Zero-Carbon Transition – Latest signals of change (19.03.21)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.
India is considering setting net zero emissions goal by 2050, a decade before China, while the country’s state of Chhattisgarh pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, becoming the first Indian health system to endorse UNFCCC’s Race to Zero Campaign. The UK is now halfway to meeting its net-zero emissions target, with the country’s GHG emissions in 2020 51% below 1990 levels, according to new analysis. Companies are increasingly convinced that reducing carbon emissions can have a positive impact on market demand, reputation and supply chains, a new survey by the European Investment Bank shows. Hong Kong-based insurer AIA – which manages $326bn – will pull out of all coal investments by 2028. French insurer AXA dropped the energy company giant RWE as a client over coal operations and slow climate action. The UK pension scheme Nest has begun a $1.9bn green energy push. And Lebanon increased its climate ambition and aims to cut its carbon emissions by 20%, up from 15%, by 2030.
One of India’s largest electric utilities The Tata Power Company has committed to set a science-based target, while ReNew Power – India’s leading solar power developer – has joined the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign and Norwegian power electric utility Agder Energy has had its science-based target approved. South Korean consumer group AmorePacific has joined the Climate Group’s RE100 initiative. Solar installations are projected to quadruple by 2030, a new report shows. RE returns swelled by 426% since 2010, outperforming fossil fuels more than threefold. And a report shows $131tn investment in renewables could be required as RE production needs to grow eight times faster to meet Paris goals.
Volkswagen plans six battery factories across Europe by 2030, which would produce cells for almost 5m cars annually. BMW expects at least half of its sales to be EVs by 2030. EVs are now included into the formula for calculating inflation in the UK, which is a signal that they “have gone mainstream”. A planned hydrogen transport hub in the UK will get a $4.2m funding boost to research and trial the use of hydrogen as a fuel. US researchers claim making jet fuel from food waste would cut GHG emissions by 165% compared to fossil energy and aim for test flights in 2023. And the International Air Transport Association is in talks with global carriers to commit to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Zero-Carbon Built Environment & Heavy Industry
Indian chemicals company Galaxy Surfactants Limited has committed to set a science-based target, while German chemicals company MATSEN CHEMIE has joined the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign. Japanese building products company TOTO LTD and UK construction firm Assystem Energy and Infrastructure have both committed to set a science-based target. The International Aluminium Institute calls on the industry to cut GHG emissions by 77% by 2050 to meet climate change goals. The UK aims to cut industrial pollution by two-thirds within the next 15 years as part of its Industrial Decarbonization Strategy, with plans for “steel-makers to reach net zero by 2035”. And the real estate manager Nuveen – with a $184bn property portfolio – committed to set net zero emissions targets by 2040.
Zero-Carbon Land Use & Nature Based Solutions
Protecting the world’s oceans from fishing, drilling and mining could safeguard imperilled species and sequester vast amounts of carbon. And adding small amounts of seaweed in cows’ feed cuts their methane emissions by 82%, new research shows.