'Blah blah blah’…
Our hero Greta Thunberg does have a point, despite all the noise, carbon emissions continue to rise rather than fall.
But we still can’t help but believe that we are rapidly heading towards an inflexion point. It really does seem that the penny has dropped and in the words of Bob Dylan’s 1964 classic ‘The times they are a-changing’
In this, our fourth blog post after the release of the IPCC report, we discuss the resolutions that are being made in its wake, by identifying five COP commitments that will change the world. Here at Perspektiv we love a strong commitment - at the end of the day, all meaningful change starts with a meaningful commitment.
1. European Union – the EU have already committed to at least a 55% reduction net below 1990 levels by 2030 (which is less than 9 years away), whilst acknowledging that reductions of 65% may be possible with existing technologies. Options are being pursued to ratchet up ambition in specific sectors, e.g. energy production and transport. The EU has also agreed to spend €600 billion (that is a total 11 zeros) on climate action.
2. United States of America – the USA have promised to reduce emissions by 50-52% below 2005 levels by 2030. This is the largest additional reduction put forward recently, and effectively double’s the USA’s previously stated ambition. In March 2021 Joe Biden also unveiled a USD 2 trillion (that is a total of 12 zeros) infrastructure investment plan that is intended to accelerate climate action, with a particular focus on carbon-free electricity and the electrification of transport.
3. Microsoft – this technology giant has committed to be carbon negative by 2030 (for all 3 scopes) removing more carbon from the atmosphere than it emits, and to remove all its historical carbon by 2050 (carbon emitted either directly or by electrical consumption since Microsoft was founded in 1975). It will also spend USD 1 billion via its climate innovation fund. This willingness for a company to resolve it’s ‘un-paid climate debt’ is a game changer.
4. Global Cement and Concrete Association – the peak body for the ubiquitous and high-impact product that is concrete are committed to fully decarbonize the cement and concrete industry and provide net zero concrete for the world by 2050. The GCCA roadmap outlines a proportionate reduction in emissions of 25% associated with concrete by 2030 from 2020, thereby consolidating upon past reductions of 20% over the last three decades and setting a precedent for other high impact materials such as steel, aluminium and asphalt.
5. Transport sector - the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is the trade association for the world’s airlines, representing some 290 airlines or 83% of total air traffic. As recently as October they have committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions from their operations by 2050 through pursuing sustainable aviation fuel, new aircraft technology, operational efficiency, and carbon offsets. This is impressive because whilst the IATA are recent arrivals to the party, it is clear even the most fossil fuel dependent sectors are now committing to change.
In the private vehicle sector Volvo are aiming for 50% of sales to be fully electric vehicles by 2025 (in just over three years time), and by 2030 they will only produce fully electric vehicles. However, Volvo acknowledge electrifying their fleet is not enough. To become a climate neutral company by 2040 they are also addressing emissions across their value chain by using climate neutral energy in both their own operations and among their suppliers, as well as making better use of materials and components. Accordingly, they are also aiming to reduce their lifecycle emissions per vehicle by 40% by 2025.
There are many more leaders emerging, comment below with commitments and actions that have caught your eye.