The Haga Initiative’s comment on the IPCC Global Warming of 1.5 °C-report

Today, October 8th, the UN climate change panel IPCC published a special report on the global warming of 1.5 °C. Since the pre-industrial time, human activities have caused a nearly 1-degree increase in the temperature globally, and the global warming will reach 1.5 °C sometime between 2030 and 2052 if the current trend continues. The report shows that with a 2-degree increase, the mankind will face significant risks and that we should focus on keeping the global warming below 1.5 °C.

In Sweden, the increase in temperatures will probably be higher than the global average, which will result in longer vegetation periods, shorter snow season and higher risk for extreme temperatures, draughts and rainfalls. In Sweden, the industrial and transportation sectors have the highest carbon emissions and reducing emissions from these sectors is most difficult. However, more ambitious targets can set pressure on these sectors, while rigid long-term policies can help companies go in the right direction.

When the Haga Initiative was founded 8 years ago, our goal was to reduce emissions with 40% by 2020. Several of the member companies of Haga Initiative have reached the goal ahead of time. For that reason, in 2016 we agreed to raise the bar and work to achieve even higher emission reduction by 2030: net zero emissions (Scope 1), only renewable or recycled purchased energy (Scope 2), emissions throughout the value chain identified and reduced in regard to materiality and ownership with a reduction plan in place (Scope 3).

An ambitious long-term political plan is required to successfully reduce our emissions. Common agreements such as Sweden’s climate goals are examples of a political will that strengthens people’s trust in politics. Moreover, it enables companies to reduce their emissions even more effectively.

Carbon Law is another tool that can be used to reduce carbon emissions, which the Haga companies’ experience clearly demonstrates. We must halve emissions every decade to achieve a near-zero emission volume by 2050. In other words, the world must reduce its emissions by approximately 7% annually. However, the developed countries have to keep an even higher pace. If the Haga Iniviative shall achieve its target by 2030, our annual emission reduction should be around 12%.

We can clearly see that the profitability of emission reduction is the reason for our success. The Haga companies have identified following benefits from reducing their emissions:

  • Strengthened brand
  • Employer branding
  • Cost efficiency
  • New products and brands
  • Proactive risk management
  • Improved financing opportunities

We are urging the EU to raise its ambitions. The EU’s long-term climate goals are currently being revised, and together with our partners from other Nordic network, companies and cities we launch a joint appeal and urge the EU:

  • To set the target of net zero emissions by 2050 or earlier, and to consider the conclusions of the IPCC report.
  • Basing on the target, introduce a binding carbon budget for the emissions not covered by the target.
  • To review and synchronize the targets for 2030 and 2040 with the net-zero-emission-target.

Presently, over 50 companies and cities have signed the appeal. Support us in spreading the appeal!

  • The IPCC report on the global warming of 1.5 °C shows that we must reduce our emissions now. The industry plays a key role here. To get companies onboard, there must be a clear linkage between reduced emissions and profitability, and our experience proves that lower emissions lead to financial benefits. Companies should have long-term targets that tell when they can reach net zero emissions. Companies should disclose their climate impact in a transparent way and show how they contribute to the transformation and how they benefit financially from reduced emissions, says Nina Ekelund, Executive Director for the Haga Initiative.

Read the report here