Signals amidst the noise
June 9, 2021
We curate the latest news on government, finance and corporate net zero commitments from around the world. Here is today’s update.
Last week we saw action on oil majors from all sides, in recognition that climate change is indeed a crisis and needs to be treated as such. We heard from Exxon’s newest board member about shareholder activism and from those leading legal campaigns on Shell – a must listen podcast. This week we’re reminded we still have much further to go, as the IEA analysis shows clean energy investments must be more than triple current levels by 2030 to meet the Paris Agreement goal of limiting warming to 1.5ºC.
This news roundup highlights the growing movement across sectors on our shared quest for a better future.
- The UK government announced new measures that will require businesses to commit to net zero by 2050 and produce credible carbon reduction plans before they can bid for major government contracts – the first government in the world to put this requirement in place.
- China announced plans to tighten environmental controls for polluting industries and central bank Governor Yi Gang announced plans to make disclosure of climate and carbon emissions information mandatory in future.
- Russia’s lower house of parliament has approved a bill that would require high-emitting companies to report their emissions – a first step from the world’s largest exporter of natural gas and second largest exporter of oil towards limiting greenhouse gas emissions.
- The US, Chile, Costa Rica, France and the UK launched the International Partnership on Marine Protected Areas, Biodiversity and Climate Change to advance protected ocean areas as climate change solutions.
- G7 finance ministers committed to “multi-year effort to deliver the significant structural change needed to meet our net zero commitments” and backed plans for mandatory reporting requirements based on the TCFD framework.
- Mission Innovation 2.0 was launched by 23 countries – the second phase of an initiative launched at COP21 that aims to catalyse investment in research, development and demonstration to make clean energy affordable and accessible to all this decade.
- 99.71% of HSBC shareholders voted for a resolution that commits HSBC to implementing a sustainability strategy that supports customers on their transition to net zero; a policy to phase out coal-fired power and thermal mining by 2023 in the EU and OECD and 2040 globally; and annual reporting on progress.
- The IIGCC-backed Paris Aligned Asset Owners group welcomed six new members, including Europe’s largest pension fund BP and the National Trust.
- The Taskforce on Nature Related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) launched as a new global initiative to deliver a framework by 2023 for companies to report and act on evolving nature-related risks.
- Ørsted announced plans to grow its renewable energy capacity from 12 GW to 50 GW by 2030, with a goal of becoming the leading green energy provider in the world. Ørsted also committed to delivering net-positive biodiversity impact from all its new commissioned renewable energy projects by 2030 at the latest, and pledged to reuse, recycle, or recover all wind turbine blades from its portfolio.
- Unilever brand Dove announced the Dove Forest Restoration Project – a €8.5 million, 5-year effort to protect and restore 20,000 hectares of forest in Indonesia in collaboration with Conservation International.
- French shipping and logistics company CMA CGM committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2050 and using 10% alternative fuels by 2023.
- Heidelberg Cement announced plans to retrofit a Swedish factory into the world’s first carbon neutral cement plant by 2030 using carbon capture technology.
- Mercedes-Benz committed to introducing green steel into vehicle models by 2025, along with an equity stake in the start up H2 Green Steel.
- Heathrow Airport, the UK’s largest airport, incorporated SAF into its main fuel supply for the first time as it seeks to establish proof of concept for the wide-scale use of SAF to reduce emissions.
- The Business Alliance to Scale Climate Solutions (BASCS) launched – a new collaborative knowledge-sharing network serving organisations seeking to engage, invest in, and scale climate solutions. Founding members include Amazon, Microsoft and Unilever. Partners include EDF, UNEP, and WWF, with BSR serving as the secretariat.
- Major firms – including PwC, BT Group, Landsec, EDF and IKEA – teamed up with Count Us In to launch the Employee Challenge, a campaign to encourage 100 million employees globally to take personal action on climate change.
New tools and research
- The IEA’s World Energy Investment 2021 report concludes that global investment in clean energy is on a moderate upswing, but will need to more than triple by 2030 to keep a 1.5C warming scenario possible.
- A new report by UNEP and FAO – Becoming #GenerationRestoration: Ecosystem Restoration for People, Nature and Climate – urges governments to deliver on a commitment to restore at least 1 billion hectares of land by 2030.
- Power Forward 4.0: A Progress Report of the Fortune 500’s Transition to a Net Zero Economy – WWF.
- Breaking Down Corporate Net Zero Targets – MSCI.
Thanks for reading this week’s digest, we hope you found it useful. Prior ‘Signals Amidst the Noise’ digests – and there are quite a few now! – are available here.
This week our podcast, Outrage + Optimism, features the unstoppable Dale Vince – Chair of Forest Green Rovers football club, founder of Ecotricity and new company ‘bling without the sting’, Skydiamonds. Don’t miss it this Thursday! Available wherever you get your podcasts or at globaloptimism.com/podcasts