Snippets for 11 February 2021


Welcome to this week's edition of Snippets.


We are seeing a shift in thinking. After being in the "too hard" basket, achieving lower emissions seems to be becoming more acceptable, desirable, and achievable. All countries, and businesses, need a net zero transition plan.


When the Paris Agreement was signed, low carbon technologies as solutions to emissions looked difficult and expensive. Now they are becoming more acceptable and increasingly sought after in sectors that are the biggest emitters.


Corporates are now considering sustainability in their big picture more and more, as their customers, staff and investors are increasingly demanding it.


Partnerships can make it easier to achieve net zero emissions, and we have examples of some now happening on a global scale, and not because they have to or because of trade rules.


ACCTS, a new ”green” trade grouping, formed by six countries (including NZ) committed to using trade policy to support action on the climate, may be Britain’s way forward after Brexit.


Some cities and industries are looking at different ways of thinking: Cities, using Doughnut Economics; the Steel industry, hoping to get commitments by producers to 100% net zero emissions by 2050. Some are committed already, and we have an example of fossil free steel production happening in Sweden. And we look at a $69 million NZ government fund for the Private Sector to help reduce reliance on fossil fuel fired boilers.


Picking up other people’s discarded rubbish – would you do it? Des Watson has picked up 25 tonnes touring NZ. We support his actions.





The Paris Agreement was signed in 2015 and what a difference five-years can make. In 2015, low-carbon technologies and business models could rarely compete with incumbent high-carbon solutions. Today in 2021, low-carbon solutions are competitive in sectors representing around 25% of emissions. By 2030, these solutions could be competitive in sectors representing 70% of global emissions. As this report discusses, a stealthy and irreversible revolution is today propelling us towards a zero-carbon future, which in many ways only became realistic following the signing of the Paris Agreement. Read more.....



As if to summarise this new found sense of progress, our next article examines how, in 2021, sustainability has emerged to be integral to corporate success. Indeed, for many of the world’s largest companies, sustainability is seen as key to minimising risk, increasing resilience, enhancing competitiveness and unlocking new opportunities. Furthermore, with the advent of TCFD, a company’s sustainability profile increasingly may be core to its share price and creditworthiness, even possibly affecting the cost of capital it may need for growth. Read more.....



And it is not just companies acting on their own. After a gloomy, but necessarily grounding, scene-setter, this next article introduces us to a number of partnerships, such as the Mission Possible Partnership which is creating investment-grade ‘net-zero’ sector strategies with the potential of tackling 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Other examples include the Global Plastic Action Partnership and IT.org (trillion trees) partnership. Together, these partnerships and alliances are helping to accelerate large scale, practical action for a net-zero, nature positive economy by 2030. Read more.....



New Zealand has led a new green trade group – ACCTS, the Agreement on Climate Change, Trade and Sustainability and now, with Brexit, the UK would be free to join. ACCTS is a reform of trade rules so as to give priority to the environment – a huge shift in emphasis for the global trading system. Read more.....





CEOs are being warned by BlackRock, the world’s largest global investment management corporation, that companies that are not actively preparing themselves for the transition to a “net zero” economy will see their businesses and valuations suffer. It looks like ESG (environmental, social, and governance) investing is here to stay. Read more.....





Can we offer everyone access to water, food and shelter whilst not destroying the planet? City councils such as Dunedin and Amsterdam think so. This new form of city planning is inspired by ‘Doughnut Economics’ which in practice is a balancing act between providing a social foundation whilst staying within the ecologic limits.Read more.....







"Low carbon" steel is a problem that needs a solution. Creating the demand will incentivise producers to do something about it. A new initiative called SteelZero, created by The Climate Group in partnership with ResponsibleSteel, hope to create a market for low carbon steel by challenging the top steel buyers across the globe — including construction companies, real estate groups and property developers - to commit to procuring 100 percent net-zero emissions steel by 2050. Read more.....




Steel production is responsible for seven percent of worldwide CO2 emissions, and thus it is very important that we find a way to reduce the carbon intensity of this activity. In Sweden they have done just that, in a pilot plant that uses renewable electricity to make green hydrogen, that is used to process ore to steel. As a side benefit, the stored hydrogen can also be used to generate electricity when renewable generation is insufficient.Read more.....



Finishing up, we have two NZ articles. A $69 million Government fund to help the private sector reduce its reliance on fossil fuel-fired boilers is expected to have a greater impact than a $200 million public sector-oriented fund. The new fund will target New Zealand’s largest energy users to accelerate their uptake of electrification and other technologies that will dramatically lower emissions from this sector and create clean energy jobs along the way. Read more.....



Two years ago Des Watson packed in his full-time job to roam the country picking up other people’s rubbish. Since then, Des has picked up nearly 25 tonnes of rubbish by hand. “It's a pretty massive job to undertake but if no one does it then where are we going?” He’s running on donations and goodwill from people he meets along the way. Des is a man on a ‘good’ mission and is a true “tidy kiwi”.Read more...





For our innovation section this week, we have a couple of articles:

-Flying on 100% sustainable fuel by 2030? Boeing announces development plans

-This is the World’s First Home Hydrogen Battery It can store three times as much energy as Tesla's Powerwall 2.














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