Signals amidst the noise
April 6, 2021
We curate updates on government, finance and corporate net zero news weekly from the world’s media. Here is today’s update:
We’re delighted to share with you this week’s collection of stories from the net zero newsbeat. All of this activity is part of the unstoppable economic transformation away from high carbon that’s gaining more traction each day. And all of it is happening thanks to the hard work and determination of committed human beings everywhere.
And just in case you need a quick recap on #WhatTheHale net zero really means, you can tune into Dr. Thomas Hale’s excellent explanation on the Outrage + Optimism podcast.
- The Biden administration unveiled its American Jobs Plan, which targets 40% of the benefits of climate and clean infrastructure investments to disadvantaged communities. The plan includes $35 billion to expand climate-related research and climate-friendly tech. The Biden administration also announced a goal to deploy 30GWs of offshore wind energy by 2030, while protecting biodiversity and promoting ocean co-use.
- The US Federal Reserve announced plans to create the Financial Stability Climate Committee, a panel dedicated to understanding how climate change could upend the global financial system.
- The US Securities and Exchange Commission directed ConocoPhillips and Occidental Petroleum to hold shareholder votes on new emissions targets.
- The world’s largest floating offshore wind farms are set to be built along the Welsh coastline.
- The UK launched a consultation on mandating TCFD (Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures) by publicly quoted companies, large private companies and LLPs as early as April 2022.
- Northern Ireland’s first ever piece of climate legislation is set to be introduced proposing a net zero target for 2045 and Ireland agreed to set a 2050 net zero goal in law.
- Netflix announced a commitment to achieving net zero by the end of 2022.
- JBS, the world’s largest beef and pork processor, committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2040.
- Southern California Gas, the largest US gas distribution facility, committed to achieving net zero by 2045.
- BASF and CarMax, the largest used car retailer in the US, committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
- Mercer announced a commitment to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 for UK, European and Asian clients with discretionary portfolios and the majority of its multi-client, multi-asset funds domiciled in Ireland.
- Coal India, the world’s largest coal miner, announced plans to invest over $826 million in solar power projects by March 2024.
- ITV partnered with albert International, a consortium delivering climate change training and tools for the media industry, to deliver net zero plans globally.
- Sky launched the Sky Zero Footprint Fund, a £2 million campaign to inspire change and help fast-track sustainable initiatives.
- Apple announced over 110 of its manufacturing partners are moving to 100% renewable energy for Apple-related production, totaling nearly 8GW of planned clean energy.
- Google announced a new Google Maps app feature to direct drivers along routes estimated to generate the lowest carbon emissions based on traffic, slopes and other factors. The feature will launch in the US this year.
- The Financial Times launched Climate Capital, a new hub of climate-related news coverage.
- 30 of the UK’s FTSE 100 are now in the Race to Zero.
- $73.4 billion of green bond sales were issued globally in March 2021, making a new record monthly high, according to Bloomberg.
- The world’s first wildlife conservation bond – a 5-year $45 million security to grow the population of black rhinos in South Africa – will be sold by the World Bank this year.
- Aviva announced the launch of the Aviva Investors Climate Transition Global Equity Fund onto its workplace pension scheme platforms. Businesses with their workplace pension scheme at Aviva will be able to give their employees the choice to invest in the fund that invests in companies responding to climate change.
- The IFRS Foundation announced a new working group to accelerate convergence in global sustainability reporting standards focused on enterprise value – includes IASB, TCFD, CDSB and WEF.
- Climate Voice launched a new campaign, 1 in 5 for 1.5, calling on employees of Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google, as well as the general public, to sign a petition urging the tech giants to commit one in five of their lobbying dollars in 2021 to support climate policy action.
- A coalition of companies, environmental NGOs and energy trade groups – including Adobe, Google, HP, C2ES, EDF, NRDC, TNC – sent Biden a letter urging the adoption of “higher-impact carbon-free federal electricity procurement”.
- The Alliance for Automotive Innovation, the United Autoworkers International Union, and the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association wrote a letter to Biden and Congress outlining policy recommendations to accelerate EV adoption.
- Airlines for America, an industry trade organization representing major US airlines, announced its members commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
- The American Petroleum Institute released a Climate Action Framework outlining support for industry and government actions to reduce emissions from energy production, transportation and use by society.
- New research and tools:
- WBCSD and over 40 of its members released an action agenda, Vision 2050: Time to Transform, based on 9 transformation pathways.
- The WWF released the first-ever guidance for integrating plastic impacts into company ESG performance assessments.
- Project Drawdown and partners released an immersive educational video, Climate Solutions 101, bringing climate solutions to life.
- New report by the Global Wind Energy Council predicts wind power growth will need to triple over the next decade to achieve net zero.
- Net Zero Company Benchmark, Climate Action 100+.
Thanks for reading this week’s decarbonisation digest, we hope you found it useful. Last week’s net zero news bonanza is available here.
On this week’s episode of the Outrage + Optimism podcast we’re taking an adventurous slant on climate solutions with aviation pioneer, Bertrand Piccard, featuring guest host, Dee Caffari, the first woman to sail around the world three times! Join us on Thursday. You can listen at globaloptimism.com/podcasts