On Monday (21 September), hundreds of representatives from policy, business, science, academia, thought leadership and the third sector were meant to be descending on New York City for the ninth Climate Week.
In light of Covid-19, the event was moved online. But this didn’t stop corporates from making a string of new commitments, policymakers for setting new national and state-wide targets or research publications from being published and promoted.
Here, edie rounds up all the key happenings which took place either at the event, or to coincide with it, splitting them in accordance with our Mission Possible campaign pillars.
- China – the world’s highest emitting country and a key player in the coal sector – committed to reach peak emissions by 2030 and to become carbon-neutral by 2060.
- South Korea unveiled its Green New Deal proposals, headlined by a 2050 net-zero goal and a 2030 commitment for renewables to account for at least 20% of the domestic generation mix.
- HBS New Energies and Macquarie’s Green Investment Group announced the successful connection and completion of an 11.6MW solar array at Anglian Water’s Grafham Water site (pictured above). The utility is notably part of a sector-wide effort to reach net-zero by 2030.
- Turbines were ordered for the UK’s Dogger Bank Wind Farm, off the North East coast. Once completed, the project will be the largest of its kind in the world.
- Walmart, Adidas, Decathlon, PVH, Lululemon, Anta, Changzhou New Wide and Daito Trust Construction joined The Climate Group’s EP100 initiative.
- Intel, Asics, Velux Group, Sanofi and SKF joined the RE100, committing to source 100% renewable electricity by 2030. PepsiCo is another new member.
- The UK Government announced that it is assembling an Energy Transition Council consisting of leaders from business, politics, finance and technology. The representatives will work to develop, recommend and implement measures to help developing nations transition from coal to renewables, backed by a new £50m Clean Energy Innovation Facility overseen by the UK’s International Climate Finance arm.
- Nestle Waters has forged a partnership with waste management giant Biffa to help boost plastic recycling and secure larger recycled PET feedstocks. Subsidiary brand Buxton is notably aiming to launch 100% recycled plastic bottles next year, with all plastics sourced from the UK.
- Ribena began removing plastic straws from its cartons, replacing them with sustainably sourced paper alternatives. The move will prevent 16 tonnes of plastic from being distributed annually.
- Evian launched bottles made from 100% recycled content across its 500ml and 750ml lines in the UK. The new packaging is, in turn, recyclable.
- The State of California set a 2035 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles. In the UK, meanwhile, businesses including Dixons Carphone and Heathrow Airport joined calls for the ban to be brought forward from 2035 to 2030.
- Tesla announced that it had reached a breakthrough that could see the cost of its batteries halved by the end of 2023.
- Octopus Energy has begun working with Volkswagen Group (VW) to incentivise motorists to make the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) and renewable electricity simultaneously. Under the partnership, VW customers will be given a £90 credit for moving to one of Octopus’ renewable energy tariffs – enough to power their car for 8,000 miles.
- Public transport operator First Bus revealed that it is preparing to launch its first series of zero-emission buses in Leeds, following extensive work with local authorities in the area. The nine single-decker buses have a range of 200 miles and will be recharged at a depot fitted with two Tesla-brand battery storage units.
- Triodos Bank confirmed that it is providing a £490,000 loan to transport start-up Ember to help it launch all-electric coaches on its route between Dundee and Edinburgh.
- Transport rental platform Bolt added a ‘walk’ category to its app, encouraging users in the UK to opt for active transport. To incentivise uptake, it asked users to share their walk on Instagram for their chance to win a cash prize.
- Tesco, Costain Group and Mindspace Business Parks REIT joined the EV100 initiative.