WBCSD report: Businesses reveal climate change progress

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) used the COP 23 UN climate change meeting in Bonn to publish its 2017 progress report on the Low Carbon Technology Partnerships initiative (LCTPi) which shows the action companies are taking to combat climate change. 

WBCSD climate change progress

Companies are taking action such as moving to renewable energy to combat climate change

The report revealed that over 20 new companies joined LCTPi in 2017 bringing the total number to 185. The survey also showed that 85% of companies acknowledged that LCTPi has supported their company’s action on climate change and 42% of these companies believe that LCTPi had strengthened their climate actions.

Analysing the actions taken by WBCSD initiatives it was found that REscale shared best practices on renewables with 144 different companies and NGOs from 25 different countries; the low-carbon freight group demonstrated 48% emissions reductions potential in the sector; the Cement Sustainability Initiative released 52 technical papers on existing and breakthrough technologies for emissions reductions in the cement sector and climate-smart agriculture targeted 150,000 farmers for support in South East Asia.

The WBCSD also said that its below50 project, designed to grow the market for the world’s most sustainable fuels, doubled its membership and at COP23  announced the launch of three new regional hubs in Australia, North America and South America.

The WBCSD said the below50 project brought businesses together to purchase, consume or produce fuels that emit at least 50% fewer greenhouse gasses (GHGs) than traditional fossil fuels. Currently, the WBCSD said, transport accounted for nearly 25% of all emissions worldwide, and 90% of the sector is dependent on carbon-intensive fossil fuels. To date, only 3% of transportation fuels are low-carbon and this figure needed to grow to 10% by 2030 in order to satisfy economic growth and help keep global temperatures from rising more than 2°C.

The WBCSD said each regional hub was expected to have a significant impact on the low-carbon fuels market by tailoring below50 activities to match local economic, political and geographical contexts.

Speaking at the launch in Bonn, Larissa Rose, managing director of the Queensland Renewable Fuels Association (QRFA), host of the below50 hub in Australia, said “Establishing the regional below50 hubs sends a strong signal that builds confidence, demonstrating the rise of a low-carbon fuels industry that is essential for reducing emissions in the transport sector.

The WBCSD plans to establish more regional hubs for the below50 project in 2018 with China, Mexico and the Philippines named as likely places to host. The below50 hubs will develop their own work programs but will remain strongly connected to the global below50 program and will align with the broader vision and direction of the project, the WBCSD said.

Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change develop investor practices programme

The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC)  is developing an in-depth investor practices’ programme to help asset owners and managers better assess and manage both climate risk and opportunity and to report on their actions more effectively.

Speaking at COP23 Peter Damgaard Jensen, chief executive of Danish Pension fund PKA and chair of the IIGC said: “IIGCC has a strong programme of robust engagement with policymakers and a respected programme of corporate engagement that focuses on companies’ emissions reduction efforts and strategies around the low carbon transition. To complement this, we are now building a new programme where asset owners and managers can share best practice around assessing, managing and reporting climate risk and investing in the opportunities that support a smooth transition to a low carbon economy.”

The IIGCC Investor Practices Programme will initially have three key work streams:

  • Governance (peer to peer learning for investors on how to secure board level commitment and integrating this through the organisation)
  • Strategic tools and metrics for analysing and integrating climate risks and opportunities across all asset classes (focused initially on the use of scenario analysis to ensure more effective disclosure of climate-related risks and opportunities and on green investment ‘impact’ strategies)
  • An ongoing dialogue between IIGCC’s growing membership of asset owners and managers about latest developments of climate disclosure in line with the recommendations from the task force on climate-related financial disclosures.

German businesses call for its new government to take more action on climate change

Fifty-two major and medium-sized businesses of Germany signed up to a declaration earlier this month calling on the new German government to do more to reach German and EU climate targets. Amongst the signatories were Adidas, Aldi, Deutsche Telekom, E.on, Hochtief, Metro, Nestlé, SAP and Siemens.  Together, these companies represented more than 500,000 employees in Germany and about 1.5 million globally.

The firms acknowledged that Germany – that continues to be led by Chancellor Angela Merkel following the general election in September – had taken an important first step towards investing in its carbon-neutral future with its Climate Action Plan 2050 and sector targets for 2030. However, the firms said they would back EU and German emissions reduction target of “up to 95% by 2050.”

The companies also believe that Germany and the EU should start the transformation of the transport sector, including through a decisively strengthened rail and local public transport and the new German government should support faster growth of renewable energy. The companies also call on the government to make a firm commitment to a socially viable pathway for phasing out coal power.

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