As 2024 begins, the urgency to act on the climate crisis intensifies. The fifth National Climate Assessment released in early November 2023, revealed a disturbing trend of increasing billion-dollar weather and climate disasters in the United States, setting a record of over $73 billion this year alone. With global emissions and temperatures rising, the economic toll of climate change is set to escalate.
The world is at a pivotal moment for ambitious climate action from investors, companies, and governments, with calls for increased investment in clean technology.
As the largest contributor of global greenhouse gas emissions, the transportation sector stands as a crucial linchpin. Reducing emissions from transportation is essential for achieving targets established by the Paris Agreement and for the companies’ continued competitiveness, as the automotive market globally ramps up the shift to an all-electric future.
This is why Ceres signed the Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV) Declaration last year, which is spearheading a transformative shift to 100% zero-emission car and van sales in leading markets by 2035 and globally by 2040. Ceres subsequently joined the Accelerating to Zero (A2Z) Coalition Steering Committee, whose members are together committed to supporting and growing the number of ZEV Declaration signatories. The Committee oversees outreach and engagement, hosts events, and leads recruitment efforts on behalf of the Coalition.
The Ceres Ambition 2030 initiative was created to meet the urgency of this moment by working to decarbonize six of the largest emitting sectors in our economy, to help them address the risks they face from the impacts from a warming climate and take advantage of the opportunities of a low-carbon economy. In addition to pledging commitments to no longer mine new sources of fossil fuels and move away from existing sources, it is crucial that we work to decarbonize the ways we travel.
Member companies of the Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance, organized by Ceres, plan to order over 330,000 zero-emission vehicles in the next five years. This shift in corporate commitment is echoed by industry giants like Uber and Amazon, actively contributing to the electrification of their fleets. However, the road to a sustainable future demands stronger commitments from corporate fleet owners, banks, the insurance industry, companies, and investors. Committing to ZEVs by 2040 is not only a climate-conscious decision, but a strategic one as companies stand to save on fuel and maintenance costs while meeting their climate goals.
This is why the A2Z Coalition is rallying companies, investors, banks, insurance industry leaders, fleet operators, governments, and NGOs to sign the ZEV Declaration and join 225+ other signatories from across the economy. With the clock ticking and the 1.5°C temperature threshold on the horizon, the need for action from the entire transportation value chain is becoming more critical than ever.
In the pursuit of a clean energy future and healthier communities, the transportation industry must pave the way forward. The unwavering support from industry leaders will serve as a catalyst for inspiring change on a global scale. It resonates across diverse markets and regions, encouraging stakeholders to take decisive action against climate risks. The ripple effect extends beyond corporate boardrooms, ensuring a just transition for workers and communities most affected by the looming climate crisis. The time to drive change is now, and the road to a sustainable future runs straight through the heart of the transportation industry.