COP21 Roundup: Schneider Electric, Acciona, BMW, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Elon Musk
As the COP21 climate change conference in Paris enters its second and final week, businesses and government leaders are increasing their calls for a climate deal and initiating new programs to limit global warming. Here are some of the recent announcements:
The Compact of States and Regions, a reporting mechanism for state and regional governments to submit climate targets, today announced plans to reduce their emissions by 12.4 GtC02e by 2030 — greater than China’s current annual output. The commitments come in the initiative’s first Disclosure Report, released at COP21.
Schneider Electric says it will provide access to big data generated from its WeatherSentry weather intelligence platform as part of the UN’s Data for Climate Action campaign. Last week Schneider Electric said it has networked more than 4,000 disparate rural area Weather Stations to provide a more holistic view of rural weather patterns across the US; now it is making this data publicly available.
Acciona pledged to achieve carbon neutrality across its entire global operations by 2016. The utility says it will invest a further $2.5 billion in new renewable energy installations over the next five years, mostly in developing countries, to increase installed capacity to 10,500 MW. This will avoid the emission of more than 20 million metric tons of CO2 a year.
RE100 says it has passed a milestone as BMW Group, Coca-Cola Enterprises, International Flavors & Fragrances Inc., Nordea Bank AB, Pearson and Swiss Post have announced they will source 100 percent of their electricity from renewable energy, taking the total number of committed companies to 53. Other major companies including Microsoft, Adobe and Google have also joined RE100 in the last week.
Global e-Sustainability Initiative members say they will improve energy efficiency by 24 percent by 2030 compared to 2015. This effort builds on the findings of the GeSI #SMARTer2030 report, which identified the CO2e emission reduction potential that ICT can enable by 2030.
Green building councils from around the world pledged to register, renovate or certify 1.23 billion square meters of green buildings in the next five years. Also at COP 21 a new alliance of 16 countries and more than 60 organizations called the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (which includes WorldGBC, its 74 green building councils and their 27,000 member companies) also launched.
The Financial Stability Board it is establishing an industry-led disclosure task force on Financial Stability Board under the chairmanship of Michael Bloomberg. The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures will develop voluntary, climate-related financial risk disclosures for use by companies in providing information to lenders, insurers, investors and other stakeholders.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has called for a global carbon tax, calling tax-free carbon “the dumbest experiment in history,” Quartz reports. Musk called it a “hidden subsidy,” saying it costs $5.3 trillion per year.
Industry leaders and governments in the Climate and Clean Air Coalition committed to reducing short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs). This includes a pledge by the Global Food Cold Chain Council, whose members include Coca-Cola and Unilever, to reduce hydrofluorocarbons by 30 percent to 50 percent from refrigerant servicing within 10 years.
Additionally, the freight sector launched the Green Freight Action Plan to fight black carbon and fine particle pollutants. The initiative, which includes more than 20 countries, civil society organizations and four major companies (Volvo, Deutsch Post DHL, Ikea and Hewlett-Packard), aims to double by 2018 the countries that are committed to establish new or enhance existing green freight programs or initiatives. By 2025, the top 100 global shippers will include black carbon mitigation efforts into their existing sustainability efforts.
Asia Pulp & Paper launched a landscape management framework for the entire South Sumatra region that aims to achieve economic development and environmental protection across the whole of South Sumatra. APP also announced a new direct funding platform for rainforest protection in Indonesia, The Belantara Foundation. Belantara’s mission will be to provide a direct channel to protect and support Indonesian forests for the billions of dollars of financing for forest conservation that have been pledged worldwide.
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