ESG International Weekly News 9/4-9/10
1.Microsoft Signs One of the Largest-Ever Permanent Carbon Removal Deals
Microsoft has signed a significant multi-year contract with Heirloom, a Direct Air Capture (DAC) tech firm, to eliminate up to 315,000 metric tons of CO2. This stands as one of the biggest carbon removal contracts so far. The DAC technology, recognized by IEA, captures CO2 straight from the air. Heirloom, in collaboration with Battelle and Climeworks, is progressing on Project Cypress in Louisiana, aiming to annually capture over 1 million metric tons of CO2. This project recently secured a grant of up to $600 million from the U.S. Department of Energy. Microsoft's involvement helps provide innovative funding for Heirloom's initiatives. This is part of Microsoft's broader strategy to be carbon negative by 2030 and offset all its historical emissions by 2050.
2.Biden Launches $12 Billion Finance Package for Automakers to Convert Factories to Produce EVs
The Biden administration unveiled a financial package surpassing $15 billion to bolster the shift towards electric vehicles (EVs). This includes $10 billion as loans and $2 billion in grants to assist automakers in transitioning factories for EV production. For eligibility, the new scheme demands that job retention, wages, benefits in manufacturing facilities are maintained, and initiatives favoring underserved communities are supported. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) introduces these new financing plans, extending its efforts to promote clean transportation. President Biden’s earlier directives target having EVs account for 50% of new vehicle sales in the U.S. by 2030. The DOE's loan program, worth $10 billion, is dedicated to automotive conversion projects that maintain quality jobs in existing manufacturing localities. The $2 billion grant, stemming from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), encourages the production of a range of electrified vehicles and components. Additionally, an investment of $3.5 billion is set to enhance the manufacturing of advanced batteries for EVs and energy storage. U.S. Secretary of Energy, Jennifer M. Granholm, expressed the commitment to supporting communities as the transition from conventional engines to EVs unfolds.
3.Less than 5% of Banks Have Set Net Zero Commitments Across all Financing Categories: TPI Report
According to a recent analysis by the Transition Pathway Initiative’s (TPI) Global Climate Transition Centre, banks worldwide are becoming more dedicated to minimizing the climate impact of their financial operations. They have made strides in revealing financed emissions and handling climate risks. Nevertheless, fewer than 5% of banks have declared a comprehensive net zero goal for all their financing activities.
The TPI Centre's study involved 26 leading global banks, using their newly introduced Net Zero Banking Assessment Framework. This framework gauges various indicators, from net zero pledges of banks to their disclosure and financing for climate solutions. The research discovered that a significant majority of these banks have set targets for net zero financed emissions, and many have also initiated emission reduction objectives for sectors with high carbon footprints. Yet, not all these efforts align perfectly with global climate objectives. For instance, while 77% of these banks commit to achieving net zero financed emissions by 2050, just half specify the activities included under this commitment, and only one bank covers all on- and off-balance sheet activities.
Additionally, there's been a surge in banks determining mid-term decarbonization targets for high-emission industries. However, many of these targets are not in line with the global aim of capping temperature rise at 1.5°C. Also, banks haven't fully integrated these targets into their strategies, with only a few stipulating specific financing conditions related to emission reductions.
While banks have advanced their climate-related disclosure habits, gaps persist. The study highlighted that while many banks are now detailing financed emissions, only a few cover all high-emitting sectors. On a positive note, around 70% of banks have set goals to ramp up financing for climate solutions, although the specifics of these goals often remain vague.The TPI Centre's report concludes that banks have bettered their climate actions from the previous year, but there's still significant work to be done.
根據Transition Pathway Initiative的全球氣候轉型中心的最新分析，全球銀行正越來越致力於減少其金融業務的氣候影響。他們在披露融資排放和處理氣候風險方面取得了進展。然而，不到5％的銀行宣布了針對所有金融業務的全面淨零目標。
4.Apple Backs California’s Proposed Emissions Reporting Rules
Apple has shown support for California's proposed Senate Bill 253 (SB 253), which seeks to mandate large U.S. companies to disclose their full value chain greenhouse gas emissions. Introduced by Senator Scott Wiener, the legislation would compel companies with over $1 billion in revenue operating in California to report on their annual emissions. This encompasses direct emissions (Scope 1), emissions from electricity usage (Scope 2), and indirect emissions including those from supply chains, business travel, employee commuting, procurement, waste, and water usage (Scope 3). Reporting for Scope 1 and 2 emissions would start in 2026, while Scope 3 would begin in 2027. These reports would adhere to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol standards.
Senator Wiener highlighted that the proposed rules would apply to most major U.S. companies, going further than the SEC's upcoming reporting guidelines by including comprehensive Scope 3 requirements and applying to all large companies rather than just public ones. The bill successfully passed the state Senate in May and is now progressing in the Assembly.
Apple has been a consistent advocate for obligatory climate disclosure and has already asked its suppliers to report on their carbon neutrality progress, especially concerning emissions associated with Apple products. Apple praised Senator Wiener's proposal, emphasizing the importance of Scope 3 disclosures and the need for external verification. The company also proposed a few modifications, such as accepting international reporting standards and reviewing the standards more regularly than the currently suggested five-year interval. Apple lauded California's leadership role in the climate change battle.
蘋果公司支持加利福尼亞州提出的253號參議院法案（SB 253），該法案要求大型美國公司披露其完整價值鏈的溫室氣體排放。參議員Scott Wiener提出的這項立法將迫使在加利福尼亞營業且收入超過10億美元的公司報告其每年的排放情況，包括直接排放（範疇1）、電力使用排放（範疇2）和間接排放，如供應鏈、商務旅行、員工通勤、採購、廢物和水使用（範疇3）。2026年開始報告範疇1和2的排放，而範疇3將於2027年開始。這些報告將遵循溫室氣體協議標準。
5.UAE to Power Up African Carbon Credit Market with $450M Pledge
The UAE Carbon Alliance has pledged to buy carbon credits worth $450 million from the African Carbon Markets Initiative (ACMI) by 2030. This commitment was announced at the first Africa Climate Summit held in Kenya. The deal represents the first major carbon credit agreement in Africa. The UAE Carbon Alliance, including key Emirati firms like Mubadala and First Abu Dhabi Bank, was formed to promote a green transition, aligned with UAE's Net Zero by 2050 strategy. ACMI, supported by global investors like the Bezos Earth Fund, focuses on reducing emissions in Africa through carbon offsets. The alliance seeks to link the supply of African carbon credits with Middle Eastern demand. Globally, the carbon offset market could grow to $250 billion by 2050. The UAE also plans a $54 billion investment in renewables by 2030. Other entities, like Dubai's Blue Carbon, are also keen on African carbon credits. The overarching aim is to position Africa as a center for climate investments rather than being perceived as a region afflicted by climate catastrophes.
阿聯酋碳聯盟已承諾到2030年向非洲碳市場倡議（ACMI）購買價值4.5億美元的碳信用。這一承諾在肯尼亞舉行的第一屆非洲氣候峰會上宣布。該協議代表非洲的首次重大碳信用協議。阿聯酋碳聯盟，包括像Mubadala和第一阿布扎比銀行這樣的關鍵阿聯酋公司，旨在促進綠色過渡，與阿聯酋的2050年淨零策略保持一致。由Bezos Earth Fund等全球投資者支持的ACMI，專注於通過碳抵消減少非洲的排放。聯盟尋求將非洲碳信用的供應與中東的需求相連接。全球碳抵消市場到2050年可能增長到2500億美元。阿聯酋還計劃到2030年投資540億美元於可再生能源。其他實體，如杜拜的Blue Carbon，也對非洲碳信用感興趣。其總體目標是將非洲定位為氣候投資的中心，而不是被認為是受氣候災難的地區。