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British American Tobacco joins Race to Zero and targets net-zero emissions by 2050

British American Tobacco (BAT) is the latest company to sign up to the UN’s Race to Zero initiative, pledging to halve global emissions by 2030 and reach net-zero by no later than 2050.

Race to Zero now represents more than 4,000 businesses

Race to Zero now represents more than 4,000 businesses

BAT has this morning (15 October) confirmed that it has joined Race to Zero, the largest ever alliance of corporates committing to net-zero emissions. The campaign calls on signatories to playing a role in halving emissions by 2030

Race to Zero is the largest ever alliance committed to halving global emissions by 2030 and achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The campaign represents over 4,000 businesses estimated to cover nearly 25% of global COemissions and more than 50% of GDP.

Earlier this year, BAT updated an ambition of becoming carbon neutral across its business by 2030 to now account for its entire value chain by 2050.

Last year, the company announced plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 for its business activities and eliminating unnecessary single-use plastics by 2025. At the time, the company noted that Scope 3 emissions accounted for 90% of its total carbon footprint and it was “engaging with [it’s] largest direct product materials suppliers and conducting climate change impact assessments for major tobacco leaf sourcing countries”.

The new commitment aims to also cut emissions across its value chain (Scope 3) to reach net-zero by 2050. BAT has also committed to recycling 30% of the water it uses by 2025 and to have 100% of its manufacturing sites certified by the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS).

 BAT’s chief marketing officer Kingsley Wheaton said: “Our purpose of building A Better Tomorrow ensures that sustainability is front and centre in all we do.  We are proud, therefore, to support the Race to Zero campaign. This is in addition to our New Categories journey – with Vuse, glo and Velo – and our ambition to have 30mn non-combustible product users and £5bn of New Category revenue by 2025.” 

In 2020, BAT delivered a 30.9% reduction in emissions from its operations and has reduced emissions by more than 37% against a 2017 baseline. Earlier this year, the company introduced the first global carbon-neutral vape brand, Vuse.

Business step up

Currently, European businesses are off course on delivering net-zero pledges. Almost one-third of Europe’s largest companies have pledged to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest, but only 5% are on course to reach these ambitions, a new study has found.

The “Reaching Net-Zero by 2050,” report from Accenture analysed climate pledges from more than 1,000 listed companies across Europe’s major stock indexes. The analysis has found that 30% of these companies have now pledged to reach net-zero by 2050 at the latest.

However, the report also finds that just 5% of analysed firms are on course to reach their net-zero ambitions across scope 1 and 2 emissions, let alone value chain emissions.

Accenture notes that the pace of decarbonisation from these corporates has delivered a 10% emissions reduction on average over the last decade. Interestingly, businesses that do not have net-zero targets saw their emissions increase.

Matt Mace


Environment Bill

The Environment Bill is heading back to the House of Commons, having been significantly changed by the Lords. Peers made 14 amendments to the bill, in the face of government opposition. Changes include a demand for government to declare a biodiversity and climate change emergency, improve protection for ancient woodland and to eliminate sewage discharges into rivers. The government is now under pressure to get the bill passed, having previously said it would be law before COP 26. Last month, environment minister Lord Goldsmith said it was in the “national and international interest” for the bill to be become law before the November climate conference in Glasgow. And speaking to the i in July, he suggested delaying the bill could mean “weakening our hand in these extraordinarily important climate and environment negotiations”. However, time is running out as both the House of Commons and House of Lords have to agree any changes to the bill before it can become law.

BBC 14th Oct 2021 read more »


Steel and aviation sectors plot pathway to net-zero by 2050

Dozens of big-name businesses across some of the world’s highest emitting and hardest to decarbonise sectors have signed up to new multi-trillion-dollar pathways for reaching net-zero by 2050.

Steel accounts for around 7% of global annual emissions, while aviation accounts for around 3%

Steel accounts for around 7% of global annual emissions, while aviation accounts for around 3%

The Mission Possible Partnership (MPP), supported financially by the Bezos Earth Fund and Breakthrough Energy, launched earlier this year in a bid to accelerate pathways for decarbonising a string of hard-to-abate sectors. It has garnered the support of almost 400 businesses, in sectors collectively representing 30% of global annual emissions.

Editor’s note: The Mission Possible Partnership bears no relation to edie’s Mission Possible campaign. That campaign is still ongoing and you can find out more about it, here.

Today (14 October) the MPP has published its sector-specific decarbonisation plans for steel and aviation. It has also revealed that such as plan will be published for shipping on 27 October.  

Each of the three roadmaps targets net-zero globally by 2050 at the latest. The MPP claims that all interim goals are aligned with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5C trajectory.


The MPP’s sector transition strategy for steel targets net-zero by 2050, with an interim ambition to reduce annual emissions by 37% by 2030, against a 2019 baseline. It states that around $6bn of investment annually through to 2050 would be needed to transition the entire global industry in this way.

Electrification plays a key role in the roadmap, as does green hydrogen (produced using renewable electricity) as a replacement for coal. Should plan come to fruition, the sector’s annual coal demand could fall by 80-90% by mid-century, with electricity demand increasing 11-fold in the same timeframe. By 2050, green hydrogen would be responsible for 40-55% of energy demands primary steel production.

Other key changes detailed in the report include improving energy efficiency and material efficiency; scaling closed-loop materials and installing carbon capture and storage (CCS) where natural gas will still need to be used.  The roadmap outlines how, in many cases, building new steel plants away from coal mines and nearer gas and hydrogen may be better than retrofitting existing facilities. It also does not place a heavy focus on a potential bio-based replacement for coke.

Businesses endorsing the strategy include Rio Tinto, Boston Metal, ArcelorMittal, Severstal, Tata Steel, SSAB and Liberty Steel.

While stating that the businesses are keen to transform, the report is clear that further policy support will be needed. It calls for higher carbon pricing and longer-term clarity over future carbon price increases; for governments to set low-carbon requirements for public procurement; for more clarity on emissions trading systems and for emissions standards for all products.

It also floats the possibility of creating a global regulator for the sector.

ArcelorMittal’s chief executive Aditya Mittal said: “The most important message is that we can only achieve the sector’s potential with the support and engagement of the full supply chain as well as policymakers and the financial sector. I believe this sector transition strategy can be an important catalyst for harnessing the power of a multi stakeholder-approach and enabling the steel sector to achieve its full decarbonisation potential.”


The sector transition strategy for aviation is entitled ‘Clean Skies for Tomorrow’. It entails an end to fossil jet fuel use by 2050, detailing plans for scaling up solutions including hydrogen and battery-electric aircraft as well as sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs). The MPP has priced the cost of delivering its plans at $300bn annually through to 2050.

According to the strategy, SAFs could account for 25-30% of the sector’s energy demand by 2030 – up from less than 5% at present. Most of the investment detailed would need to go towards the fuel supply chain.

“In the short term, SAFs are the only viable option to decrease emissions in the aviation sector, as they are compatible with current aircraft engines and airport fuelling infrastructure and they can power flights without any limits of distance,” the report states, noting that planned efficiency improvements will only deliver a 2% improvement in energy efficiency annually through to 2030.

Hydrogen, meanwhile, is likely to scale up for aviation after 2030, according to the strategy. The MPP believes that short-haul commercial hydrogen flights are likely to begin in 2030 and long-haul in 2035. By 2050, hydrogen could account for 25% of the aviation sector’s energy demand.

A far smaller role is envisioned for battery-electric planes; the strategy states that pure-electric planes are likely to represent just 3% of the sector’s energy demand in 2050. It argues that hybrid solutions will be “crucial for enabling broader adoption” beyond small aircraft for short-distance travel.

The strategy states that residual emissions will remain in 2050, meaning that negative-emission solutions – both nature-based and man-made – will be needed. It warns that businesses should not use them “as a tool for compensating the continued use of fossil fuel”.

Heathrow Airport, London Luton Airport, Virgin Atlantic Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Airbus are among the 30 firms supporting the strategy. The publication comes days after The International Air Transport Association (IATA) supported a resolution calling for the global sector to reach net-zero by 2050. IATA, however, sees a larger role for SAFs.


More than 150 organisations will support the MPP’s forthcoming roadmap for net-zero by 2050 in shipping, including Cargill, A.P. Moller-Maersk and the Ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam.

Few details have been released at this stage, but it has been confirmed that the strategy will set a target for 5% of the sector’s energy demand in 2030 to be met with “scalable zero-emissions fuels, most likely ammonia or methanol”. It will estimate that $2trn of investment in these fuels and related infrastructure will be needed this decade.

Future plans

The MPP has confirmed, at this stage, that carbon reduction pathways for the cement, aluminum, trucking and chemical industries will be published in early 2022.

While the roadmap for chemicals is awaited, the Partnership has launched an initiative that will enable the sharing of early-stage risks and co-investments in developing and upscaling of low-carbon-emitting technologies. It is called LCET and is supported by major players including BASF, Covestro, Dow, Mitsubishi Chemical Corp and Royal DSM.

Moves to implement the pathways on the ground will be needed rapidly. A report from MSCI this week revealed that less than 10% of the world’s publicly listed companies are aligning their business with a 1.5C temperature pathway. As such, they are likely to surpass their collective emissions budget for 1.5C within five years, increasing their emissions by 6.7% year-on-year in 2021 alone.

Sarah George


Wood Stoves

Campaigners want to ban the sale of wood-burning stoves as figures reveal that councils rarely fine owners for breaching air pollution limits. An investigation has found that only one in a thousand complaints about pollution caused by burning wood results in a local authority issuing a fine. Clean-air campaigners say the figures show the need for tougher restrictions on wood burning, which is the biggest source of fine-particle pollution in the UK, producing three times more than road traffic. Wood burners can triple the level of fine particles inside the home as well as cause dangerous levels of pollution in the surrounding area, research found last year. Mums for Lungs wants ministers to phase out the sale of new stoves by 2027 and ban their use by 2032 at the latest unless they are a home’s only source of heat. It says councils must be given greater power to stop unlawful burning, including a requirement that all wood burners be registered with local authorities to enable enforcement. It also wants stoves to be labelled as harmful. Andy Hill, chairman of the Stove Industry Alliance, said:“If you can see lots of wood smoke coming from someone’s chimney, it is likely that they are using the wrong fuel on the wrong appliance or on an open fire. “Modern ecodesign-compliant wood burning stoves used with well-seasoned wood fuel at or below 20 per cent moisture content such as ready to burn-certified fuel, release almost no visible smoke from the chimney and emit up to 90 per cent less particulate emissions than an open fire and up to 80 per cent less than a stove that is over ten years old.”

Times 13th Oct 2021 read more »


How Salesforce became a net-zero business and what happens next

EXCLUSIVE: Last month, Salesforce announced it had become a net-zero business across its value chain. Here, edie explores how offsetting and location-based decarbonisation plans have created a unique road to combatting the climate crisis.

edie speaks exclusively to Salesforce’s head of clean energy and carbon Max Scher

edie speaks exclusively to Salesforce’s head of clean energy and carbon Max Scher

“For many years, Salesforce has worked to mitigate emissions from its operations by following a three-step, iterative process: avoid, reduce, offset”. That is one of the opening lines of the company’s in-depth sustainability pages that are currently hosted on its website.

This three-step approach has evidently started to bear fruit. At the end of September 2021, the global technology company announced that was a net-zero company “across its full value chain” and had reached 100% renewable energy for its operations.

With many companies working towards net-zero targets ranging from 2030 to 2050, the fact that Salesforce has reached this milestone is a testament to its strategic approach to sustainability, but the methods to reach this landmark moment may not please everyone.

Prior to the announcement, Salesforce had already delivered a carbon-neutral cloud and operations. In a bid to drive further emissions reductions in-house and to reduce the use of carbon offsetting, the company has developed 1.5C-aligned targets, approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). These entail halving Scope 1 (direct) and 2 (power-related) emissions by 2030, against a 2018 baseline; halving Scope 3 (indirect) emissions from fuel and energy activities within the same timescale and supporting suppliers representing 60% of Scope 3 emissions to set their own targets in line with climate science by 2024.

The company’s latest sustainability update reveals that it has reduced Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 48% against a 2018 baseline, putting it within touching distance of its science-based targets. Interestingly, Salesforce recorded a 35% reduction in absolute emissions across these scopes over a 12-month period.

Offsetting approach

While this undoubtedly points to impressive levels of carbon reduction (coupled with the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic) it does point to the fact that Salesforce, like many other businesses, is leaning into the “net” aspect of net-zero emissions.

The report notes that Salesforce has offset 85,000 MTCO2e of its remaining Scope 1 and 2 emissions, as well as all of its 185,000 MTCO2e Scope 3 Carbon Neutral Cloud-Related emissions.

For Salesforce’s head of clean energy and carbon, Max Scher, offsetting is a “critical way” for companies to deploy much-needed climate finance, but that carbon markets needed to be improved, as did corporate efforts to actually reduce emissions.

“The carbon markets are a critical way in which companies can deploy finance on the baseline of emissions reductions that every company needs to be pursuing,” Scher told edie. “But it’s just one way. They, like all the efforts everyone is doing on climate change, need to be improved.

We have set a commitment to reduce our emissions, but we are also netting those emissions because the world, in general, is off track, we need to go further faster. The risk is that others don’t set emissions reduction targets and so science-based targets need to be the minimum threshold for businesses around net-zero.”

Carbon credits are typically used to fund projects that either sequester carbon, like reforestation and peatland restoration, or prevent emissions in the first place, like schemes incentivising clean cooking fuels. The idea is that, if an organisation can reduce emissions elsewhere to compensate for those it is unable to reduce in its operations or value chain, it can still claim to be aligning with climate targets.

While many offsetting projects are credible and businesses often see no other path to net-zero, offsetting has proven to be one of the most controversial topics in the climate debate. Corporates have been accused of greenwashing after investing in non-verified credits or of failing to prioritise in-house emissions reductions. Double-counting is a recurring concern. And some carbon credit issuers claim that avoiding practices which humanity has known are climate-wrecking for decades, including flaring at fossil fuel sites, should be counted.  

Scher understands the concern around offsetting, and claims that businesses cannot solely rely on carbon markets that are largely becoming oversubscribed and still lack consistent data in some cases.

Salesforce’s approach to carbon credits is to “carefully select projects with the highest environmental and social benefits” the company notes. Projects also go through “through independent third-party verification to ensure adherence to strict internationally recognised methodologies for quantifying emissions reductions, such as the Gold Standard”.

In addition, Salesforce is committed to delivering the conservation, restoration, and growth of 100 million trees by the end of 2030. Salesforce announced that it had funded more than ten million trees over the past 12 months.

Renewables success

Scher also points to the near 50% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions achieved by Salesforce to date. While part of that reduction is attributable to Covid-19 and reduced business travel as a result, the company’s push to 100% renewables has seen its carbon footprint across those Scopes tumble down from 163,000 MTCO2e. Indeed, electricity use accounts for around 90% of the company’s direct emissions.

In 2021, Salesforce achieved 100% renewable energy, purchasing enough renewable energy to match all electricity it uses globally – equivalent to around 746 GWh.

However, Scher explains that while the milestone to reach 100% renewables globally has been achieved, it doesn’t mean the company is powered completely by renewable energy.,

“We’re not powered by 100% renewable energy,” Scher said. “It is often how these commitments are positioned, but really what we’re talking about is an annual matching of our electricity use. We’re purchasing an equivalent amount of renewables on an annual basis.

“A lot of the time people think of renewable energy purchasing as an emissions reduction and this will count towards science-based targets, but purchasing renewables doesn’t necessarily mean a complete emissions reduction for electricity use. What we’ve done is count that as an equivalent to a carbon credit, how you would net your emissions.”

Scher added that this does “send demand signals to markets” but that the company is now working towards a goal of generating 24/7 clean energy that was introduced back in 2018.

Indeed, the renewables procurement has pushed Salesforce towards a science-based target of reducing our Scope 1 and Scope 2 market-based emissions by 50% by 2030. However, Salesforce notes that its “location-based emissions” have increased over the same period. This, the company states, is “reflective of our business growth and the comparatively slow clean energy transition taking place on the grids where we operate”.

Scher notes that the main difference between location-based and market-based accounting is that businesses can count renewable energy purchasing as part of emission reduction efforts. For location-based accounting, however, you can only count the physical grid emissions that occur from electricity use across facilities.

“There is a scenario where everyone reaches 100% renewables and your market-based emissions drop dramatically, but the physical emissions from the grids are still very high,” Scher added. “Location-based is the most accurate reflection of our physical impacts on climate change and helps us consider business growth as to where we put our new facilities.”

Scope 3 emissions

Currently, 66% of Salesforce’s value chain (Scope 1, 2, and 3) emissions come from its suppliers and with emissions from this area actually up by 1.5% compared to the 2018 baseline, the company is rolling out new measures to accelerate decarbonisation across the value chain.

Salesforce has recently launched “Sustainability Exhibit”, a document that places binding commitments upon suppliers to combat the climate emergency through carbon reduction. This will build on a steady baseline of progress that has seen more than 20% of supply chain emissions covered by science-based targets from suppliers.

Salesforce is working with 250 of its top suppliers, representing 60% of the company’s Scope 3 emissions, to encourage them to set science-based targets by 2024.

Earlier this year, Salesforce unveiled a new cloud-based hub that enables companies of all sizes to track and measure value chain emissions.

The Salesforce Sustainability Cloud Scope 3 Hub was launched in April and enables businesses to input data on supply chain emissions to gain a better understanding of how decarbonisation can be achieved.

In addition to capturing emissions across all three scopes, the cloud platform can track historical and real-time environmental, social and governance (ESG) data and visualise it for businesses.

Scher believes that these innovative platforms and approaches will improve data collection for Scope 3 emissions and enable the company to progress in decarbonisation across the value chain.

This approach includes lobbying and working with other corporates to scale climate solutions that will deliver a wide range of impacts across the globe.

In terms of promoting climate action more broadly, Salesforce is a member of the Business Ambition for 1.5C initiative, the Business Alliance to Scale Climate Solutions and the European Corporate Leaders Group (CLG Europe).

It has also added climate-related principles to its policy platform, which acts as a framework for policy engagement. One of the firm’s recent policy actions has been calling for mandatory climate risk disclosures from businesses in the US, where it is headquartered. At the recent G7 summit, nations including the US agreed to follow the UK’s lead in implementing mandatory reporting in line with the recommendations of the global Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

The company has also joined the likes of Sky, Microsoft, SSE, ScottishPower, NatWest Group, National Grid, Sainsbury’s, Hitachi and Reckitt as Principal Partners for COP26.

Scher believes that businesses can come together to change markets in a way that makes carbon credits much more reliable.

As a net-zero business Salesforce isn’t willing to call time on its sustainability journey. One part of the science-based commitments are within reach, but the company is already looking to new solutions, such as carbon-removal technologies, to help drive progress.

“We are hyper-focused on emissions reductions,” Scher added. “We have to continue being net-zero and compensating for our emissions by scaling some solutions, like technology-based removals, that we know we’ll need as we reach 2030.

“We need new things that don’t exist today and better things of those that do exist today, and so we have a role to play in enabling the next wave of ecopreneurs to invest in themselves and their businesses. A question we’re asking ourselves now is ‘how can we spur this action everywhere across the world?’”

Matt Mace


Concrete commitment: Cement industry sets 2030 climate goals on road to net-zero by 2050

Some of the world’s largest cement and concrete businesses have committed to reduce the emissions intensity of their products by up to 25% this decade, as the industry works towards a shared net-zero vision for 2050.

The cement and concrete sector accounts for around 7% of annual global emissions 

The cement and concrete sector accounts for around 7% of annual global emissions 

The new 2030 commitments are part of a roadmap published today (12 October) by the Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA), a trade body representing 40+ companies that account for 80% of global production outside of China. Members include Cemex, Holcim and HeidelbergCement.

Building on the formation of the Association’s Concrete Action for Climate initiative earlier this year – a scheme aimed at enabling the transition to carbon-neutral products by 2050 – the roadmap outlines which solutions will be used to mitigate emissions, and the timelines to which they will be implemented.

The roadmap states that more than one-third (36%) of emissions generated by the sector in 2050 will be addressed using carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) technologies.

Association members have collectively committed to bringing 10 industrial-scale CCUS arrays online this decade. The report states that  “it is critical that in this decade we bring forward the required breakthrough technologies to be ready for commercial-scale deployment by the end of it”.

A further 22% of emissions can be mitigated through efficiency improvements in design and construction, the roadmap states, with efficiency improvements in production delivering savings of a further 11%. Another 11% of emissions can be addressed by innovating clinker production, improving efficiency and transitioning to low-carbon fuels like waste-derived options and low-carbon hydrogen.

The remaining 20% of emissions could be mitigated through a combination of renewable electricity procurement and electrification, substituting Portland clinker cement and through insetting – using concrete as a carbon sink.

Looking at the likely timelines for implementing these solutions, the report states that the industry will be able to reduce the emissions intensity of concrete by 25% and cement by 20% by 2030. Both targets have a 2020 baseline and intensity will be measured in terms of emissions generated per tonne of product manufactured. Emissions will be accounted for across the life cycle.

The GCCA claims the 2030 and 2050 targets are aligned with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5C trajectory. This is despite the fact that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) landmark report in 2018 stated that global emissions must be halved by 2030 to give the best chance of limiting the temperature increase in this manner. However, cement and concrete are harder-to-abate than many other sectors, which could deliver reductions above 50% this decade.

“I am proud of the commitment made by our members today to take decisive action and accelerate industry decarbonization between now and 2030, an important milestone towards the ultimate goal of net-zero concrete,” said the Association’s chief executive Thomas Guillot.

“I envision a world in the not too distant future where the foundation of a sustainable, zero-carbon global economy will literally be built with green concrete.

“We now need governments around the world to work with us and use their huge procurement power to advocate for low carbon concrete in their infrastructure and housing needs. … Global cooperation on decarbonizing concrete is a necessity, as countries developing their infrastructure and housing will be the biggest users of concrete in the coming decades.”

To Guillot’s latter point, public infrastructure accounts for almost 60% of all global cement and concrete demand.

the cement and concrete industry accounts for 7% of global annual greenhouse gas emissions at present, but will need to grow in the coming years and decades to match the pace of urbanisation and growing demand for infrastructure that will enable the low-carbon transition. Indeed, the UN estimates that 75% of public infrastructure that will exist globally in 2050 does not yet exist. As such, emissions will need to be decoupled from growth.  

Net-zero trends

2019 and 2020 saw an influx of corporate net-zero commitments for the long-term, as businesses took the first steps to align with updated climate targets from nations.

But there was a growing sentiment that such commitments would, ultimately, no be sufficient without plans to lay strong foundations in the short-term and medium-term, meaning they could simply be used as a form of greenwashing or “sustainability-as-usual”. Research by South Pole late last year found that just 10% of businesses with net-zero targets for 2050 or sooner have science-based interim goals.

As such, the past few months have seen many businesses setting interim targets – many of them science-based. At the start of July, the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) had approved ambitions for 796 companies. As of today, the figure stands at 973.

Since October began, edie has covered updated interim targets from big names including Virgin Atlantic, Grosvenor Britain and Ireland, Mars, McDonald’s, Marks & Spencer and Orchard Street.

Sarah George


Climate Politics

Senior Conservative MPs who oppose radical government action to meet the climate emergency face a backlash from their own voters, new research suggests. Iain Duncan Smith, John Redwood and Steve Baker have all attacked proposals to help the UK meet its legal commitment of ‘net zero’ carbon emissions by 2050 – believing them to be too costly. But polling carried out in their constituencies by Greenpeace reveals big majorities support the UK going further and faster, in the run-up to the crucial Cop26 summit in Glasgow next month.

Independent 10th Oct 2021 read more »


Home Renovation

Rocketing costs and spiralling labour shortages are destroying Britain’s home renovation boom and causing chaos for homeowners. Crippled construction supply chains in the wake of the pandemic, Brexit, and the energy crisis are pushing home buyers to pull out of sales and negotiate house price discounts in response to hugely inflated wait times and charges. Official data shows that construction wage inflation in the three months to July was 11pc. For building materials, the jump was 15pc. Homeowners hoping to renovate have become hamstrung. Paula Stewart, 40, started renovating her semi-detached house in Liverpool at the start of July. “It has just been an utter catastrophe. Supplies have been delayed so many times that my tradesman have walked off site. I have had to spend an extra £3,000 to £5,000 on labour costs,” she said.

Telegraph 12th Oct 2021 read more »


Finance giants to G20 leaders: Close policy loopholes to end financing for activities that will derail net-zero

An alliance of finance giants collectively representing $90trn in assets is urging G20 nations to end fossil fuel subsidies, bolster carbon pricing and introduce new climate mandates for businesses, to ensure long-term net-zero pledges are credible.

G20 leaders are meeting in Rome on October 30-31, ahead of COP26

G20 leaders are meeting in Rome on October 30-31, ahead of COP26

The call to action is being made by the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net-Zero (GFANZ) – an initiative established earlier this year in the hopes of uniting the global financial sector on the transition to net-zero by 2050, chaired by Mark Carney.

A new report from the Alliance, published today (11 October), is addressed to policymakers across the G20, ahead of the nations’ meeting in Rome later this month.

It urges unified commitments to the Paris Agreement in line with 1.5C; the UN’s recent Synthesis Report on Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Agreement concluded that current commitments would deliver a projected decrease in global emissions of 12% by 2030, compared to 2010 levels. However, a 25% decrease would be needed to deliver a 2C world, or a 45% decrease to deliver a 1.5C world.

The GFANZ report additionally calls for more clarity from governments on how net-zero will be achieved in high-emitting sectors, and more international coordination.

Beyond these top-level recommendations, the report makes the case for a string of changes to regulation regarding government subsidies and mandates for the private sector.

On the former, it calls for all G20 nations to follow the G7’s lead and outline plans to phase-out fossil fuel subsidies. The G7 meeting in Cornwall this year resulted in all nations pledging to end direct government support for new thermal coal generation capacity without co-located carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies by the end of this year. All other “inefficient” fossil fuel subsidies will be phased out by 2025.

By some estimates, G20 member countries have collectively provided $3.3trn in subsidies to the fossil fuel industry since 2015.

For the private sector, the report recommends that governments introduce a mandate requiring all large businesses and public enterprises to develop transition plans for net-zero by the end of 2024. Such plans detail how organisations intend to manage the social and economic impacts of the transition. Organisations should also, the report states be required to disclose their emissions footprint and climate risks in a unified manner.

Additionally detailed in the GFANZ report are recommendations for aligning carbon pricing trajectories with net-zero by 2050; ending deforestation and supporting efforts to standardise and scale the Voluntary Carbon Market. This latter point comes as no surprise, given that Carney heads up the Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets, which recently formed its new governance body.

“Financial firms can’t deliver sustainable economies alone — clear, credible, and ambitious climate policies are needed from G20 governments,” Carney, the current UN special envoy for climate action and finance, said. “The next few weeks in this decisive decade will help determine whether we avoid climate catastrophe. The core of the financial sector is stepping up – it’s time for major economies to do the same.”

Reports of reluctance

Despite the report’s tone and Carney’s rhetoric, the Financial Times is reporting that some of the 59 banks signed up to the GFANZ are resisting adopting measures that would align their activities with 1.5C – or recommending these measures more broadly.

A source close to the discussions told the publication that some banks believe that the International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) roadmap to net-zero by 2050 is “a fairytale” that “no one is willing to put their name against”.

Published earlier this year, the IEA roadmap sets out more than 400 milestones on the global journey to net-zero, including some measures to be taken immediately. Among the milestones is a call for all new fossil fuel extraction and exploration to be halted immediately and for new petrol and diesel cars to be banned from sale globally by 2035.

With COP26 on the horizon, edie has completed its Primer Report series which provides businesses with everything they need to know regarding the five key themes of the talks.

The Primer Report on Climate Finance is sponsored by the UL and examines how crucial climate finance is in driving the net-zero transition and overcoming the climate crisis. It also explores the role that COP26 will have in creating new tipping points for nations to seize the economic, societal and planetary benefits of shifting finance streams towards a sustainable future.

Click here to download your free copy.

Sarah George


Renewables & Efficiency

A silver lining of the current crisis is that more companies will be persuaded of the merits of renewable energy. “If you’re a small business or manufacturer, now is a great time to think about green alternatives; does it make sense to install solar panels or does it make sense to get electric commercial delivery vehicles, for example.” Another impact of the price rise is that it has forced businesses to closely monitor overheads, he said. “People will now pay attention to energy prices and energy costs because it’s top of mind. This is an opportunity to simply remember that energy prices are volatile.” While he didn’t recommend that businesses switch immediately, “now is a good time to put it in your calendar to do later, while you monitor the energy prices”.

Times 11th Oct 2021 read more »

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