We live in a context of climate emergency. The last two decades have seen 18 of the hottest years in living memory, and this increase in global temperature is causing changes and extreme weather events, from heat waves to forest fires and floods, effects that are becoming more and more frequent.
In 2015, the European Union signed the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit global warming to 1.5°C, and later committed to becoming the first continent to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 through the European Green Pact, a package of measures that should enable European businesses and citizens to benefit from a sustainable, fair and inclusive transition.
However, despite political efforts to realize this vision, we are not yet on track for carbon neutrality by 2050, and it is up to business to take responsibility for leading this journey, starting with meeting the target of 55% emissions reduction (from 1990 levels) by 2030. Mobilizing business for the transformation needed across all sectors and geographies is the only way to avoid dangerous and irreversible damage to people and the planet.
Companies that recognise the opportunity - and imperative - of decarbonisation will gain a competitive advantage, and a licence to operate in tomorrow's economy. The transformation is gathering pace, however, it is important that companies of different industries and sizes, regardless of the stage of decarbonisation they are at, have guidance, solutions and practices at their disposal, either to start by defining a decarbonisation strategy, or to advance in their journey, namely with the decarbonisation of their value chains.
Learn more about the roadmap to carbon neutrality 2050
What is the role of the working group in this area?
The Carbon Neutrality Working Group was created to empower companies for the necessary transition and help them operationalize the journey to climate neutrality, in alignment with national commitments, by monitoring trends and public policies, and promoting the development and sharing of knowledge on this topic.
- Complete the project "Business Solutions for Carbon Neutrality by 2050": publish the project's final report and host a collaborative event.
- Develop a reflection on market mechanisms for the climate.
- Monitor and contribute to the development of applicable public policies.
- Collaborate with the Journey 2030 working group in the context of Goal 1 of Journey 2030 (decarbonize the economy) and its target (by 2030, the balance of GHG emissions is halved compared to 2015 and a commitment to carbon neutrality is made in 2050).
Membership of the BCSD Portugal working groups is exclusive to member companies.
Business solutions for carbon neutrality by 2050
In the period 2020-2022, the carbon neutrality working group, composed of more than 40 companies, is developing the project "Business solutions for carbon neutrality by 2050". Developed by companies and for companies, this project is a participatory process with a practical sectoral approach that enables and promotes collaboration, sharing of information, experiences and best practices to help companies operationalize their journey to decarbonization by 2050. The main outcomes of the project include:
- A systemic approach with sectoral impact: a collective and comprehensive understanding of the transformations urgently needed for the climate transition.
- A common vision: common multi-sector vision on solutions and opportunities that companies can leverage per sector of activity
- Strategic information for companies: a resource that companies and their partners can use in strategic climate planning and implementation.
- Catalyst for carbon neutrality: inspiration for joint action by companies to promote transformation and unlock opportunities.
The excel file presents a set of over 100 Business Solutions for Carbon Neutrality by 2050, implemented or under development by a group of companies associated with BCSD Portugal. The solutions and decarbonization projects whose information was shared with BCSD Portugal were organized according to the sectors of the Roadmap for Carbon Neutrality 2050 (RNC2050) established for Portugal by the Government (Energy & Industry; Mobility & Transport; Residential & Services; Agriculture, Forestry & Land Use; Waste & Wastewater), and classified according to a set of categories per sector and according to the stage of development they are currently at, given the market entry and the possibility of implementation at scale.
Portugal's paths to decarbonization
The study "Net-Zero Portugal - Portugal's paths to decarbonisation", prepared by McKinsey & Company with the collaboration of BCSD Portugal and the carbon neutrality working group, reveals that Portugal needs to accelerate recent decarbonisation trends, being able to decarbonise faster and at a lower cost than the European Union (EU). The study highlights that the net-zero goal can be achieved before 2050, given the potential for decarbonization at low cost that Portugal has, compared to other European countries, and may contribute to the more efficient decarbonization path of the European Union.
The study estimates that on the lowest cost path, Portugal has the conditions to decarbonize about 50% by 2030 (compared to 1990), and identifies the main levers of decarbonization.
Projeto “Soluções Empresariais para a Neutralidade Carbónica até 2050” (2020-2022)- Principais resultados
Esta informação constitui, assim, um recurso que as empresas e os seus parceiros podem utilizar no planeamento e implementação estratégica em matéria de clima, e através do qual se podem inspirar para a ação conjunta, promover a transformação e desbloquear oportunidades.