Zero-Carbon Transition: Latest signals of change (15.05.2020)The We Mean Business coalition
Here are just some of the signals of change from the past week, demonstrating the transition to a resilient, zero-carbon future remains underway. Find out more here >
More than 330 businesses virtually convened as part of Ceres’ LEAD on Climate campaign this week, to call on US federal lawmakers to build back a better economy by infusing resilient, long-term climate solutions into future economic recovery plans. EU Climate Commissioner Frans Timmermans said the region’s “Green Deal” plan to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 will guide the bloc’s economic recovery plans and encouraged states to attach green conditions to financial support for affected corporations. New Zealand has committed to inject $1.1 billion to restore natural environments, creating some 11,000 short-term jobs. Canada is tying climate goals to financial aid for its largest companies impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Norway’s $1 trillion investment fund has sold a swath of commodity and utility companies, including Glencore, Anglo American and RWE, for breaching guidelines on the use of coal.
Germany has raised its 2030 offshore wind target to 20 GW, from 15 GW previously. India’s Adani Green Energy, which operates one of the largest solar photovoltaic plants in the world, and Brazilian energy company AES Tietê, have both committed to set a science-based target (SBT). While one of Germany’s leading energy suppliers MVV Energie AG has had its SBT approved. The US is on track to generate more electricity from renewable power than from coal this year for the first time on record. The Trump administration has approved the largest solar power project in US history. And US utility Great River Energy plans to close the largest coal-fired power plant in North Dakota and replace it with renewable sources. Bank BNP Paribas is toughing its stance on lending to customers engaged in coal-fired electricity generation, while Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group has also tightened its lending criteria. And the UK went for the whole month of April without any coal used for electricity generation.
US rail-freight company CSX Corporation, US trucking company EARP Distribution, Spanish auto component company Gestamp and Finland’s Nokian Tyres have all had their science-based targets approved. Automaker General Motors has signed a deal to purchase enough solar energy to power its Tennessee assembly plant by late 2022. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said airlines must take steps to keep carbon emissions down when flights resume post-lockdown. And the UK government is due to unveil £250 million funding for cycle lanes to encourage commuters to ride to work.
Zero-Carbon Built Environment & Heavy Industry
Japanese construction and engineering company Tokyu Construction Co. and German real estate company alstria office REIT-AG have had their science-based targets approved.