Global Briefing: China tops three million EV sales in 2021

Flanders moves to ban gas boilers, GFANZ launches new Asia-Pacific network, and New Zealand steps up efforts to tackle agricultural emissions

China tops EV market league table, as global demand continues to surge

A new league table has highlighted how the global electric vehicle market is continuing to rapidly expand, with China seeing sales of zero emission models top three million units last year. However, it is Norway and Sweden that continue to lead the world on a per capita basis with 287 and 135 sales per 100,000 people, respectively.

The new analysis from electric vehicle subscription service Elmo confirms that China remains the largest EV market by sales, with nearly 3.4 million units sold last year. In contrast, Germany in second place sold just 690,000 EVs last year, just ahead of the US in third place.

However, on a per capita basis it is European markets that are seeing EVs command the highest levels of market share. Norway tops the per capita league table, followed by Sweden, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, and the UK.

The Netherlands ranked as the top country ‘best prepared’ for the EV switch, with 76 charging points per 10,000 capita.

“The transition to electrified, consumer transport is gaining pace and is now inevitable,” said Olly Jones, co-founder at elmo. “It is interesting to see the shift from a global perspective and to compare the UK’s position in the race to decarbonise the transport sector.”

 

Flanders pulls forward ban on new gas boilers

Belgium’s Flanders has become the latest region to move to accelerate the shift away from fossil gas boilers, with the state government this week announcing it plans to pull forward a ban on the installation of gas boilers in new homes by one year by one year to 2025

The Brussels Times reported that in practice the change to the rules meat that fuel oil boilers will no longer be allowed in new buildings from 2022, while natural gas connections will not be permitted in new buildings from 2026.

The move follows similar moves in recent weeks in Germany and the Netherlands to ban the sale of new gas boilers altogether in a bid to curb reliance on gas imports from Russia.

 

GFANZ launches new Asia-Pacific Network

The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) has this week launched a new network in Asia-Pacific and opened an office in Singapore in a bid to help financial institutions across the region accelerated their net zero strategies.

The group, which was launched at last year’s COP26 Climate Summit and counts many of the world’s largest banks and investors amongst its members, works with financial institutions to develop credible strategies that can deliver net zero emission portfolios by mid-century.

The new Asia-Pacific Network and advisory board aims to provide direct support and advice to companies across the region, as they look to cut emissions from their portfolios.

“The world cannot address climate change without finance,” said GFANZ co-chair Mark Carney. “Similarly, the global financial system cannot do its fair share without the leadership of the Asia-Pacific financial institutions. Our new APAC Network, Advisory Board and Singapore office will bring Asian finance to the heart of GFANZ to help solve this global challenge.”

GFANZ said it is to launch additional regional networks in Africa and Latin America in the coming months, with secretariat staff distributed across all major continents to reflect the global nature of the group.

“Financial markets in the Asia Pacific region helped jump-start the growth of sustainable investment around the world,” said GFANZ co-chair Michael Bloomberg. “As home to fast-growing harness with enormous potential for clean energy investment, the region plays a critical role in the global effort to confront climate change. The GANZ APAC Network and its Advisory Board will help leadership and innovation from around the region. “

 

New Zealand farmers set out carbon pricing proposals

A group of farmers in New Zealand have submitted plans to the government that would see a imposed price on agricultural greenhouse gas emissions.

The Guardian reported that the He Waka Eke Noa group had backed the proposals, after Jacinda Ardern’s government passed legislation that would see the farming industry incorporated into the country’s emissions trading scheme is alternative decarbonisation proposals were not brought forward by the industry.

The proposals remain contentious with some grassroots still voically opposed to new environmental regulations and the prospect of a new emissions pricing regime.

However, with farming the largest single source of emissions in New Zealand the government is under pressure to introduce policies to simply curb the sector’s impact and farming leaders argued it was better to co-operate with Ministers to develop a new plan than extend the country’s emissions trading scheme.

“We believe that would be disastrous and that’s what drove us to finding a better solution,” Andrew Morrison, chairman of Beef + Lamb NZ was quoted as saying.

 

Kenyan green buildings deliver $5m in savings

More than $5m is being saved annually in utility costs throughout Kenya because of green building modifications and designs that allow for large-scale energy efficiencies, new research has shown.

The figures, which were released by the Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGA) initiative, relate directly to buildings within Kenya that have secured a green building certification though the group.

“These figures demonstrate how green buildings can generate a dramatic reduction in power usage which equates to impressive monetary savings,” said Dennis Papa Odenyi Quansah, the Green Building Lead for Kenya, Ghana, and Nigeria, at IFC, which has supported the EDGE initiative . “The reduction in utility costs can often exceed the initial design and construction outlay and have a reasonably quick return on investment.

“Green can now be delivered at price buildings compared to those for conventional buildings which means we’re seeing a rise in the number of affordable homes now becoming EDGE certified in Kenya, as well as student accommodation.”

 

California unveils new Methane Accountability Program

California Governor Gavin Newsom has this week unvailed wide-ranging new plans to crackdown on methane emissions in the world’s fifth largest economy.

The proposed Methane Accountability Program aims to deliver sustained monitoring and pinpoint quantification of methane communities super-emitters, as well as new powers to help communities and regulators to address local air quality and health impacts from potential exposure to co-emitted toxic pollutants that otherwise remain undetected. .

Newsom has assigned $100m for the Methane Accountability Program in his latest budget, which will support plans for a network of remote satellite monitoring to detect ‘super-emitters’.

The country was broadly welcomed by green groups. “We emphatically applaud Governor Newsom and the state of California’s investment in methane emissions reduction,” said Marcelo Mena, CEO of the Global Methane Hub – a global alliance of over 20 leading philanthropies and organizations dedicated to reducing global methane emissions by more than 30 per per cent cent by the year 2030. “Reducing methane emissions is the fastest, most effective way to reduce global warming – the Methane Accountability Program is just the latest example of California tackling climate change intelligently and decisively.”

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