Big companies commit to slash emissions ahead of UN climate summit

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will host an emergency summit on Monday in which he will urge world leaders to raise their commitments made in the 2015 Paris climate accord. (File/AFP)
Updated 22 September 2019

Big companies commit to slash emissions ahead of UN climate summit

  • Some companies in the coalition have agreed to slash their carbon emissions to net zero by 2050, including Swiss food company Nestle
  • Others have stopped short of committing to go carbon neutral but say they will align their operations with a goal of limiting the increase in average global temperatures

UNITED NATIONS: Almost 90 big companies in sectors from food to cement to telecommunications are pledging to slash their greenhouse gas emissions in a new campaign to steer multi-nationals toward a low-carbon future, organizers said on Sunday.
We Mean Business, a coalition of advocacy groups, said dozens of companies had joined the initiative in the two months leading up to a United Nations summit taking place on Monday, which aims to spur faster action on climate change.
“Now we need many more companies to join the movement, sending a clear signal that markets are shifting,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement.
The coalition was launched in June with a call to action by the United Nations, business and civil society leaders. The first 28 companies to join announced the following month. We Mean Business said 87 companies are now involved, with total market capitalization of more than $2.3 trillion.
Some companies in the coalition have agreed to slash their carbon emissions to net zero by 2050, including Swiss food company Nestle, French building materials company Saint-Gobain, and French cosmetics maker L’Oreal .
Others have stopped short of committing to go carbon neutral but say they will align their operations with a goal of limiting the increase in average global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius enshrined in the 2015 Paris Agreement.
This group includes Finnish telecoms company Nokia , French food group Danone and British drug maker AstraZeneca Plc, We Mean Business said.
As accelerating climate impacts from melting ice caps to sea-level rise and extreme weather outpace climate models, scientists say the world needs to halve its greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade to avoid catastrophic warming.
With fossil fuel companies still developing new oil and gas fields and many developing countries expanding coal-fired power, the coalition’s pledges are minuscule relative to rising global emissions.
Some experts have questioned whether publicly traded companies committed to maximizing shareholder returns will be able to make the sweeping investments required to fight climate change. Yet many investors have been pressuring companies to act on climate risks, and chief executives also face pressure from an upsurge in youth-led activism, which mobilized millions around the world to protest on Friday.
We Mean Business believes pledges by a core of mostly European, and some North American and Asian companies, to commit to independently-verified emissions targets will prompt others to follow suit.
“These bold companies are leading the way toward a positive tipping point where 1.5°C-aligned corporate strategies are the new normal for businesses and their supply chains around the world,” said Lise Kingo, chief executive of the UN Global Compact, which promotes responsible business practices.
UN chief Guterres sees the private sector as crucial to securing more ambitious pledges at Monday’s Climate Action Summit in New York, which aims to boost the Paris deal before it enters a crucial implementation phase next year.
Companies such as Danish power group Orsted, Spanish energy company Iberdrola and German insurer Allianz are due to speak alongside governments at the one-day gathering, according to a draft agenda.


Saudi Arabia to host region’s largest global gaming tournament

Updated 18 October 2019

Saudi Arabia to host region’s largest global gaming tournament

  • The PMSC World Cup will be staged at Riyadh Front from Dec. 12 to 14
  • 16 teams from the Middle East and North Africa region compete with 16 teams from the rest of the world

RIYADH: Thousands of gamers and fans from around the globe are expected to descend on Saudi Arabia when the Kingdom hosts the prestigious PUBG MOBILE Star Challenge (PMSC) World Cup for the first time later this year.

Taking place in the capital during the Riyadh Season festival of activities, the region’s most popular mobile game will test the skills of a top international field of players.

The PMSC World Cup, set to be staged at Riyadh Front from Dec. 12 to 14, will see 16 teams from the Middle East and North Africa region compete with 16 teams from the rest of the world.

Event organizers are due to officially announce the total prize money up for grabs, but the pot is expected to top more than SR1 million ($267,000).

PUBG MOBILE has taken the world by storm since its release in 2018 with in excess of 400 million downloads. Its involvement in Riyadh Season is being hailed by gaming influencers as further indication of PUBG MOBILE’s commitment to bringing innovative technologies to the region.

PUBG MOBILE is based on “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds,” the phenomenon that took the world of interactive entertainment by storm in 2017. Up to 100 players parachute onto a remote island to fight in a winner-takes-all showdown.

Players must locate and scavenge their own weapons, vehicles and supplies, and defeat every player in a visually and tactically rich battleground that forces contestants into a shrinking play zone.

Decoder

What is PUBG?

PUBG stands for PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. It is an online multiplayer battle royale game developed and published by PUBG Corporation, a subsidiary of South Korean video game company Bluehole.