UK firms forced to show how they intend to hit climate change targets
There was promising news from COP26 on Finance day of the Summit as UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that by 2023 most big UK firms and financial institutions will be made to set out public plans on how they hit net zero carbon emissions.
To avoid greenwashing, an expert panel will be set up to set out the criteria these plans need to meet. This will promote greater transparency for larger firms claiming to be on a pathway to net zero but it doesn’t go far enough to ensure mandatory net zero commitments need to be made by all big UK firms and financial institutions.
While it is essential for the UK’s largest firms and financial institutions to go net zero, the government must also look to support businesses of all types and sizes commit to becoming net zero by at least 2050 or sooner. The Zero Carbon Tour supported by BEIS, which has seen us engage with thousands of businesses across the UK, has shown that many organisations, particularly SMEs want to play their part in the fight against climate change. However, they are being asked to respond to corporate and government demands for their own net zero commitments and many do not understand the practical steps to reduce their emissions. The government must continue to provide clear guidance on how all businesses across the UK – not just the largest corporates – can decarbonise. This is especially true for hard-pressed SMEs who are doing so much for our economy and here to support our zero carbon transformation.
Financial firms controlling 40% of global assets to align with 1.5C global warming limit
In what the former Bank of England governor Mark Carney has described as a “watershed” moment in financing, it was announced today that 450 firms controlling around $130 trillion of global assets would align themselves to the 1.5C limit on global warming.
These 450 firms are part of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) led by Mark Carney, and they are committing almost double the roughly $70 trillion when GFANZ was launched in April
While private-sector investment to ramp up adoption of clean energy and sustainable infrastructure is critical to achieving our global net zero goals, it also requires global standards and frameworks to avoid issues of greenwashing. There also needs to be sureties that the GFANZ signatories will stop financing fossil-fuel expansion.
Planet Mark at COP26
Translink’s Transformative Journey to Decarbonise Public Transport in NI
The event, held in the Science Show Theatre, gave an account of Translink’s actions to revolutionise and decarbonise Northern Ireland’s public transport system, transitioning to renewable energy technologies and accelerating net zero emissions across their bus and train fleet and wider business by 2040. It was great to be there for it as we had recently joined up with Translink as part of our Zero Carbon Tour, sharing the net zero message across Northern Ireland.
WalkCOP26 gathered all those who have walked, cycled, flown and driven in low-carbon ways to Glasgow, including the Planet Mark team, to share their stories and some of their encounters.
Roundtable with Royal Warrant Holders Association
Planet Mark joined members Royal Warrant Holders Assoction (RWHA) for a roundtable discussion.
Planet Mark member news
We’re proud to announce Prologis, Planet Mark member and Zero Carbon Tour partner, has been awarded the Inaugural Terra Carta Seal by HRH The Prince of Wales today in Glasgow. Recognised for driving innovation and demonstrating commitment to sustainable building practices, Prologis continue to embed a nature, people and planet approach. Read more above their environmental, social and governance work, and alignment with the Terra Carta here.
Top stories of the day
The IFRS Foundation Trustees have confirmed the establishment of an International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) to help unify disclosures from organisations, helping investors and stakeholders compare sustainability performance. Read more in Edie.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced plans for the UK to become the “first ever net zero aligned financial centre”. Read more in The Independent.
According to researchers at the University of Melbourne, pledges made by World Leaders at COP26 “would cut warming to 1.9C”. Read more in The Independent.
UK firms and financial institutions will have to show comprehensive public plans for how they intend to align with the UK’s 2050 net zero target, under proposed Treasury rules. Read more in BBC News.
Economists warn Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s plan to impose requirements on UK corporations to transition to net zero without the right support could drive companies abroad. Read more in the Daily Mail.
Official Partner of UN-backed Race to Zero Campaign
Race to Zero is the UN-backed global campaign rallying non-state actors – including companies, cities, regions; as well as financial, educational, and healthcare institutions to take rigorous and immediate action to halve global emissions by 2030 and deliver a healthier, fairer zero carbon world in time.
As part of this critical Decade of Action, we have created a virtual pledge wall, where businesses can sign up and display their commitments to reaching zero carbon emissions from which we will continuously update the Race to Zero team with the net zero signatories. We are also providing a suite of Net Zero Carbon Solutions, to support businesses to reach net zero, no matter what stage they are at on their sustainability journey.