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June 2021

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World Bank increases climate finance for developing nations

The World Bank Group has issued a new spending plan through to 2025 that will ensure that an average of 35% of total spending is focused on climate adaptation and decarbonisation in developing countries.

Priority areas for spending include energy, agriculture, food, water and land, cities, transport and manufacturing

Priority areas for spending include energy, agriculture, food, water and land, cities, transport and manufacturing

The World Bank Group’s new Climate Change Action Plan will attempt to deliver ‘record levels’ of climate finance to countries most in need of support to reduce emissions and improve resilience against the climate crisis.

Between 2021 and 2025, the World Bank Group will ensure that 35% of its financial flows are in alignment with the objectives of the Paris Agreement. Specifically, the Group will support efforts from developing countries in implementing and updating Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the global climate accord.

Priority areas for spending include energy, agriculture, food, water and land, cities, transport and manufacturing – with a focus on resiliency, adaptation and decarbonisation.

“Our new Action Plan will identify and prioritise action on the most impactful mitigation and adaptation opportunities, and we will drive our climate finance accordingly,” the Group’s president David Malpass said.

“This means helping the largest emitters flatten the emissions curve and helping countries achieve successful adaptation and resilience to climate change. We will be delivering climate finance at record levels and seeking solutions that achieve the most impact.”

The World Bank Group – comprising of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and International Development Association (IDA) – will also work to align all new financial operations with the needs of the Paris Agreement from July 2023. At least 50% percent of IDA and IBRD climate finance will support adaptation.

The World Bank is the largest multilateral provider of climate finance for developing countries and delivered $83bn in climate finance during its previous five-year action plan, including more than $21bn in 2020.

A new Country Climate and Development Report (CCDR) diagnostic tool will also be introduced, to help developing countries find out what technologies would work best for their efforts to decarbonise and improve resiliency.

UK banks on watch

The World Bank’s new commitment arrives just weeks after it was revealed that UK banks and asset managers collectively financed projects emitting 805 million tonnes of greenhouse gases in 2019 – around twice the UK’s annual national carbon footprint.

The analysis from WWF and Greenpeace UK covers the financial activities of 15 large banks and 10 large asset managers with UK operations, assessing their Scope 3 (indirect) emissions from financed activities using the frameworks provided by the GHG Protocol and the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PACF).

Collectively, the activities of these organisations accounted for CO2e emissions 1.8 times higher than the UK’s national figure in 2019. Many of the banks and investors, the report claims, are still funneling millions or even billions into high-carbon sectors such as oil and gas, coal, aviation, road transport and mining, without environmental ‘strings’, despite a trend towards updated climate targets.

Banks assessed for the report are Barclays, CitiGroup Global Markets, Credit Suisse International, Credit Suisse Investments UK, Goldman Sachs Group UK, HSBC, JP Morgan Capital Holdings, Lloyds Banking Group, Merrill Lynch International, Morgan Stanley International, Nationwide, Nomura Europe Holdings, NatWest Group (formerly RBS), Santander UK and Standard Chartered.

Fortunately, many nations are realising the importance of embracing green finance in the build-up to COP26. President Joe Biden pledged in his election manifesto to double climate funding – a proposal that is reportedly not going down well among the Republican Party – and to improve climate risk disclosure requirements. The UK is also set to issue its first green gilts this summer.

As for the UK’s COP26 unit, the organisation has selected Climate Finance as a key theme for the conference. Mark Carney is Finance Advisor for the summit and is heading up the ‘Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net-Zero’ (GFAN). The initiative will bring together banks, asset managers, asset owners, insurers and other providers of financial services in a network designed to unify and strengthen climate ambitions across the sector. Organisers are hoping to bring together 160 firms in the first instance.

Matt Mace

News

Co-op Power

Energy buying group Co-op Power is to double its number of power purchase agreements (PPAs), as it looks to expand its offering. As part the Co-op group’s recent ten point climate plan, the membership organisation is working to achieve net zero emissions from its operations by 2040 and will expand its wind and solar energy buying group as part of this. Co-op Power is to develop a co-operative PPA proposition that will allow multiple customers to join together to negotiate a PPA with third parties. Should the customers fail to meet a required purchasing threshold, Co-op Power will step in and commit as a further partner within the agreement, making up any shortfall. This will help those who otherwise might not have the size or capability to do this in house to commit to a PPA.

Solar Power Portal 23rd June 2021 read more »

Co-op Power has today unveiled wide-ranging plans to rapidly expand its business and increase its support for UK wind and solar projects through a new wave of Power Purchase Agreements (PPA). The energy arm of the Co-op said it was set to save customers 1,000 tonnes of carbon emissions a day as part of ambitious plans to deliver 30 per cent growth this year. The company - which is the biggest energy buying co-operative in the UK – said it intended to use its collective buying might to help Co-op suppliers, and other businesses, save money and source green, low-cost energy.  

Business Green 23rd June 2021 read more »

News

Western Power Distribution targets net-zero emissions by 2028

Western Power Distribution (WPD) has outlined plans to reach net-zero emissions for its operations by 2028, as part of a new environment strategy that aims to convert its commercial fleet to low-carbon vehicles in the same timeframe.

The new strategy also includes targets to achieve zero waste to landfill by 2028

The new strategy also includes targets to achieve zero waste to landfill by 2028

WPD, which oversees the Midlands, South West and Wales, will set science-based targets aligned to the 1.5C limit of the Paris Agreement to plot the trajectory to net-zero emissions. The company will aim to verify these targets once set.

The new environment strategy builds on a commitment to sign up to the Science Based Targets initiative’s (SBTi) Business Ambition for 1.5C. It also details the need to limit the climate impact from its activities, rather than just operations, and understand the “extent and scope of embodied carbon emissions”. A methodology will be developed to measure and reduce these emissions.

The new strategy also includes targets to achieve zero waste to landfill by 2028 – excluding hazardous waste – and deliver a 30% reduction in the tonnage of waste reduced. Up to 50km of overhead lines in Areas of Outstanding Beauty will also be removed.

WPD’s environment manager Jill Russell commented: “We have listened to our stakeholders so lowering our own carbon emissions and minimising the impact of our own operations on the environment is of paramount importance.

“We face a time of exciting change within the energy sector, with energy use and technology changing rapidly. We are determined to drive the change and not adapt to it. Our plans will help us facilitate a swift roll out of electric vehicles (EVs), which is a key step in decarbonising transport across the UK.”

The organisation has delivered a 24% reduction in operational carbon emissions since 2015 and a 48% reduction in building energy usage.

The new strategy aims to build on this progress and focuses heavily on the decarbonisation of transport. WPD will convert 89% of its commercial van fleet to low-carbon alternatives, such as EVs, by 2028. It builds on a recent announcement that WPD would invest £60m to support the increase of EV chargers, domestic heat pumps and further green development schemes across its region. 

WPD has been one of the pioneers of integrating EVs with flexible energy services. According to a recent study from the organisation alongside a consortium experts including Nissan, Energy Systems Catapult, Cenex, Element Energy and Moixa, connecting EVs to the grid at scale could cut £270m a year off the cost of running the UK power system by 2030.

The distributor has also worked with Centrica, National Grid ESO, Exeter University and Imperial College London, with additional support from the Belgian-based advanced energy analytics consultancy N-Side, to trial “flexible” local energy markets. Over the last three years, the £16.7m Cornwall Local Energy Market saw 310MWh of power traded successfully, with greenhouse gas savings of nearly 10,000 tonnes a year as a result.  


edie’s Net-Zero Carbon Playbook and Net-Zero Carbon Reporting Guide 

Readers working on their organisation’s own transition to net-zero are encouraged to download edie’s latest free reports. 

The Net-Zero Carbon Playbook, produced in association with Centrica Business Solutions and featuring input from The Climate Group and our Countdown to COP26 Festival partner O2, inspires and empowers businesses to ramp up efforts across all areas of sustainable development to achieve net-zero. Wherever you are on your journey, the Playbook contains practical advice for accelerating progress. 

The Business Guide to Net-Zero Carbon Reporting, meanwhile, outlines how businesses should be measuring and reporting their climate impacts throughout the transition to net-zero. Featuring expert insight from Carbon Intelligence, the Guide provides this insight through the lens of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and science-based targets – two business-critical enablers of the net-zero carbon transition. 

Click here to access the Net-Zero Carbon Playbook. 

Click here to access the  Business Guide to Net-Zero Carbon Reporting. 

Matt Mace

News

Steel Making

A pioneering green steelmaking plant in Sweden has successfully demonstrated the feasibility of using fossil fuel-free hydrogen gas rather than coking coal for production processes, marking a “critical milestone” on the road to decarbonising the steel industry, according to the companies behind the high profile project.

Business Green 22nd June 2021 read more »

News

UK aviation sector sets interim climate goals on road to net-zero by 2050, but won’t cap growth

A coalition representing the UK’s major airports, airlines and plane manufacturers has, after publishing a controversial plan for reaching net-zero by 2050 last year, announced new interim climate goals and pledged to refresh its approach to low-carbon technologies.

The coalition represents most of the major businesses across the UK's aviation value chain, including British Airways. Stock image.

The coalition represents most of the major businesses across the UK’s aviation value chain, including British Airways. Stock image.

The UK Sustainable Aviation coalition published its first roadmap to net-zero by 2050 last year. At the time, green groups were broadly sceptical, because the roadmap did not contain binding interim targets and positioned sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) as the primary solution for the sector – in contrast to the Climate Change Committee’s (CCC) recommendations on electric aircraft and capping growth. The CCC’s most optimistic scenario for the national use of SAFs is 7% by 2030.

Today (22 June), the body has set new targets for the industry to reduce absolute net emissions by at least 15% by 2030 and at least 40% by 2040, against a 2019 baseline.

Delivering the 2030 target, the coalition claims, will require a fairly even mix of improving aircraft efficiency while increasing SAF uptake, and investing in carbon removal. On the former, Eurocontrol estimated that SAF accounted for less than 1% of the European aviation sector’s jet fuel consumption in 2019. On the latter, the coalition expects a mix of nature-based solutions and man-made technologies to be used.

SAF, along with other emerging technologies including hydrogen, fully electric and hybrid-electric aircraft will then account for an ever-increasing proportion of the emissions reductions from the early 2040s, the coalition predicts. By 2050, it claims, the sector could be producing some 75% fewer annual emissions than in 2019, with carbon removal available to “net” the residual emissions.

These predictions are all based on a scenario in which the UK Government increasingly supports the coalition’s preferred technologies. The body is hoping for a SAF policy implementation process this year, that will support the launch of at least five SAF plants by 2035; a hydrogen aviation strategy in 2022 and confirmation on long-term funding for the Aerospace Technology Institute, among other policy supports.

Speaking at a virtual event to mark the launch of the new interim targets, UK Sustainable Avitaion chair Adam Morton said that “success cannot be taken for granted” in the coming years, as greater levels of collaboration in the industry and of Government support are needed to go “further, faster and harder on decarbonisation”. Transport Minister Grant Shapps and Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng appeared on the call to assure listeners that further policy packages are forthcoming ahead of COP26. 

In terms of which specific technologies will deliver what levels of decarbonisation and when, Morton confirmed that the coalition is planning to publish an updated version of the full roadmap “by this time next year”. He explained that it is “not so much of a complete refresh as a timely update”, to ensure that the impact of Covid-19 on the sector’s ability to invest in new technologies is accounted for, “particularly in the earlier years of the roadmap”.

Morton hinted that man-made carbon removal solutions, electric aircraft and hydrogen aircraft could all receive more detail in the updated version of the roadmap.

International picture

The coalition only covers members from the UK, but, during the virtual event, Morton was keen to emphasise the sector’s willingness to work internationally to scale solutions and to ensure that nations are working to similar climate targets.

From a government perspective, Shapps said: “Our aim is clear – we want Britain to become a centre for the design, manufacture and use of the clean planes of the 21st century, and to seize a share of a global market that could be worth as much as £4trn by 2050.”

Shapps dubbed the UK government’s ‘Jet Zero Council’ the mechanism for “bringing all of this work together”.  The Council is assembling a coalition of Ministers, businesses, trade bodies and environmental groups who will develop policy recommendations for addressing the sector’s finances and environmental impact.   

Shapps also highlighted the importance of COP26 in laying the foundations for the next meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), which operates the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), in 2022.

Morton’s panel, consisting of representatives from British Airways, Meggitt, the Airport Operators Association and the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG), concurred that it is “very important” that, if the UK leads the transition to low-carbon aviation, “the world is not too far behind”.


Join the conversation at edie’s Clean Energy & Transport Forum

Taking place on Thursday 15 July, the Clean Energy and Transport Forum is a brand-new online edie event that will connect energy and sustainability leaders from all major industries with policymakers, industry bodies, NGOs and net-zero carbon experts, to discuss what it will take to fully decarbonise our energy and transport systems.  

The Department for Transport’s Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State Rachel Maclean has been confirmed as one of the keynote speakers for the event, along with The Climate Group’s chief executive Helen Clarkson, the Energy Institute’s chief executive Nick Wayth and Innovate UK’s senior innovation lead Harsh Pershad. 

For a full agenda and to register now, click here. 


Sarah George

News

Balancing the System

Synchronous condensers are key to enabling renewable growth – but what are they? We spoke to Kristina Carlquist, General Manager within ABB’s Synchronous Condensers unit, to find out. She explained that the technology took the form of a rotating machine connected to the grid, that was not a generator or motor. As large, fossil fuel rotating generators are decommissioned to tackle climate change, being replaced by more renewable and decentralised energy sources, less inertia is available on the grid, meaning it is more susceptible to periods of instability. Synchronous condensers have three main functions – they give inertia to the grid to keep network frequency stable, they help short-circuit capacity in the event of faults by reducing dips in power and they can also supply and absorb reactive power to help keep grid voltage stable. Kristina noted: “If frequency goes too high or too low, there is actually a risk of a blackout and you don’t want the risk of a blackout on the network – we can all imagine what would happen if we don’t have the power we need at the time that we need it, so that’s something we need to avoid.

Energy Live News 21st June 2021 read more »

News

Gatwick plots path to net-zero before 2040

Gatwick Airport believes it can reduce its direct (Scope 1) and power-related (Scope 2) emissions by 80% by 2030, against a 1990 baseline, as it works to deliver net-zero in these areas before 2040.

Targets for reducing Scope 3 (indirect) emissions in line with climate science are still under development at the Airport

Targets for reducing Scope 3 (indirect) emissions in line with climate science are still under development at the Airport

In an updated sustainability strategy through to 2030, entitled ‘Decade of Change’ and published late last week, the Airport reveals that it has set new science-based targets for Scope 1 and 2 emissions that should result in a 25% reduction this decade. Emissions from these scopes are already down 72% since 1990.

Aside from aircraft, priority focus areas for lowering emissions include ground and road transport, electricity and heat.

There are new commitments for the airport to source 50% of its network electricity and 50% of its heat consumption from renewable sources by 2030. Gatwick already purchases 100% renewable electricity through certified tariffs backed by Renewable Electricity Guarantees of Origin (REGO) certificates, but, as an RE100 member, has stated that it wants to go further. When electricity and heat are accounted for, 70.6% of the firm’s consumption was renewable in 2020.

On transport, there is a new requirement for all on-airport vehicles to meet zero-emission or ultra-low-emission standards by the end of the decade. 40% of Airfield ground support vehicles have been switched to electric and this proportion will increase under the new mandate. There are also new measures to reduce emissions from passenger and staff journeys to and from Gatwick; the overarching commitment is that 60% of these trips will be zero-emission or ultra-low emission by 2030, with public transport being the biggest lever for change.

Gatwick’s calculations of Scope 3 (indirect) emissions cover aircraft engine testing and aircraft take-off and landing. It has not yet developed a science-based target for addressing Scope 3 emissions but has committed to doing so.

The Airport is notably a contributor to the UK Sustainable Aviation coalition which last year published a pathway to net-zero centring on more efficient aircraft combined with sustainable aviation fuels (SAF). Following criticism of this pathway from bodies including the Climate Change Committee (CCC), the coalition is expected to post updated targets later this week.

SAF can reduce life-cycle emissions by up to 70-80% compared to traditional jet fuel. However, most airlines currently only use it in small proportions in blends – partly due to a lack of supply and partly because current international regulations limit biofuel blends to 50%.

Broader approach

Beyond the new climate targets, Gatwick has also updated environmental goals relating to waste, water and nature.

There is a commitment to zero-waste-to-landfill from operations, commercial activity and construction; a pledge to halve potable water consumption on a per-passenger basis, against a 2019 baseline, and a pledge to reach zero pesticide use. All targets have a 2019 baseline year.

Gatwick claims that it met or exceeded goals in all of these areas covering the last decade (2010-2020). But it has come under fire from environmental campaigners in recent months over its proposals for expansion.


Join the conversation at edie’s Clean Energy & Transport Forum

Taking place on Thursday 15 July, the Clean Energy and Transport Forum is a brand-new online edie event that will connect energy and sustainability leaders from all major industries with policymakers, industry bodies, NGOs and net-zero carbon experts, to discuss what it will take to fully decarbonise our energy and transport systems.  

The Department for Transport’s Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State Rachel Maclean has been confirmed as one of the keynote speakers for the event, along with The Climate Group’s chief executive Helen Clarkson, the Energy Institute’s chief executive Nick Wayth and Innovate UK’s senior innovation lead Harsh Pershad. 

For a full agenda and to register now, click here. 


Sarah George

News

Morocco

Building a more sustainable world alongside women while enabling them to improve their income and living conditions. That is the goal of the Faredeic project (For its acronym in French, which means Argan and Rural Women Engaged for Inclusive Economic Development and Climate). It was created in Morocco, one of the African countries most threatened by climate change, which suffers an increased pressure on natural resources, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Today, each citizen has access to 600 cubic metres of water per year on average, four times less than in the 60s. Hence the importance of implementing innovative solutions, to favour both the energy transition, particularly in the rural areas, and women’s inclusion. Locally, the project launched in 2019 is led by the international network Women Engage for a Common Future (WECF, an international network of women’s and environmental organisations), and its local partners; the Association for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development (AERDD), the Mohammed VI Foundation for the Research and Conservation of Argan Trees (a local endemic tree, and the second most abundant in Morocco) and REMESS (Moroccan Network for Social and Solidarity Economy). The goal is to develop a local sector of renewable energy through the creation of energy cooperatives led by women, to produce simple and affordable solar solutions such as cookers, dryers, and ovens. Indeed, while many international organisations such as the United Nations agree on the fact that women are the most affected by the harmful effects of climate change, they are often dismissed in the response to this major challenge.

Independent 19th June 2021 read more »

News

Johnson Matthey targets net-zero by 2040

Chemicals and technology manufacturing giant Johnson Matthey (JM) has set a 2040 net-zero target, with interim science-based targets to cut emissions filed for 2030.

Image: JM

The new net-zero target, announced via JM’s latest Annual Report, covers emissions from all scopes, including key Scope 3 (indirect) sources.

For Scope 1 (direct) and 2 (power-related) emissions, JM has proposed a science-based target to deliver a 33% reduction in absolute terms by 2030, against a 2019-20 baseline. Focus areas for delivering against this target include procuring more renewable electricity – there is a pledge to ensure that renewables meet 60% of electricity consumption across the business by 2025, up from 32% last financial year; improving energy efficiency; ensuring that all new facilities are net-zero compatible and investing in man-made technologies which enable the capture and storage of nitrous oxide (N2O).

The science-based target proposal for cutting Scope 3 emissions, meanwhile, entails a 20% reduction in emissions from purchased goods and services by 2030, also against a 2019-20 baseline.

JM’s report states: “Upstream Scope 3 emissions represent over half of our total footprint and by far the largest component of this is the raw materials we buy. Reducing this is an important measure of our commitment to sustainability leadership and our vision for a cleaner, healthier world.”

The development of the targets comes after JM signed on to the Business Ambition for 1.5C initiative, spearheaded by a coalition of organisations including the We Mean Business Coalitiom, the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) and the UN’s programmes on climate change, the environment and sustainable development.

The SBTi will now have to approve JM’s proposed targets or make recommendations for changes. 

Broader approach 

JM’s report also details new ambitions for reducing emissions in the sectors that it supplies to globally. In recognition of the fact that the firm produces 40% of the catalysts used to produce hydrogen using fossil fuels globally, there is a commitment to help scale green hydrogen, produced using renewable electricity, and blue hydrogen, produced using natural gas and co-located carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies). Other innovation focus areas include scaling up chemicals derived from lower-carbon sources than fossil fuel feedstocks and improving battery recycling rates while reducing the use of platinum in fuel cells.

“The transitions we are facing will be our most challenging yet, but they also represent an opportunity to create a fairer, more sustainable future for all,” the JM report summarises. “With our smart people, financial strength and unique technology based on metals chemistry, JM can be the catalyst that enables these shifts, making this sustainable future a reality for all.”

JM’s new climate targets form part of a broader update to the firm’s sustainability strategy. It claims that the updated strategy is aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and that 95% of company sales and R&D will help deliver positive outcomes against the SDGs by the end of the decade. Goals that the firm has chosen as priority focus areas are SDG 3, Good Health and Wellbeing; SDG 7, Affordable and Clean Energy; SDG 12, Responsible Production and Consumption and SDG 13, Climate Action.

In related news, Rolls-Royce this week published a new climate roadmap outlining how it intends to deliver net-zero operations by 2030 and a net-zero value chain by 2050.

Sarah George

News

edie launches new business guide on net-zero carbon reporting

edie has published a new free guide on reporting for businesses that are looking for advice on measuring and reporting climate impacts in line with the net-zero movement.

The guide is free to download for edie users

The guide is free to download for edie users

The past 12 months have seen thousands of businesses announce net-zero strategies in line with national targets and in response to increased stakeholder pressure. So, what exactly makes a credible net-zero strategy, and – crucially – how should businesses be measuring and reporting their climate impacts to deliver decarbonisation at scale?

Inspired by edie’s award-winning Mission Possible: Net-Zero Carbon campaign, The Business Guide to Net-Zero Carbon Reporting provides a much-needed breakdown of how organisations can measure and report their impacts on the climate, along with the potential impacts of the climate emergency on their own operations, now and in the future.

—————-CLICK HERE TO READ THE BUSINESS REPORT————–

With the G7 recently agreeing to introduce a mandate on non-financial climate disclosure and more businesses now raising ambitions to set net-zero targets, the corporate reporting sphere is changing yet again.

Produced in association with Carbon Intelligence, the report will provide this insight through the lens of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and science-based targets – two business-critical enablers of the net-zero carbon transition.

On TCFD, commitments to support its recommendations have skyrocketed by 85% within a year. Some 1,500 organisations, including banks, pension funds, reinsurers, end-user businesses and government departments have vowed to implement the framework.

In the private sector, 60% of the world’s largest 100 companies have now made TCFD-related commitments on measuring, disclosing and responding to climate risk. As such, this document is a timely piece of advice on how this movement will impact carbon reporting.

The document also features real-life case studies on either enabler, from Britvic and Burger King respectively.

Read the report here.

edie staff

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