Reuters IMPACT has been carefully curated to address the most critical global issues of the day.
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The energy sector accounts for two-thirds of total greenhouse gas emissions. Impact change by turning momentum into a movement and accelerate efforts to decarbonise the global economy and turn the dial on climate change.
The ability for businesses to adapt to and successfully navigate the energy transition will, without doubt, be a defining factor in the global fight against climate change. How can the energy sector drive towards a low-carbon future, whilst negotiating volatile market prices and navigating both climate risks and opportunities?
All feasible projections of achieving net zero by 2050 recognise that carbon intensive power sources will remain part of the energy mix. How should this carbon be managed? What technology, processes and solutions hold the potential to sustainable capture and store emissions? Are net negative emissions a realistic ambition, or simply a pipedream?
Establishing an international price for carbon could help to shift the burden for climate damage back to those who are responsible for it. But how would such a framework affect developing companies and economies? Is this the most appropriate and just regulatory approach? If not, what are the politics behind, and the viability of, a cross-border adjustment of carbon taxes?
Worldwide, governments face a dual challenge; to feed the growing demand for energy whilst delivering on their climate goals. What obstacles do policy makers ensure that approaches are not contradictory, and align with both long- and short-term business goals?
There are significant differences between regions on their progress to achieving net zero. Whilst climate change represents a global challenge, regional progress and opportunity through the energy transition varies significantly. How can different regions, particularly in the developing world, take advantage of their existing infrastructural, geographical, and physical opportunities, to develop clean energy?
Global development of clean energy technologies has begun to put ‘power’ back into the hand of the consumer. What role will the rise of localised prosumers, who both consume and produce energy, have on the future of clean energy development internationally?
Recognise the biggest future technology opportunities for clean energy, and what will drive them forward. Discuss challenges, pitfalls and financial trials surrounding innovation, including how investors can access the most commercial opportunities.
Globally, all countries have their part to play in ensuring a successful transition; no one can achieve it alone. What part can grassroots innovators play, and what work has already been done in high population density countries to accelerate drive to net zero worldwide?
To achieve net zero, policies must be in place to stimulate renewable generation where the technology is not yet economically viable. What must governments do to drive this in the short- and long-term?
As global financial industries choke off O&G capital and private investment, the shift of global capital markets will formulate business-critical opportunities for other industries. What does this mean for investment into other areas, and in which energy industries can stable returns be guaranteed?
The OECD estimates that $6.9trn is needed to invest in renewable energy infrastructure to align with the Paris Agreement. With the private sector expected to majority-fund the energy transition, which microeconomic conditions will favour this significant shift, and what is the macroeconomic context in which these changes can take place?
It is projected that 60% of the world’s population will live in cities by 2030. Impact change by transforming our built environment and ensure we build clean, inclusive and self-sufficient cities.
Policymakers and cities play a fundamental role in stimulating market drivers that make cities greener. What initiatives helped to create on the most sustainable cities of the world today and how have recent political changes impacted plans to accelerate the “greening” of the global built environment?
To build cities fit for the future, we need to think differently. Rooftop clean energy, flexible multi-function buildings, the restoration of peri-urban wetlands, and underground and/or communal farming are just some of the changes that will be coming. With collaboration and collective vision, we can leave a legacy fit for the future but what does the roadmap look like to achieve this?
The Circular economy is a requisite to a clean and low-carbon city of the future. This shift will create wholesale changes to how buildings are built – from the materials that are produced through to how they are used. The big question remains, how will this transition impact ‘City Life’ for both commercial and personal purposes, and at what costs?
The urban waste problem is reaching unprecedented proportions. Smarter approaches to recycling and resource recovery are now essential. How can business play its part to encourage and educate the public, whilst developing and adapting the current built environment and at what cost?
We need to rethink our cities and make sure they are an inclusive, equitable and positive place for all. While we drive progress in greening the built environment, can answers be provided to the social aspect of the urban revolution and how can we ensure that cities are ready for diversion, that social cohesion is improved, and job creation stimulated??
With so many market opportunities in development and retrofitting the built environment, how can we better mitigate risk and utilize smart data sets to improve decision making when financing smart cities? Will public-private partnership change the current market dynamics? And, most importantly, who should be paying premium for sustainable buildings?
We may need to rethink what the remote-work footprint really is, especially if it remains in place. The notion of remote, digital working as a climate mitigation strategy has its unintended environmental consequences. How can companies with a heavy work-from-home infrastructure make substantial strides to reduce their impact?
A new era is unfolding where sustainable “urbanism” is increasingly becoming data driven. How can we best use (and ethically share) existing data to highlight inefficiencies and efficiency gains accelerate the transformation of our cities? How can we ensure there is greater connectivity between the private and public sectors to better use and understand data?
The SDG 11.2 ambition is to provide access to safe, accessible and sustainable transport for all by 2030, with only 50% of the world having such access at present. Business has a direct Impact on how society travels and how goods are transported. A renewed approach is required to help meet the Global Goals.
Accelerated by the pandemic, we have seen a rise in single car ownership in developing countries. Providing equitable and sustainable mass transit solutions, will demand heavy financing for infrastructural, energy storage and behavioural change. What influence do various approaches have on the climate resilience, the quality of public transport, passenger safety and enhancing institutional capacity in the transport sector?
Redesigning urban infrastructure for interoperable, shared, and sustainable zero emission transport is key to reducing unnecessary travel across cities and lowering emissions. Achieving this requires urban redesign, regulation and new policy setting to incentivize and change behaviour. How can increased physical and digital connectivity help to boost resilience to both health and climate shocks, whilst improving urban sustainability and liveability?
A sustainable transport evolution remains a critical enabler for the economy and society. Modal and regional siloes are a significant barrier to achieving integrated outcomes for the transport system. How can we take a ‘whole system’ approach – one not bound by different types of transport mode – to achieve government goals and what wider benefits can be realised?
Pressure on OEMs to reduce emissions has dramatically increased in recent years. Among the new measures are the EU Sustainable Finance framework and the Green New Deal. In the US, the election of the Biden administration will refocus attention on decarbonisation of the car industry there. How are OEMs working together to crack down on emissions throughout the supply chain to meet targets on time?
While huge federal infrastructure investment on the table, pressure to hasten the transition from ICE to EVs is intensifying. How are States, DOTs, cities, and carmakers providing regulatory clarity, effective incentives, political constancy of purpose, and consumer confidence?
The electrification of buses, heavy duty trucks and ships than batteries is crucial for decarbonising freight. But how economically viable are alternative fuel vehicles and what are the costs of the supporting infrastructure?
Over the past decade, in large part due to the rapid growth of Internet shopping, the ‘last mile’ has become dominated by the smaller diesel vans with a major effect on urban air quality and traffic congestion. There is a responsibility and an opportunity for cities and the ‘last mile’ supply chain to collaborate and create an integrated, clean, and sustainable delivery system – but how can this be achieved in line with commercial imperatives?
Aviation was one of the fastest-growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions before the pandemic struck. The airline industry received high profile government scrutiny as travel halted and pressure increased to invest heavily in zero emission technologies. How can we set standards and present a pathway to dramatically lower emissions as passenger travel remerges?
High speed rail presents huge decarbonization potential but is offset by huge renewable and sustainable energy supply requirements, and monumental costs – both financial and environmental. How can high speed rail prove itself as a long-term sustainable mode of transport when taking a full impact approach and considering infrastructure project costs?
Shipping is critical to our global economies but could represent some 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, if left unchanged. Which measures, across shipping and ports, could reduce its contribution to climate change? How can standards improve to drive improvements and how much more fuel efficient will EEDI ships have to be, and by when?
Whilst 50% of the world’s GDP is at moderate or severe risk due to nature loss, food accounts for over a quarter of global CO2 emissions. Business will have a critical Impact on whether we deliver a healthy global population whilst rebuilding a healthy planet.
Large food production and commodity trading must change to put a value on environment impact, not just commodity pricing. How can business drive system level change in the food system to bring it to the centre of the sustainability discussion?
Global food systems produce enough food to feed everyone, but nearly one third of food produced in the world for human consumption is lost or wasted every year. This has huge impacts on the environment. How should business be reducing on-farm waste and supply chain spoilage. And how can they better match supply with consumer demand to minimise loss?
Driving consumer engagement and awareness on purchasing choices will have huge implications on our ability to meet the 2050 Net Zero goal. From the food we eat and the clothes we buy to the demand for new technology and unconscious waste of packaging, a more educated society can bring about transformative change. Whose responsibility is it and how can companies help harness their power to lead these efforts?
Feeding a growing and increasingly affluent population is clashing with efforts to conserve habitat and natural resources. Sustainable intensification, an effort to increase crop yields with fewer inputs and without expanding land use, seeks to balance these priorities. But is this realistic and what is it going to take to make it a reality?
Regenerative agriculture promises climate change mitigation, increased profit for farmers and greater resilience to a changing climate. As we progress towards a regenerative agricultural system, questions must be asked around whether this is our best chance to improve soil health and deliver large scale carbon sequestration, and how should it be funded and incentivised?
Carbon sequestration is at the forefront of many discussions. Is there a role for gene-editing and other bio-revolutionary techniques to teach plants to use more carbon and increase efficiency and yields. And how can we improve long entrenched fertilization techniques beyond increasing chemical inputs?
Tackling deforestation and encouraging reforestation is arguably one of the biggest topics of the climate debate, right now. But what types of trees and numbers suffice – is reforestation the silver bullet it purports to be? Companies have to freeze their land footprint and become more efficient with the land they have. How can business lead the way in the path to not only stopping deforestation, but also developing regenerative techniques?
How can business play its part in creating and restoring natural habitats while assisting with key government frameworks? Ideas such as the creation of new coastal wetlands, the restoration of river catchments that reduce flood risk and the creation of new woodlands and peatlands that support carbon sequestration have been tabled… but where and how does business fit in?
It has been discussed that businesses role in creating access to a clean, affordable, and reliable supply of water lie in three sets of actions and be a part of its commitment to help tackle the water crisis - Water management, Water stewardship, Water advocacy. How has this evolved and what is next, for business?
It is estimated that $6.9 trillion a year investment in infrastructure is required, up to 2030, to meet climate and development objectives. Both finance and corporate investments need to be re-aligned so that they deliver meaningful Impact and help accelerate our transition to a low-carbon future.
Current legislation and regulation exacerbates unsustainable investment behaviour. The amoral markets require reshaping to be rid of inefficiencies and failures. Systematic reform of the financial system to promote sustainable outcomes is needed – but how, realistically, can this be achieved?
Governments and policy makers need to create price mechanisms that pay the cost of climate change. Is a global tax on carbon achievable and what are its implications on the value of businesses?
There has been a surge in debt in low- and middle-income countries during the pandemic. A shift in policy is required to put indebted developing countries in a position to tackle climate change and ensure a green and inclusive recovery – but is this achievable, and at what impact to those countries?
The investment markets need to play their role in driving the transition towards a low carbon, or carbon free future. Asset Owners and Asset Managers are responding by committing to net zero targets by 2050. How will they affect the decarbonization of economies?
The oil and gas industries are instrumental in the transition from fossil fuels, but negative screening and divestment is not the answer. How can we manage the economic impacts of the low carbon transition on the fossil fuel industry and their stakeholders?
To tackle the global problem of climate change, investment is needed in the emerging markets, but it is not where its flowing. How can business get money moving in emerging markets that will help to move them away from carbon intensive activities, on all fronts, and into a Net Zero reality?
Achieving net zero by 2050 requires an estimated $1-2 trillion a year of additional investments. A lot of the investments made in the next 5 years will be made to mitigate impacts in the next 30 years. What are the imbalances between investment and the future risk that we are trying to avoid, and how can we drive more momentum in short term investments?
The Taskforce for Climate Related Financial Disclosures recommendations are still in the early phases of adoption. But many agree it will have a big impact on how investment decisions are made in the coming years. Traditionally financial reporting has been backward looking, but that will change – but by how much and when?
The impacts of climate change is increasing the inequality gap worldwide. The transition must be just. How can we the private and public sector work together to deliver positive social benefits and mobilize the money to achieve it?