Rolls-Royce commits to net-zero carbon operations by 2030

Manufacturing giant Rolls-Royce has announced an intention to become a net-zero carbon business by 2030, alongside a wider ambition to enable sectors it sells to in becoming net-zero by 2050.

Rolls-Royce commits to net-zero carbon operations by 2030

R&D spend to will be used to develop more efficient solutions to combatting climate change

Rolls-Royce has committed to net-zero carbon across its operations by 2030 and has joined the UN Race to Zero campaign, which has been launched to spur raised climate action in the run up to COP26.

The manufacturer will set out a roadmap to net-zero later this year, but plans to use 100% renewable energy, promote closed-loop manufacturing and deploying microgrids to help reach the ambition.

Additionally, Rolls-Royce will use it technological developments and product portfolio to assist other sectors in reaching net-zero emissions. This includes carbon-intensive sectors such as shipping, aviation and power generation.

R&D spend to will be used to develop more efficient solutions to combatting climate change, including improving the efficiency of engines, developing small modular nuclear power stations and deploying hybrid and electric solutions to assist the rail and marine markets.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought immediate and obvious pressures to our industry and to us as a company, but the long-term challenges our world faces have not gone away,” Rolls-Royce’s chief executive Warren East said.

“The world on the other side of this pandemic will need the power that we generate to fuel economic recovery. I absolutely believe the call for that power to be more sustainable and net-zero will be stronger than ever. Answering that call is a big, complex challenge and few companies on the planet are better placed than Rolls-Royce to help. We will use our capabilities to play a leading role in enabling the vital sectors in which we operate achieve net zero emissions by 2050. I believe this ambition will drive our competitiveness for the future.”

Rolls-Royce has backed its ambition by joining the UN’s Business Ambition for 1.5C campaign, which advocates for corporates to pursue net-zero targets to align with the 1.5C target of the Paris Agreement.

As part of the Race to Zero campaign, Rolls-Royce will advocate for raised action on climate change from sectors and corporates alike through the setting of net-zero targets.

Currently, analysis from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU)’s Net-Zero Tracker has found that 53% of global GDP is now covered by an intended or actual net-zero commitment.

Last Friday, The COP26 Race to Zero campaign was officially launched by the UN High Level “climate champions” the UK and Chile. The latter was meant to have hosted the last COP summit, but it was moved to Madrid following protests and civil unrest.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that the postponed COP26 Climate conference would be moved to 1-12 November 2021, to allow more time to recover from the economic and travel impacts of the virus.

The Race to Zero campaign will mobilise action across corporates, finance markets and nations to commit to net-zero emissions, viewed as an essential tipping point in the efforts to limit the worst impacts of climate change.

Committing on the Rolls-Royce announcement, UN High Level Climate Action Champion for COP26  Nigel Topping said: “With 2.6 billion people and over half of global GDP now covered by net-zero goals, Rolls-Royce is positioning itself to meet huge growth in demand for net-zero transport and power. As a company operating in some of the hardest to abate sectors, this a big act of industrial technology leadership.”

Matt Mace

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