New research from Carbon Tracker
has assessed the emissions mitigation at the world’s 15 biggest public oil and gas companies. Of these, 14 have committed to net-zero but the new Absolute Impact report says that these commitments are lacking in credibility. Chevron is the only one of the companies to not commit to net-zero. Of the companies that have set net-zero targets 11 do not include some or all scope 3 emissions in their targets – a fairly dramatic omission given scope 3 indirect emissions account, for example, for 95% of ExxonMobil’s total emissions.
Carbon Tracker also points to a lack of interim target setting with only four – Eni, Repsol, Total and BP – committing to cutting emissions on an absolute, rather than intensity basis by 2030. The most ambitious of these is BP with a commitment of cutting emissions by up to 40% by 2030 – but even this does not meet the IPCC’s target of cutting global emissions by half by 2030 to have any chance of meeting a 1.5C warming pathway.
€8bn grain stuck in Ukraine
Food supply impacts from the war in Ukraine remain a matter of acute concern. The head of the European Investment Bank Werner Hoyer has warned that €8bn worth of wheat and other grains are in Ukraine unable to be exported because the Russian armed forces have effectively closed the Black Sea – the primary route for the grain to be shipped to market. The country was the 6th largest exporter of wheat in 2021 and the UN has warned that food and animal feed prices will continue to rise – some estimates say more than 20% – with inevitably the poorest impacted the most.
$500m circular plastic fund
As we reported at its launch on 2019, the Alliance to End Plastic Waste
is a $1.5bn cross-industry initiative involving manufacturers, consumer brands and retailers to develop closed loop solutions to limit the amount of plastic in the environment. The alliance now boasts 70 members having launched with 26, and has just announced a $500m circular plastic fund to develop new initiatives to improve recycling infrastructure, collection and sorting, and projects that develop new plastic materials that are more easily recycled.
The Alliance has been subject to criticism, not least when it dropped a flagship oceans plastic initiative in 2020. Greenpeace attacked the group as only being in existence to generate positive headlines and being a front for Big Oil. Certainly, a number of oil companies were founder members – but the alliance has continually pushed back pledging to continue expanding membership to include all sector stakeholders to work together to deal with the plastic pollution challenges. Hopefully the new circular plastic fund will help.
Food sector innovation scaled
Tesco and WWF have moved to the next stage with their new Innovation Connections
accelerator programme, which was featured on the Innovation Forum podcast a couple of months ago. The scheme is designed to help promising sustainability innovations be adapted at scale in food supply chains by identifying Tesco suppliers that can help scale up new ideas and technology. Entrepreneurs have been paired with suppliers to pitch projects applying the new ideas in a real-world context to receive up to £150,000 in funding support. The final pitches have been taking place in May with the winners to be announced shortly. Innovation Forum will be talking to some of them in the next few weeks, so look out for those interviews over the summer.