Zero-Carbon Transition – Latest signals of change (14.05.21)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 is accelerating.
CEOs and representatives from more than 80 of the largest U.S. businesses and investors, which participated in participate in LEAD on Climate 2021, called on the Biden administration and a bipartisan group of federal lawmakers to support a robust infrastructure package that will address the climate crisis and advance environmental justice. New approved draft legislation will see Germany adopt more ambitious CO2 reduction targets, including cutting its carbon emissions by 65% by 2030 from 1990 levels and aiming for net–zero by 2045. The City of Sydney has brought forward its net-zero emissions goal by five years to 2035 and will spend $24 million over four years to meet the accelerated target. And UK retailers have cut their carbon emissions in half since 2005.
Zero Carbon Energy
UK COP26 president Alok Sharma is calling on all nations to abandon coal power and make this year’s UN climate talks the moment the world “consigns coal to history”. New IEA analysis finds there was a record surge in global renewable power in 2020 with 45% of the new capacity coming from new wind and solar projects in China, Europe and the US. The IEA’s higher growth forecast puts wind and solar on track to match global gas capacity by 2022. A new windfarm in the US has been approved and will involve up to 84 turbines able to generate about 800 MW of electricity. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group – Japan’s second largest bank by assets – will halt new financing for all coal-fired power plants, becoming the first major Japanese lender to do so, while the Philippine-based bank Asian Development Bank will end all financing for coal mining and power plants and ban support for oil and gas production. Indonesia’s largest energy generator PLN has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2050 with a plan to phase out fossil fuel-fired power plants. And Tesla has stopped all payment by Bitcoin due to concerns about the energy required.
EVs will be cheaper to produce than conventional, fossil fuel-powered vehicles by 2027, as a result of falling cost of making batteries, new research forecasts. Renault could become the first big carmaker to introduce battery-swapping capability in its EVs. South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Group plans to invest $7.4bn in the US by 2025 to produce EVs and upgrade production facilities, while Daimler is considering phasing out ICE cars before its internal target of 2039. Europe overtook China as the world’s biggest EV market, with a target of at least 30 million zero–emission vehicles by 2030. Sales of eco-friendly cars have overtaken diesel in the UK for the first time with 33,000 pure electric and hybrid cars registered between April and June versus 29,900 diesel cars.
Zero-Carbon Built Environment & Heavy Industry
Hydrogen is the key to decarbonizing hard-to-abate industrial sectors, but can only contribute fully to decarbonization if changes are made to its production methods with a focus on low-carbon electricity sources and carbon capture and storage, a new study suggests.
Zero-Carbon Land Use & Nature Based Solutions
Amazon has raised a $1 billion sustainable bond to invest in renewable energy, clean transport, greener buildings and affordable housing. An area of forest the size of France has regrown naturally across the world since the year 2000, with the restored forests taking in an estimated 5.9Gt of CO2 – more than the annual emissions of the US. The UK is planning a tree-planting program, which will double the planting of woodland within four years to almost 75,000 acres a year, or about 80m trees. And to limit global temperature rise, we must slash emissions and invest now to protect, manage and restore ecosystems and land for the future with an ambitious scaling-up of nature-based solutions, new analysis suggests.