Some 400 heavy emitters from the transport and industrial sectors have formed a new collaborative partnership aimed at accelerating the low-carbon transition, with financial backing from Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.
The Mission Possible Partnership’s ambition is to “accelerate several pathways for decarbonising heavy industry and transport by unifying the critical actors needed to influence and enable industry transformation at speed and scale.”
Member businesses, supported financially by the Bezos Earth Fund and Breakthrough Energy, will collaborate to invest and lobby in ways that help scale up the markets for emerging technologies that will help to decarbonise sectors like shipping, aviation, chemicals, cement and steel. The aim is to demonstrate net-zero emission “breakthrough” innovations this year. All transport firms signed up to the partnership will need to produce complete climate action plans within three years if they don’t already have such frameworks in place.
Airbus, BASF, Boeing, Cargill, easyJet, Heathrow Airport, Royal DSM, Royal Dutch Shell and Volvo are among the first corporate members of the Partnership. The financial sector is also represented through members including Citi and Lloyds Register.
Management duties for the Partnership, meanwhile, will be shared by the Energy Transitions Commission, Rocky Mountain Institute, We Mean Business Coalition and World Economic Forum (WEF). The formation of the Partnership was announced to coincide with the WEF’s original dates for its meeting in Davos, which has been postponed and relocated due to Covid-19.
The Rocky Mountain Institute’s managing director Paul Bodnar said that the sectors represented by the new Partnership, which rolls several pre-existing industry-led decarbonisation partnerships into one, collectively represent 30% of global annual emissions. Yet many of them are excluded from the ways in which nations account for their emissions and Paris Agreement contributions. International shipping and aviation, for example, are not counted by the UK.
“The Paris Agreement was a leap forward in organizing the work of nations on climate but hitting 1.5C also requires a strategy that speaks the language of global industries, which transcend borders in their supply chains, markets, and investors,” Bodnar said. “The Mission Possible Partnership has developed an approach to help entire industrial ecosystems define and organise their journey to net zero emissions.”
Pre-existing coalitions brought together by the Partnership include the shipping sector’s Getting to Zero Coalition, the aviation sector’s Clean Skies for Tomorrow Group, the Climate Group’s Net Zero Steel initiative and the Road Freight Net Zero Coalition. Altogether, some 400 firms are represented by the new initiative.
The industries represented by the new Partnership contribute significantly to global annual emissions and, as such, will be crucial to the delivery of net-zero ambitions.
But a study from the Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI) last year found that many of the largest transport and industrial firms need to increase their ambitions and accelerate action in terms of decarbonisation. Its analysis found that 80% of the highest-emitting listed companies are failing to deliver emissions reductions aligned to the Paris Agreement’s 2C – let alone the 1.5C limit highlighted by the IPCC.
High-carbon sectors will undoubtedly have to prove that they have their own hoses in order ahead of the COP26 event in November, widely regarded as the most important UN COP since the Paris Agreement was ratified in 2015.
With this in mind, the Mission Possible Partnership is working with the Race To Zero campaign, orchestrated by the UN and COP26 co-hosts Italy and the UK. Race to Zero was set up to inspire a holistic and ambitious approach to the global net-zero transition.
“As we move into the decade of delivery, we must not only grow the number of actors committed to a resilient, zero-carbon future, we must foster the radical collaboration needed to drive transformational change in every sector of the economy,” the UK’s high-level champion for COP26 Nigel Topping said. Topping is notably the former leader of the We Mean Business Coalition.
edie’s next online masterclass to focus on industrial energy efficiency
Readers interested in the ole that energy efficiency will play on the road to net-zero for industrial business are encouraged to register for edie’s next free online masterclass on this important topic.
The 45-minute session will air at 1pm (GMT) on 10 March, and is being hosted in association with Carbon Trust and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).