With the American government recently stating it was withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement it is reassuring to know that many large corporations are still committed to helping create a greener future.
The RE100 initiative from international non-profit The Climate Group, in partnership with not-for-profit charity CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) announced this week that AkzoNobel, AXA, Burberry and the Carlsberg Group had joined its ranks, taking the number of companies committed to 100% renewable power to 100.
Dutch paints and coatings business AkzoNobel has set itself the target of being carbon neutral and using 100 percent renewable energy by 2050, while insurance giant AXA has targeted 100 percent renewable electricity by 2025.
Meanwhile, fashion business Burberry wants to procure 100 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2022. Brewing powerhouse the Carlsberg Group will turn to 100 percent renewable electricity at its breweries by 2022, and aims to be carbon neutral by the year 2030.
Helen Clarkson, CEO of the Climate Group, welcomed the new members. “By championing the compelling case for business action, we have reached 100 members three years earlier than expected,” she said. “Changes in the market such as the falling cost of renewables have also worked in our favour.”
Andre Veneman, AkzoNobel’s corporate director of sustainability, said the company had put, “considerable effort into learning how to source renewable energy in a cost competitive way and the opportunities for our business are huge.”
“We’re convinced that embracing renewable energy is an excellent way to create both short- and long-term value that will enable a true business transition,” Veneman added.
While these corporations act towards making positive environmental decisions Turkey recently through further doubt onto the Paris Climate Agreement with President Erdogan stating that the U.S. decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement meant they are less inclined to ratify the deal because the U.S. move jeopardizes compensation promised to developing countries.
Erdogan was speaking at the G20 summit in Germany where leaders from the world’s leading economies broke with U.S. President Donald Trump over climate policy, following his announcement last month that he was withdrawing from the accord.
Erdogan said that when Turkey signed the accord France had promised that Turkey would be eligible for compensation for some of the financial costs of compliance.
“So we said if this would happen, the agreement would pass through parliament. But otherwise it won’t pass,” Erdogan told a news conference, adding that parliament had not yet approved it. “Therefore, after this step taken by the United States, our position steers a course towards not passing this from the parliament.”
The importance of the Paris Climate Agreement cannot be understated and the U. S, decision to pull out looks to have started a negative domino effect. While we at ILI Energy are not at the doom and gloom levels like those reported in the recent New York Magazine article we believe that urgent action is required to reduce our carbon emissions substantially before we reach the point of no return.
All that we have done before has helped put us the correct path, and recent evidence has shown that we are making a positive difference, albeit slowly, but we all need to be in this together and pulling in the same direction to make it work. Losing a huge contributor like the USA from the Paris Agreement not only damages our overall changes, it can, as shown above send out the wrong message and have others wondering if it is worth the effort.
This week an iceberg with a land mass of approximately 6,000 square km broke off from Antarctica. It wasn’t unexpected but is a good indicator of the damage we have already done. Only by working together to reduce our carbon emissions can we ensure that such an event does not happen again.