Zero-Carbon Transition: Latest signals of change (29.05.2020)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.
The European Union unveiled a €750 billion coronavirus recovery package with the Green Deal at its heart, responding to the hundreds of companies that have called for COVID-19 stimulus to accelerate the transition to a resilient, zero-carbon economy by 2050 at the latest. Read CLG Europe’s analysis here. The measures include increasing the “just transition fund” to €40 billion, to help nations transition away from fossil fuels without leaving workers behind. Meanwhile, over 200 organisations representing at least 40 million health workers globally called on G20 leaders to ensure a green recovery. Australia’s emissions dipped 0.9% in 2019, with the addition of new clean energy plants. And the new dates for COP26 have been set, with the event due in Glasgow between 1st and 12th of November 2021.
The EU’s green recovery package earmarks €20 billion for accelerating the transition to ‘clean’ vehicles over the next two years, while €40-60 will be used to invest in zero-emissions trains and €20 billion for cycling infrastructure and clean public transport. Six of Denmark’s biggest companies, including renewable energy major Ørsted and shipping giant Maersk, are launching one of the world’s largest green hydrogen projects; the project is set to produce emission-free fuels for ships, trucks, aircraft and heavy industry. French President Macron launched an €8 billion plan designed to turn France into Europe’s biggest producer of electric and hybrid vehicles. Danish air freight and logistics company DSV Panalpina and the second largest tyre maker in the world Michelin have had their science-based targets approved. And the world’s largest all-electric aircraft is set for takeoff.
As part of its green recovery package, the EU will tender 15 GW of renewable energy capacity in the next two years, with an expected investment of €25 billion. Renewable projects will also have access to a €10 billion loan facility, administered by the European Investment Bank. In the US, 2019 annual energy consumption from renewables surpassed coal consumption for the first time since the 1800s. India’s Prime Minister called for each of the country’s 29 states to have at least one ‘solar city‘. And what will be the UK’s biggest solar farm has been approved for construction in Kent.
Zero-Carbon Built Environment and Heavy Industry
The EU’s green recovery package will provide €91 billion per year in grants and loans for climate-friendly building renovations including rooftop solar, insulation and renewable heating systems. To help decarbonise polluting industries, the EU also unveiled support for clean hydrogen including new funding.