Signals amidst the noise

April 13, 2021 

We curate updates on government, finance and corporate net zero news weekly from the world’s media. Here is today’s update:

More stories this week from the net zero, climate action newsbeat, signalling big changes underway in the global economy. We now know that since 2005, thirty two countries have succeeded in growing their economies without increasing their emissions, setting a clear example for others to follow.  

As we take in the latest announcements on the road to net zero, let’s recognise the collective significance of this constant flow of commitments: decarbonisation seems inevitable now. However, as each of these commitments are made public, it will be up to all of us to scrutinize progress towards their delivery as quickly as possible. 

  • Kingspan announced a new target for net zero manufacturing by 2030.
  • Honeywell announced a commitment to carbon neutral operations and facilities by 2035.
  • PayPal pledged to reach net zero emissions by 2040 and use 100% renewable energy to power its data centres by 2023.
  • Novelis announced a commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2050.
  • Stena Bulk announced its ambition to become a net zero business by 2050.
  • Swedish electric car company Polestar announced a goal to create the first climate neutral car by 2030.
  • Volvo and steelmaker SSAB unveiled plans to produce the world’s first vehicles made of fossil-free steel.
  • SSE and Equinor unveiled plans to develop two low carbon power stations in the UK: one of the UK’s first power stations with CCS, and one of the world’s first 100% hydrogen-fuelled power stations.
  • Bank of America announced a goal to deploy $1 trillion by 2030 to accelerate the transition to a low carbon, sustainable economy through its Environmental Business Initiative.
  • BlackRock raised $4.8 billion for its third Global Renewable Power Fund, almost doubling its initial target of $2.5 billion.

  • The Biden administration unveiled its $1.52 trillion 2022 budget proposal reflecting an increase of $14 billion more than 2021 levels for major climate investments.
  • A US court ruling repealed a Trump-era rule, which will now enable the EPA to set greenhouse gas limits on polluting industries.
  • The US and UAE released a joint statement pledging to work together to coordinate financing to accelerate decarbonisation of the economy.
  • Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Sudan, the UAE and US released a joint statement pledging to accelerate climate action, mobilise investments in a new energy economy and help the world’s most vulnerable cope with climate change.
  • Saudi Arabia signed PPAs with 7 new solar projects, equivalent to 3,670 MW, as part of its push to generate 50% of its energy from renewables by 2030. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also announced plans to plant 10 billion trees in coming decades.
  • The UK’s electricity system recorded its greenest day ever over Easter, with almost 80% of the grid powered by low carbon sources.
  • The UK’s Pensions Regulators published a new climate change strategy and proposed new regulations that will require trustees of larger schemes to take actions in line with the TCFD.
  • The French government approved a ban on short-haul flights where train routes can be completed in under 2.5 hours, in a bid to reduce emissions.

  • Sky News launched The Daily Climate Show, the first daily primetime news program dedicated to climate change.
  • The Climate Group and UN High Level Climate Champions launched RouteZero,  a new initiative seeking to mobilize businesses, cities and regions to completely decarbonise all forms of road transportation.
  • The Crypto Climate Accord was created by RMI, Energy Web, and the Alliance for Innovative Regulation – a new global accord to ensure blockchain systems and digital currency mining operations operate on 100% renewable energy by 2025, achieve net zero by 2040, and develop an accounting standard to measure emissions across the industry.
  • Member companies of the Partnership for Renewable Energy Finance – including Amazon, Bank of America, BlackRock, Google, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo – sent a letter to Texas officials opposing three energy-related bills over concerns they would upend the economics of wind and solar power in the state.

 

Thanks for reading this week’s decarbonisation digest, we hope you found it useful. Last week’s roundup is available here.

 

On this week’s episode of the Outrage + Optimism podcast we’re joined by Stop Ecocide co-founder, Jojo Mehta, to talk about revolutionising the criminal justice systems of the world. Join us on Thursday! You can listen at globaloptimism.com/podcasts