Reports show businesses and regional governments making strong climate progress

As climate talks at Bonn enter the second week, two separate reports have detailed the progress of non-state actors including businesses, states and regions to reduce CO2 emissions in line with the Paris Agreement.

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) has released a study on a coalition which brings companies together to accelerate clean technologies to stay below 2C.

Since launching in 2011, 185 firms from industries spanning transport, agriculture, cement and chemicals have signed up to The Low Carbon Technology Partnerships Initiative (LCTPi).

The group aims to reduce global emissions by 65%, while ploughing $5-10trn into the low-carbon economy.

The latest update shows that these firms have sharpened their efforts in 2017. The low-carbon freight group, for instance, has reportedly demonstrated 48% emissions reductions potential, while climate smart agriculture is said to have targeted 150,000 farmers for support in South-East Asia.

“LCTPi has become the platform for companies to shape industry best practice on climate action,” said WBCSD chief executive Peter Bakker. “We must continue the collaboration that brought the Paris Agreement into being. We can only fulfil its ambitions and achieve the scale of transformation needed if we work together.”

Regional action

Meanwhile, a separate report has found that more than 100 state and regional governments are making strong progress on climate change.

Key findings from The Climate Group and CDP’s joint study shows that sub-national governments made 80% more climate actions in 2017, across sectors such as transport, buildings, energy and land use.

There was an average of 8.5% emissions reduced last year, according to the study, with six sub-national governments such as Lombardy, Carinthia and Wallionia all meeting their 2020 climate targets.

Scotland, meanwhile, is cited as making great progress and being on track to meet its goals. The country recently set out proposals for diesel and petrol cars to be phased out by 2032,  eight years earlier than the UK Government’s target

The report notes that the ambition of states and regions generally exceeds that of their national counterparts, although stronger targets are needed to help meet the Paris objectives.

“This momentum is both driving up standards of climate leadership and putting transparency and accountability at the heart of government environmental action,” CDP chief executive Paul Simpson said.

“Now we need to see longer-term targets from states and regions to ensure their ambition is aligned with limiting global warming to well-below 2C.”

Tres Bonn

In the first week at Bonn, a plethora of strong declarations and corporate commitments have signified a resolute collective intent to stick the path of the Paris Agreement.

Earlier this week, UK-based HSBC pledged to provide €100bn in sustainable financing by 2025 as it joined RE100 with a commitment to source 100% renewable power by 2030.

This came before a flurry of business sign-ups to the Climate Group’s electric vehicles (EV100) and energy productivity (EP100) campaigns. 

And on Thursday, UN special envoy on climate change Michael Bloomberg, who is attending the Bonn summit, announced a $50m plan to expand a campaign to reduce the amount of fossil fuels in the global atmosphere.

George Ogleby

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