Signals amidst the noise
May 5, 2021
We curate the latest news on government, finance and corporate net zero commitments from around the world. Here is today’s update.
- The US Senate approved a measure to restore an Obama-era regulation of methane emissions from the oil and gas industry, reversing a Trump administration rollback.
- California’s governor has moved to ban fracking permits by 2024 and halt oil extraction by 2045.
- United Mine Workers of America, the largest coal minor’s union in the US, announced support for a renewable energy future and Biden’s climate policies, provided there’s a comprehensive strategy for helping mining communities get good-paying jobs in return.
- A Japanese initiative developing a new coal-fired power plant has been cancelled, leaving the country with no new construction on the horizon.
- Germany’s constitutional court demanded changes to Germany’s climate law, saying it places too much of a burden on future generations to reduce carbon emissions.
- The Race to Zero published their updated criteria outlining the minimum criteria required for networks, initiatives and members to make a credible net zero commitment and participate in the UN backed campaign that has already attracted thousands of companies, regional governments, financial institutions, universities and other groups.
- Over 40 companies and groups – including Climate Group’s EV100, Coca-Cola, IKEA, Schneider Electric and Volvo – signed an open letter urging EU lawmakers to adopt an end date for selling internal combustion engine cars and vans in Europe by 2035.
- A coalition of environmental groups – including EDF, Sierra Club and WWF – sent a letter calling on Biden and congressional leaders to adopt a Clean Electricity Standard, demanding 100% carbon free electricity by 2035.
- The UK Business Group Alliance for Net Zero launched six months ahead of COP26 – a network of leading business groups working together to increase political and business ambition to achieve net zero in the UK by 2050 at the latest.
- The International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation announced a goal to publish its first batch of climate-related company disclosure standards by mid-2022.
- AECOM committed to net zero operational emissions by the end of 2021 and “science-based” net zero by 2030.
- The Food and Drink Federation, representing over 300 UK companies, committed to achieving net zero by 2040.
- Yum! Brands – parent company of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell – pledged to achieve net zero by 2050.
- Honda committed to achieving carbon neutrality for all products and corporate activities by 2050.
- Salesforce announced the introduction of new climate commitments to supplier contracts and is actively working with suppliers to set science-based targets by 2024.
- Tesco is set to become the first UK retailer to offer sustainability-linked supply chain finance to encourage more suppliers to sign up to science-based emissions reduction targets.
- The Methodist Church has sold almost $29 million in Royal Dutch Shell shares over the oil major’s “inadequate” response to climate change.
- A powerful, seldom vocal group of Nobel laureates, distinguished scientists and experts released a statement calling for all countries to “reinvent our relationship with planet Earth” and take comprehensive action this decade to protect ecosystems and combat climate change. Setting net zero targets within an ambitious time frame, and taking action to meet them starting immediately, is one signal this necessary reinvention is beginning to manifest.
- New research and tools:
- Scaling US Climate Ambitions to Meet the Science and Arithmetic of 1.5C Warming by RMI finds the US needs to reduce economy-wide emissions by 57% by 2030 to achieve a 1.5C global warming scenario.
- The Time to Green Finance by CDP finds GHG emissions associated with financial institution’s investing, lending and underwriting activities are on average 700x higher than their direct emissions.
- Global EV Outlook 2021, IEA.
- Sector-Level Strategies and Targets to Limit Warming to 1.5C RMI.
- Making Clean Electrification Possible, Energy Transitions Commission.
- Making the Hydrogen Economy Possible, Energy Transitions Commission.
Thanks for reading this week’s digest – lots to unpack there – we hope you found it useful. Last week’s bumper Biden Summit roundup is available here.
This week our podcast, Outrage + Optimism, is an investigative feature on Financing the Race to Zero, with Mark Carney, Kristalina Georgieva, Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, Thomas DiNapoli and Amal-Lee Amin. Don’t miss it this Thursday. Available wherever you get your podcasts or at globaloptimism.com/podcasts