Continental makes zero-carbon tracks

By We Mean Business coalition | September 4, 2020

The transition to a zero-carbon transport system continued to accelerate this month, with one of the world’s largest tyre makers committing to set a science-based emission reduction target. The move demonstrates that key elements of the auto supply chain can and are being decarbonized, enabling the growing number of major automakers committed to bold climate action to deliver against their targets.  

Multinational German automotive parts maker Continental is the latest to step forward, this month committing to set a science-based target (SBT) through the Science Based Target initiative. 

As well as committing to an SBT, Continental is already committed to sourcing 100% renewable electricity across its entire global operations by 2030, with RE100, the initiative led by the Climate Group in partnership with the CDP. 

Continental has also pledged to be 100% climate neutral by 2050. As part of this they plan the use of electricity from renewable sources in all production sites by the end of 2020, have CO2-neutral production by the end of 2040 and a CO2-neutral value chain by the end of 2050. 

These commitments to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon transport future together with moves from many of the world’s largest automakers to electrify their fleets and cut emissions, sends a powerful signal. The transport sector is adapting and evolving – primarily to address the urgent need to act on air pollution and climate change whilst also meeting the growing demand for electric vehicles (EVs). 

Corporate buyers of cars continue to signal their growing demand for EVs through the Climate Group’s EV100. To date over 80 companies have joined EV100 with a commitment to accelerate the transition to EVs and make electric transport the new normal by 2030. 

The early movers in the automotive industry were companies such as Volvo, Volkswagen and Daimler – of which Daimler pledged an investment of $11.7 billion to bring all-electric vehicles (EVs) to market and electrify its entire Mercedes‑Benz portfolio by 2039

Continental joins other leading automakers including PSA Group, Groupe Renault and Mercedes-Benz AG, which all have approved science-based targets, while Toyota Motor Corporation and Nissan Motor have committed to set targets. BMW is the most recent company to commit to set an SBT, also announcing their science-based target this month.

Companies are urged to help accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon transport future. For companies involved in the production of vehicles and related supply chain products, this means setting a bold science-based target aligned with limiting global warming to a maximum of 1.5ºC and reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest. For companies operating fleets of corporate vehicles, this means committing to transition that fleet to EVs and support charging infrastructure with EV100. 


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