As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported last year, the temperature of the Earth’s climate is expected to rise 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2040. This doesn’t sound like much, but on a global scale, to could cause a worsening of food shortages, droughts, wildfires, hurricanes, and rising sea levels. The only way to prevent the worst effects of global warming is by reducing CO2 emissions generated by human use of fossil fuels.
The Climate Group reports that in an effort to help reduce global warming, 31 multinational companies have pledged to switch to electric vehicles by 2030. The list of names includes brands like IKEA, DHL, and Bank of America, and accounts for over 2 million vehicles worldwide.
The Climate Group is a British non-profit dedicated to driving companies and governments towards greener alternatives. With offices in London, New York, and New Delhi, the group unveiled their flagship project, “EV 100,” in 2017, an ambitious plan to normalize electric transport worldwide by 2030.
When polled, 95 percent of these companies cited reducing greenhouse gasses as a significant motive for the switch, but they also identified the long-term financial savings as an incentive.
Climate Group CEO Helen Clarkson praised the 31 companies as “forward-thinking.” As more countries pledge to reduce carbon emissions, switching now would effectively reduce future regulatory headaches.
“The private sector has an instrumental part to play in bringing down emissions and cleaning up our air – and there are big opportunities for companies taking action now.”
Thanks to projects like C40, 26 cities will establish “low emission zones” by 2030, and others are likely to follow. These cities cite a 2017 study by the State of Global Air Initiative, which concludes that pollution leads to almost 4.5 million premature deaths a year.
Out of the 31 companies to take the pledge, IKEA has led the charge. The Netherlands’ plan to limit vehicle emissions by 2025 would cost the company access to over 390,000 households, an estimated loss of $30.2 million a year had they not made the switch. The furniture mogul has committed to producing 0% emission deliveries in five major cities by 2020 and already reached that goal in one: Shanghai.
EV100 hasn’t just received support from the private sector. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) also pledged to switch to electric vehicles by 2030, and 50 percent of its fleet will be electric by 2025.
Despite the enthusiasm, the project is not without hurdles. According to the same Climate Group report, the lack of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles is their biggest obstacle and they now plan to incentivize the installation of electric charging ports also by 2030.