New report suggests faster net zero can be achieved alongside circular economy

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FIDIC’s head of economic and strategic policy, Graham Pontin, has told a global audience what the latest research means for net zero and beyond.

COP26 will see global leaders, industries and individuals meet to once again discuss climate change and ask important questions such as are we doing enough? This is the focus of a new research report by international engineering federation, FIDIC.

FIDIC head of economic and strategic policy, Graham Pontin, told the global launch event: “Following the latest August 2021 IPCC AR 6 report, it is becoming increasingly clear that not only is meeting the SDGs important, but efforts may need to go significantly beyond 2030 targets. This is where the understanding of net zero and commitments to zet zero emissions are increasingly important.”

“Looking at country commitments to net zero there is a positive trend with 136 countries, with a combined population of over five billion individuals, setting target dates. Of these, however, only 26 (approximately 19%) have plans in place to meet these target dates.”

There is more optimism to be found in the efforts of major companies, however.

“Looking at companies, the Energy Climate Intelligence Unit lists 419 companies which have made net zero commitments of which 212 (approximately 50%) have published plans to meet these targets,” said Graham.

“Most companies are targeting a 2050 date but there is a far greater variation than the country targets which ranged from 2030 up to 2060. For example, 52 companies have targets prior to 2020 and so should already be operating at their net zero target.”

As such, the report proposes the world to get behind a new and ambitious target that works with net zero to create a complimentary 2060 net resource target.

Graham Pontin explained: “Resources should be used and continue to be used in a way where the use, creation and/or need of materials, products and services are designed to eliminate waste in the first place and generate minimal detrimental effect on the need for additional resources in the future.”

The new report therefore makes four recommendations:

  1. Net zero needs to me more ambitious – 2045
  2. Those that can move faster, including companies and developed nation, need to
  3. It is time for the world to get behind a new ambitious target that works with net zero but is not solely about carbon. There are other resources we will need to ensure we use in the most productive and sustainable ways
  4. Industry needs to stand up to its role and lead the way, through bold statements like the forthcoming FIDIC Climate Change Charter.

To read the full Net Zero – What next? report, click here.