GS Paper - 3 (Environment)

Climate action is growing across public and private sectors, but more needs to be done to meet the net-zero challenge, the World Economic Forum said in a new study published on 17 January 2022. On the first day of its week-long online Davos Agenda summit, the WEF said 92 countries representing 78 per cent of global emissions have made net-zero commitments at a national level, as against similar pledges till 2019 by only 29 countries accounting for just 10 percent of global emissions. These 92 countries include India.

What the study said

  1. In the past year, corporate action has accelerated, but more needs to be done as only 20 per cent companies both disclose their full value chain emissions and have emissions reduction targets in place.
  2. Besides, only 9 percent of companies achieved an actual emissions reduction last year in line with the 1.5C goal of the Paris Agreement.
  3. The study found that climate leaders can attract and retain better talent, realize higher growth, save costs, avoid regulatory risk, access cheaper capital, and create new sources of value for customers.
  4. The report found half of job seekers are prioritizing sustainability; green alternatives to traditional products are rapidly gaining momentum; and on average companies can reduce nearly 50 per cent of their emissions at no net cost across key sectors.
  5. Specifically, almost all companies can reduce their emissions by 30 per cent at net zero costs to their business and some companies manage to almost fully decarbonize at net zero costs.
  6. The report goes into detail and provides case studies about new debt financing, reducing risk exposure and new business models becoming mainstream.
  7. It also highlights how much full decarbonization will impact the end price of products for consumers.
  8. Prices for food and fashion products will see less than 1 euro increases to their shopping baskets. The average cost of a smartphone would increase by less than 3 euros.