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Sustainability 30 September 2022

Climate Week NYC 2022: Progress but more action needed

From 19th-24th September the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York through the UN Foundation, brought together world leaders and key stakeholders from all sectors to discuss how to collectively solve the shared problems of our time — and create a more sustainable and just future for all. In parallel to UN General Assembly, Climate Week NYC and many other UNGA events such as the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, WEF Sustainable Development Impact Summit and the UN Global Compact Private Sector Forum took place. Together these events make this week one of the biggest and busiest for dialogues around climate, and a key moment in the build-up to the next United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in November.

Ingka Group, through CEO, Jesper Brodin, CSO Karen Pflug and Acting Climate & Energy Leader, Franziska Barmettler attended and joined other partners to advocate for climate action and accelerate the just transition to net-zero.

Climate Week is an important moment for us where we together with partners and other businesses work  for a positive change when it comes to people and the planet. We know that business action alone won’t solve the climate crisis – we need to work together across governments and civil society to move the needle in the right direction. We see an increased engagement in the climate topic and I’m optimistic long-term and mid-term, however worried from a short-term perspective as we in the light fo the energy crisis need more action and speed, now, to create a systematic change”, says Jesper Brodin, CEO, Ingka Group.

We are stubborn optimists and in spite of many other ongoing challenges in the world, we will double our efforts to stay the track of the 1.5°C-degree target and lead the climate crisis with the highest level of urgency,” he concludes.

Over the week there was plenty of enthusiasm regarding the potential impact of the new US Inflation Reduction Act in the US, that was enacted just before Climate Week, but also some question on potential trade implications. The new act will provide provisions pertaining to climate change mitigation, clean energy, and energy innovation. The topic of energy – both the short-term crisis and the long-term transition – was part of all discussions. Solving the short-term crisis, it is important that business and governments continue to accelerate the transition towards renewable energy, increase energy efficiency, and support the many people. The week also saw the launch of EV100+, a new zero emission road transport leadership commitment on heavy-duty vehicles, to transition to zero-emission electric trucks by 2040.

Ingka Group also contributed to a new report that was published called Getting Going: Breaking through the barriers to corporate climate action, which aims to provide a toolkit for driving corporate climate action that identifies a framework of four core enablers to drive real-world progress by businesses. Finally, as part a World Resource Institute event, that assessed global progress on food loss and waste, Ingka Group was pleased to announce that its IKEA stores surpassed its 2017 goal of a 50% reduction in combined production food.

Bold government policies and business commitments reinforce each other, together taking climate action to the next level. Events such as Climate Week are therefore important gatherings for policy makers and business leaders from across sectors to discuss priorities, challenges, and opportunities. During the week, we stressed the need for clear goals, harmonised and consistent standards together with infrastructure investment in line with 1.5°C” says Karen Pflug, Chief Sustainability Officer, Ingka Group.  

It’s clear that climate change is no longer a problem of the future. We need to accelerate action to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change and at the same adapt to the reality of a 1.1°C world. At IKEA we remain strongly committed to reducing our own climate footprint in line with science and optimistic that through collaboration, we can transition to a net-zero society that is better for all”she says.

IKEA is committed to the Paris Agreement and to contribute to limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. This includes a commitment to become climate positive by 2030*, through reducing more greenhouse gas emissions than the total IKEA value chain emits, while growing the business. We also have a commitment to reach net-zero by 2050 at the latest. IKEA is currently updating their climate targets in alignment with the new SBTi Net-Zero Standard.

Entering this critical decade for climate action, Ingka Group, the largest IKEA franchisee, has committed to expanding its investments in renewable energy to EUR 6.5 billion as the next step towards 100% renewable energy across the value chain. Since April it has announced a series of new onshore and offshore renewable energy investments in Germany, Spain, Poland and Sweden.

Here are some of the actions connected to the transition of energy and transport that Ingka Group raised during meetings, relevant policy conversations and panel discussions – and will advocate for beyond Climate Week:

  • From governments we welcome actions such as:
    • setting greenhouse gas reduction goals in line with 1.5, as well as targets for renewable energy, energy efficiency, the phase out of fossil fuels, zero emission vehicles
    • breaking down barriers e.g. ending fossil fuels subsidies
    • encouraging and promoting renewable energy sources and zero emission urban mobility
    • simplifying regulations e.g. for businesses and consumers to generate and consume onsite renewable energy, speeding up permitting processes for large renewable energy projects, such as windfarms
    • incentivising renovation and retrofitting of public and private buildings incl. insulation and heating and cooling
    • investing in EV charging infrastructure and public transport, as well as the necessary infrastructure and grid readiness for renewable energy expansion
    • setting a carbon price at corporate level
    • supporting communities and ecosystems that are impacted by the climate crisis and invest in training and skills needed for the transition
  • At IKEA we encourage other business to do the same – we have set goals, developed transition plans, and drive science-based action aligned with 1.5, we collaborate across sectors and transparently report on progress.
  • We need to all collaborate on internationally harmonized sustainability reporting standards that are clear, fit for purpose, simple to implement, and interoperable among each other so companies report in a meaningful way that will create lasting change.

Click here to read more on the main climate actions and announcements from Climate Week 2022.

Read more about Ingka Group’s sustainability performance and commitments in the Annual & Sustainability Summary report and Climate Change advocacy | Ingka Group.

*IKEA is committed to the Paris Agreement and to contribute to limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. This includes a commitment to halve the absolute net GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions from the total IKEA value chain by 2030. We will achieve this by drastically reducing GHG emissions through science-based targets and by removing carbon from the atmosphere through natural processes and storing it in land, plants and products through better forest and agriculture management within the IKEA value chain. We will contribute to further greenhouse emission reductions in society by going beyond IKEA, such as enabling customers to generate renewable energy at home. Read more about the IKEA commitment here.

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