Step Up Declaration Launched to Harness Technology, Reduce Emissions
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Twenty-one companies representing US$750 billion in market capitalization launched the Step Up Declaration during the Global Climate Action Summit.

Signatories to the Declaration aim to catalyze progress on the rapid reduction of GHG emissions across every sector of society, through a series of individual commitments.

The Declaration responds to a challenge issued in May 2018 by Christiana Figueres that urges the technology sector to “step up” its actions on climate change.

14 September 2018: A coalition of 21 companies representing US$750 billion in market capitalization announced the launch of the Step Up Declaration during the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS). The Declaration, which cuts across industries, is dedicated to “harnessing the power of emerging technologies” to reduce carbon emissions.

Companies behind the declaration commit to activate their supply chains, advocate for strengthened political and regulatory mechanisms, and push each other forward as “peers, partners and competitors” with the overarching goal of catalyzing progress on the rapid reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across every sector of society.

The ICT sector can catalyze carbon reduction throughout all sectors of the economy.

The Declaration includes individual commitments made by the 21 signatory companies: Akamai Technologies, Arm, Autodesk, Bloomberg, BT, Cisco Systems, Ericsson, HP, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Lyft, Nokia, Salesforce, Supermicro, Symantec, Tech Mahindra, Uber, Vigilent, VMware, WeWork, Workday and Zoox. Examples include:

  • Arm adopting science-based targets and aiming to reduce emissions by 50% by 2025;
  • BT committing to buy 100% renewable electricity by 2020, and cutting Scope 1 and 2 emissions intensity by 87% by 2030;
  • Salesforce aiming to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2022; and
  • Vigilant aspiring to cut annual carbon emissions by 50 million metric tons by 2025.

As a means of delivering on these goals, the Declaration’s homepage notes that the Fourth Industrial Revolution provides a unique opportunity to decarbonize, leveraging the power of mobile internet, cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). Andy Wales, Chief Digital Impact and Sustainability Officer, BT, emphasized that the company and the broader information and communications technology (ICT) sector can “catalyze carbon reduction throughout all sectors of the economy.” Wales noted that BT’s products alone helped their customers reduce carbon emissions by 11.3 million tons.

The Declaration responds to a challenge issued in May 2018 by Christiana Figueres that urges the technology sector to “step up” its actions on climate change. Both the Declaration and its supporting commitments form part of the GCAS official outcomes. The GCAS convened from 12-14 September 2018 in San Francisco, California, US. [GCAS Press Release] [Step Up Declaration Homepage] [List of GCAS-related Commitments] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on GCAS Outcomes]


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