WEF: 50 global cos join hands for new climate tech

Fifty global businesses, which includes India’s Mahindra Group, have committed to invest in innovative green technologies at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting 2022 in Davos.

Called First Movers Coalition members, the list includes Amazon, Apple, Bank of America, FedEx, Ford Motor Company, Volvo Group, among others.

These companies aim to decarbonise the heavy industry and long-distance transport sectors responsible for 30 per cent of global emissions.

First Movers was first launched by US President Joe Biden and the WEF at COP26 as a flagship public-private partnership to clean up the most carbon-intensive sectors.

Besides India, Denmark, Italy, Japan, Norway, Singapore, Sweden and the UK have also joined the US as government partners to create early markets for clean technologies through policy measures and private sector engagement.

“The coalition’s members are truly the ‘First Movers’ who are focused on scaling disruptive innovations that pave the way for long-term transformation rather than the lower-hanging fruit of short-term process efficiency gains,” said Borge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum, in a statement.

The 50 companies — whose collective market value exceeds $8.5 trillion across five continents — have sent the largest market signal in history to commercialise emerging clean technologies by making advance purchase commitments by 2030 for near-zero carbon steel, aluminium, shipping, trucking, and aviation as well as negative emissions through advanced carbon dioxide removal technologies.

Alphabet, Microsoft and Salesforce collectively committed $500 million to carbon dioxide removal (CDR).

Microsoft will serve as an expert partner by sharing lessons from its carbon removal auctions and the Boston Consulting Group committed to remove 100,000 tonnes of carbon by 2030.

Ball Corporation, Ford Motor Company, Novelis, Trafigura and Volvo Group have committed that 10 per cent of primary aluminium purchases by 2030 will have near-zero carbon emissions. This can only be achieved by producers who use advanced technologies that are not yet commercially available.

The potential rise in global temperatures of 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels could make life unbearable for millions of people.

The critical climate target of 1.5 degrees Celsius can only be reached if new decarbonising technologies are developed at speed.

The coalition will provide a platform for a wide range of companies to make purchasing commitments during this decade and send a clear demand signal for the technologies needed for net-zero emissions by 2050.

The commitments will be technology-neutral, but they will be stringent enough to target solutions with the potential to completely de-carbonize these sectors rather than only partially reducing emissions through efficiency gains or other incremental approaches.




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