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Signals Amidst the Noise: May 19, 2021

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


This week the highly influential International Energy Agency released its first full scenario for reaching net zero emissions by 2050 following years of campaigning by many experts and civil society groups. The IEA affirms that no new investments in oil, gas and coal are required from this year, and that the entire global electricity sector will decarbonise by 2040. This report provides the clarity necessary to understand the finishing role for fossil fuels in the transition and should set the trajectory for public and private finance to accelerate the energy transition required to tackle the climate crisis as science demands.

  • The Biden administration approved the nation’s first large-scale offshore wind farm project off the coast of Massachusetts.
  • The Dutch government granted $2.4 billion in subsidies to a consortium – involving Shell and ExxonMobil – developing one of the world’s largest CCUS projects in Rotterdam.
  • COP26 President Alok Sharma called on nations to abandon coal power and make this year’s UN climate summit talks the moment the world “consigns coal to history”.
  • JPMorgan Chase announced new carbon reduction targets for its lending portfolio, guided by a new Carbon Compass Methodology designed in alignment with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
  • Adidas and Allbirds unveiled a new low carbon trainer with a carbon footprint of less than 3kg CO2e per pair – the average running shoe generates around 12.5kg CO2e.
  • BP and Cemex announced that they would work together on solutions to decarbonise the cement production process and transportation.
  • Tesla announced it would no longer allow customers to purchase its vehicles using bitcoin due to the cryptocurrency’s significant carbon footprint.
  • The American Cleaning Institute, representing the US cleaning product supply chain, released an industry roadmap for achieving net zero.
  • The world’s largest iron ore mining companies – BHP, Rio Tinto and Vale – launched a new competition, the Charge on Innovation Challenge, to crowdsource efficient ways to deliver electricity to battery-electric haulage truck fleets at remote mine sites.
  • Sumitomo Miitsui Financial Group – Japan’s second largest bank by assets – announced a halt to all new financing for coal-fired power plants, becoming the first major Japanese lender to do so.
  • 58% of ConocoPhillip’s shareholders passed a resolution opposed by management requiring it to set scope 3 emissions reduction targets. 
  • 20.6% of BP’s shareholders votes for a proposal opposed by management to set stronger emissions reduction targets – up from 8.4% in 2019 when the last climate resolution was proposed.
  • Over 80 major companies and investors called on US federal lawmakers to support ambitious climate policy action to address the climate crisis and advance environmental justice – includes Amazon, CBRE, Dell, HP, McDonald’s, Microsoft, PepsiCo, Samsung, Siemens and Unilever.
  • The B7, a group composed of national business associations from the G7 countries, released a Climate and Biodiversity Statement of principles and recommendations for G7 Climate Ministers ahead of the June G7 summit.
  • The Coalition for Decarbonisation of Road Transport launched, bringing together global experts and leaders from the finance, automotive, energy and infrastructure sectors to accelerate the transition to zero emissions vehicles. 
  • The Earthshot Prize hired Hannah Jones as CEO – Nike’s first ever Chief Sustainability Officer and former innovation lead.
  • New tools and research:


Thanks for reading this week’s digest, we hope you found it useful. Prior ‘Signals Amidst the Noise’ digests – and there are quite a few now! – are available here.

This week our podcast, Outrage + Optimism, features a deep dive into the IEA Net Zero report and a fascinating discussion about the global security implications of the climate crisis with Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg. Don’t miss it this Thursday! Available wherever you get your podcasts or at

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