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: Biden, Kerry to tap Amazon, Apple and others for the tech to lower airline, steel and trucking emissions

U.S. climate envoy John Kerry, nearly three dozen large corporations including Apple, Amazon and Boeing, and the World Economic Forum are launching an alliance to build a market for technologies that generate low levels of carbon dioxide.

The First Movers Coalition announced earlier this week by President Biden, and detailed throughout the first week of the U.N.’s COP26 climate summit, aims to help companies set their purchasing plans in a way that will “create new market demand for low-carbon technologies,” the WEF said.

The plan is for industries that may not otherwise have direct access to renewable energy to try to lower their carbon output

“Technology has given us the tools to reduce our emissions and build a stronger and more inclusive economy of the future,” WEF President Borge Brende said. “For innovators and investors to play their part in tackling the climate crisis, they need clear market demand.”

Read: Oil and gas are a ‘subprime carbon bubble’ worth $22 trillion: Al Gore

Purchasing commitments will initially target four hard-to-abate sectors: shipping, aviation, steel and trucking. Four additional sectors will be targeted beginning in 2022.

“The United States and World Economic Forum are launching the First Movers Coalition…[which] is starting with more than two dozen of the world’s largest and most innovative companies. The Coalition represents eight major sectors that comprise 30% of global emissions that we now are dealing with,” Biden said during a speech to COP26 on Tuesday.

“These companies will be critical partners in pushing for viable alternatives to decarbonize these industrial sectors and more,” he added.

Among the companies who have already joined the First Movers coalition are Apple
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-0.11%
,
Amazon
AMZN,
+1.91%
,
Boeing
BA,
-0.64%
,
Boston Consulting Group, AP Møller–Mærsk, Vattenfall, Dalmia Cement, Volvo Group, Fortescue Metals Group and Yara International.

These commitments target new technologies and aim to create a market by 2030 that can be ramped up to achieve decarbonization in 2050. Founding members have made commitments in at least one of these sectors. 

Aviation: Members commit to use emerging technologies including sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) with significant emissions reductions, electric, and hydrogen propulsion for air travel by 2030.

Airlines and air transport companiesset a target of replacing at least 5% of conventional jet fuel demand with SAF that reduces life-cycle GHG emissions by 85% or more when compared with conventional jet fuel, and/or using zero-carbon emitting propulsion technologies by 2030;

Airfare and air freight purchasersset a target of replacing at least 5% of conventional jet fuel demand for air transport with SAF that reduce life-cycle GHG emissions by 85% or more when compared with conventional jet fuel, and/or zero-carbon emitting propulsion technologies by 2030 – in partnership with air transport operators.

Shipping: Members commit to use zero-emission fuels in new and in retrofitted zero-emission vessels by 2030. Carriers set a target that at least 5% of their deep-sea shipping will be powered by zero-emission fuels by 2030, enabled by ships capable of using zero-emission fuels. Cargo owners set a target that at least 10% of the volume of their goods shipped internationally will be on ships using zero-emission fuels by 2030, on the way to 100% by 2040.

Trucking: Members commit to purchase or contract zero-emission medium and heavy-duty vehicles by 2030. These can include battery or fuel-cell electric vehicles and also incorporate renewable sources of electricity and hydrogen for charging. Trucking owners and operators also set a target that at least 30% of their heavy-duty and 100% of their medium-duty truck purchases will be zero-emission trucks by 2030. Retailers & manufacturers set a target that they will require all of their trucking service providers to meet the trucking owners and operators’ commitment by 2030.

Steel: Members commit to purchasing volumes of near-zero emissions steel by 2030. The deployment of breakthrough iron and steelmaking technology is needed to deliver a net-zero steel sector with minimal residual emissions. These technologies include hydrogen direct reduction, carbon capture use and storage, and electrolysis-based production processes. Steel purchasers set a target that at least 10% of their annual steel procurement volumes by 2030 meet or exceed the First Movers Coalition definition for ‘breakthrough steel’.

The remaining sectoral commitments will launch in early 2022.

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