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Signals Amidst the Noise: April 20, 2021

We curate updates on government, finance and corporate net zero news weekly from the world’s media. Here is today’s update.


It’s a busy week around the world for the achievement of the goal for net zero carbon. President Biden’s Climate Summit, bringing together 40 Heads of State is set to take place on Thursday and Friday this week, where we anticipate announcements and commitments, especially from the world’s largest economy. Since re-entering the Paris Agreement in January, the United States has promised to set out its domestic agenda for achieving the Paris goals and to publicise it by Earth Day, April 22nd. U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Change John Kerry has been meeting leaders in Asia, highlighting that international partnership and cooperation on climate action is vital. It’s much easier for all of us to move forward quickly when others are headed in the same direction – and at a similar pace. 

Here’s what the direction of travel looks like this week – so far in the net zero transition:

  • The UK is set to announce a new pledge to reduce emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels, fifteen years earlier than previously planned.  
  • The US and China signed a joint statement to work together to limit global average temperature increase to well below 2C and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5C.
  • New Zealand is set to become the world’s first country to bring in a law requiring its financial firms to report on the effects of climate change.
  • Senior Senate Democrats introduced legislation designed to make climate change a pillar of US diplomacy.
  • Brenda Mallory was confirmed as the Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). She will be the first African American to serve as CEQ Chair, a role that involves serving as the principal environmental policy advisor to the president.

Image: Shutterstock

  • More than 300 businesses and signed an open letter calling on Biden to adopt a GHG emissions reduction target of at least 50% by 2030 against a 2005 baseline – organised by We Mean Business and Ceres.
  • Heineken committed to carbon neutrality across its operations by 2030 and its by 2040.
  • McKinsey committed to reaching net zero climate impact by 2030.
  • PepsiCo became a founding partner of AgMission, an initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture.
  • Apple launched the Restore Fund in partnership with Conservation International and Goldman Sachs – a $200 million fund aiming to remove at least 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually from the atmosphere, while generating a financial return for investors.  
  • United Airlines launched the Eco-Skies Alliance Program involving global corporations – including HP, Nike and Siemens – committed to pay for greater use of SAF.
  • Guidehouse, Mars, McCormick and PepsiCo launched the Supplier Leadership on Climate Transition, an initiative to help engage suppliers in climate action and solutions by providing them with tools, resources and knowledge to support their own climate journeys.
  • Major news outlets – including the Guardian, Al Jazeera and Scientific American – have signed a statement to start using the term “climate emergency” in their coverage of climate change.

GO_Signals_042021-2Image: Shutterstock

  • BlackRock launched Decarbonisation Partners in partnership with Temasek – a new investment firm that will invest in next-generation companies that provide climate solutions and technologies to accelerate efforts to achieve a net zero global economy.
  • Citi Group committed $1 trillion to sustainable finance by 2030, including $500 billion for climate solutions, including renewable energy, clean technology, water conservation and sustainable transportation.
  • Morgan Stanley committed to mobilise $1 trillion towards sustainability solutions by 2030, including $750 billion to support low carbon solutions.
  • JPMorgan Chase announced a goal to finance over $2.5 trillion by 2030 to advance long-term solutions that address climate change and contribute to sustainable development, including $1 trillion for green initiatives to accelerate the deployment of solutions for cleaner sources of energy and facilitate the transition to a low carbon economy.
  • Chief Executives of Business NGOs, CDP, Ceres and PRI published an open letter to the Biden administration outlining climate policy priorities to “build back better” and restore US climate leadership in the world.
  • Members of the Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance and the BICEP network sent letters calling on the Biden administration to adopt vehicle standards aligned with climate science and consistent with a pathway to 100% zero emission vehicle sales by 2035.

Thanks for reading this week’s decarbonisation digest, we hope you found it useful.
Last week’s roundup is available here.

Do not miss this week’s episode of the Outrage + Optimism podcast where we’ll be joined by special guest, John Kerry. A timely episode out on Earth Day and available wherever you get your podcasts or online at 

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