Signals amidst the noise

June 23, 2021 

We curate the latest news on government, finance and corporate net zero commitments from around the world. Here is today’s update.

 

Today the IPCC’s working group 2 paper, due out in February 2022 was leaked. It’s an extremely tough read. The draft says, “The choices societies make now will determine whether our species thrives or simply survives as the 21st century unfolds,” according to newswire, AFP.

 

Here’s this week’s news on efforts underway to turn catastrophe into opportunity.

 

Image: Shutterstock

Governments

 

  • Following the G7 Summit in Cornwall, leaders of the seven largest Western economies published their shared agenda. Key climate initiatives include:
    • Cease financing through international investments for coal plants and mines without carbon-capture technology by the end of 2021 – but did not agree on a specific end date for the use of coal.
    • Reaffirmed commitment to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies by 2025 [we note this has been on the table since 2009].
    • Agreed to cut collective greenhouse gas emissions by half by 2030 as an interim target for the achievement of net zero global emissions by 2050.
    • Expressed support for mandatory disclosures to the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
    • Renewed pledge to raise $100 billion a year to help developing countries cut emissions. 
    • Agreed to conserve or protect at least 30% of land and oceans by 2030 and adopted the G7 2030 Nature Compact to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030.

 

  • Leading scientists are set to launch the Climate Crisis Advisory Group, an independent expert group to advise, warn and criticise global policymakers about the climate and nature crises.
  • The Scottish Government, The Climate Group and Bloomberg Philanthropies launched Net Zero Futures to provide a space for subnational governments to share net zero learnings and challenges.
  • The UK Taskforce on Innovation, Growth and Regulatory Reform proposed a regulatory overhaul to create a smart energy grid and accelerate offshore wind, hydrogen, clean tech, net zero transportation, and green farming markets to accelerate the net zero transition.
  • The UK government committed to creating a ‘nature positive’ future through a number of initiatives ensuring new infrastructure projects result in net gain biodiversity, ensuring bilateral aid spending doesn’t harm nature, and committing around $4 million to develop the TNFD framework.
  • NATO members agreed for the first time to increase efforts to tackle climate change, asking the Secretary General to create a target for emissions reductions in military activities and examine the feasibility of reaching net zero by 2050. And as a reminder – you can hear NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s thoughts on tackling the climate crisis in our recent podcast our recent podcast.

Image: Shutterstock

Finance

 

  • Cardano and its master trust pension scheme Now Pensions and the UN staff pension fund set targets for net zero portfolios by 2050.
  • AXA’s investment arm expanded its policy to ban investments in companies that contribute to deforestation and biodiversity loss.
  • Legal and General Investment Management, Britain’s largest investor, dropped AIG from its portfolio for having insufficient policies in place over climate change risks, such as having no policy on thermal coal or the disclosure of carbon emissions associated with its investments.
  • A majority of Delta Air Lines’ shareholders voted in favour of the company disclosing its climate lobbying efforts.
  • Women in Climate Tech announced a new program to create a TCFD-aligned toolkit governments and businesses can use to improve investors’ understanding of the relationship between climate change and gender equity.
  • CDP announced a record number of 168 investors with $17 trillion of assets urged 1,300+ firms to disclose environmental data.

Corporations

 

  • Legal experts from across the globe have drawn up a “historic” legal definition of Ecocide, intended to be adopted by the international criminal court. If adopted, an ecocide law will allow prosecution of cross-border corporate offenses – and governments – against the environment. Stop Ecocide’s director, Jojo Mehta talked to us recently on Outrage + Optimism.
  • Ralph Lauren committed to achieving net zero emissions in its operations and value chain by 2040.
  • Rolls-Royce announced plans to make all products compatible with net zero by 2030, and all products in operation compatible by 2050. If you enjoyed last week’s Outrage & Optimism podcast with Warren East, CEO of Rolls-Royce, you’ll probably enjoy this oped he co-authored with Christiana Figueres on the challenges and opportunities for heavy industry in getting to net zero.  
  • Tyson Foods announced ambition to achieve net zero emissions across its global operations and supply chain by 2050.
  • UPS committed to achieving carbon neutrality across scopes 1, 2 and 3 by 2050.
  • Equinor announced plans to have renewables and other low carbon solutions comprise over 50% of its capital investments by 2030, compared to 4% last year.
  • IKEA launched a new program to transition to 100% renewable electricity for its direct suppliers as part of a larger goal to use 100% renewable energy in its entire value chain.
  • The Confederation of British Industry, Britain’s largest business lobby, urged British business and government to “make this the boldest year of net zero action yet.”

 

Thanks for reading this week’s net zero news digest, we hope you found it useful. Prior issues of ‘Signals Amidst the Noise’ are available here.

 

This week our podcast, Outrage + Optimism, features a very lively discussion with scientist Johan Rockström and economist Tim Jackson. Don’t miss it this Thursday! Available wherever you get your podcasts or at globaloptimism.com/podcasts