can last for more than a million miles. The UK Prime Minister is considering a diesel and petrol car scrappage scheme to boost EV sales. And the world’s first electric passenger drone – the Chinese-made EHang 216 – took to the skies above the city of Guangzhou, China.
Global investment in renewable energy reached a new record high in 2019 with a 1% increase compared to 2018. One of the largest Brazilian electric utility companies and subsidiary of Portugal’s EDP – Energias do Brasil S.A. – has committed to set a science-based target. Soaring demand is expected to see US solar installations increase by a third this year, despite the economic impact of the coronavirus. The IEA forecasts global natural gas consumption will drop 4% in 2020, due to the effects of the pandemic, increased renewables, and weather effects.
Zero-Carbon Built Environment and Heavy Industry
French construction materials company VALLOUREC and South African metals company Hulamin have had their science-based targets approved. A new report urges the UK recovery effort to make homes more energy efficient to boost jobs, improve lives, and cut carbon. The German government has adopted its national hydrogen strategy to increase production capacity to 5 GW by 2030 and 10 GW by 2040. Siemens Energy, Engie, National Grid, and Ryse Hydrogen have called on the UK government to set a cost reduction target for green hydrogen.