Michelin: committed to the climate and the COP23

COP23?

After Paris in 2015 and Marrakesh last year, this year it is the German city of Bonn’s turn to host the 23rd United Nations Climate Conference, from November 6 to 17. It is an opportunity for the international community to take stock of the Paris agreements signed in December 2015, which came into effect in November 2016. It is also an opportunity for the different organizations, international bodies, NGOs, cities, states and businesses involved to remind us of the urgency needed to contain global warming. Committed to this cause, Michelin will once again play an active role in the debate. 

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Over the ten days of the COP23, the question of climate change will be at the heart of all discussions. Discussions where Michelin will play a key role through the coalition of non-governmental organizations in the transport sector: Paris Process Mobility and Climate (PPMC).

Initiated by the Michelin Group at the COP21, the PPMC global platform focuses around 3 key challenges:

  1. improve air quality
  2. fight global warming through carbon-free transport
  3. promote energy transition

In Bonn, the PPMC will promote concrete solutions for clean mobility, including hydrogen-based technologies.

It will also be an opportunity for the Michelin Group, through the voice of its president Jean-Dominique Sénard, to reaffirm its commitment to provide products and services which are part of a circular economy to promote better mobility.

Our vision

Effective as of November 4, 2016, the Paris agreement aims to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions to restrict global warming to 2°C by 2100 compared to the preindustrial era (1870).

To translate this agreement into concrete actions, cooperation between private and public organization is more than ever the key to this fight against global warming. The transport sector is particularly concerned and Michelin aims to be a driving force in the field.

Michelin’s role: show the way...

Respecting the commitments of the COP21 in the field of transport, which represents 15% of carbon emissions, means reducing vehicle fuel consumption and also generalizing “clean” solutions such as electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cells.

Michelin and hydrogen:
As a major operator in sustainable mobility, Michelin is convinced that hydrogen is essential to quickly roll-out carbon-free transportation. In this regard, hydrogen technology is a key part of Michelin’s sustainable growth strategy: in terms of tire services and solutions, through the maintenance for these new vehicles, particularly for fleets, and also in the group’s materials expertise as the hydrogen battery is a mass of high-tech materials. Since 2014, the Group has been a shareholder of Symbio FCell, a pioneer of the fuel cell and inventor of the first battery life extender for hybrid vehicles (electricity - hydrogen). In 2016, Engie joined Michelin as Symbio FCell shareholders. Michelin has already accrued expertise in these technologies and plans to go much farther.

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By continuously improving the energy performances of its tires, Michelin aims to reduce the effect of tires on fuel consumption and increase the battery life of electric vehicles.

For Michelin, this ambition first became concrete in 1992 with the first low consumption tire, the so-called “green” tire.

Since then and thanks to continuous investment in research and development amounting to 600 million euros a year, the 6th generation of the green tire, ever more economical, is now available on the market. We are confirming our commitment to reduce the carbon footprint of our tires by 20% by 2030. This commitment does not take into account changes in cars that will happen over the coming years with the generalization of electric vehicles, thanks in particular to fuel cells.

We are also working to improve the life-span of our tires by guaranteeing our customers constant performance levels, particularly in terms of safety, from the first to the last mile. Objective: avoid premature replacement, the unnecessary and unjustified annual production of 100 million tires and the emission of 40 million tons of CO2. The reduction of CO2 emissions associated with the use of our products is an integral part of our strategy and is a natural extension of our ambition to help customers reduce the number of tires needed to travel a given number of miles.
At the same time, we want to halve the CO2 emissions from our factories by focusing on using renewable energies. Finally, we are setting up ambitious rubber tree plantation programs, supported by equivalent reforestation in native forests. With a triple benefit: guarantee our supply of raw materials, fight deforestation and absorb some of the CO2 in the atmosphere thanks to the rubber trees which are genuine carbon sinks.

...and federate initiatives

To effectively fight greenhouse gas emissions, real public-private partnership is required today. For example, a carbon price must be fixed. This value must be universal to avoid any skewed competition between industries depending on their production sites. This is a cause Michelin defends through its participation in the World Bank’s Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition. And, as we wait for the emergence of a global carbon market, we are preparing the future... Since 2016, we have been experimenting with an internal carbon price for our own investment projects, on the basis of €50 per ton.

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It is up to the private sector to invent and deploy sustainable mobility. It must devise the products and services which will help generalize clean vehicles and develop intelligent transport systems. And the products and services anticipating the future challenges of urban mobility, as 70% of the world’s population will be living in cities by 2050. All sector operators must get involved and work together towards the shared objective.

Sustainable mobility is part of Michelin’s reason for being. Through its initiatives, our Group plays a federating role, which we would like to extend to ever more partners. This is why the MCB Open Lab, successor to the Michelin Challenge Bibendum, built a prospective and collaborative ecosystem federating 150 stakeholders around intelligent transport, autonomous vehicles and inclusive mobility, working for sustainable mobility.

Horizon 2050...

Since the COP21, transport operators committed to sustainable mobility have had a banner behind which they can unite: the Paris Process on Mobility and Carbon (PPMC), the SloCaT alliance (Sustainable Low Carbon Transport Partnership, a partnership with NGOs and the UN) and Michelin Challenge Bibendum which is now OpenLab/Movin’On.

Bolstered by the 150 organizations and businesses it federates, the PPMC was the voice of the transport sector at the COP21 and COP22 and will still play this role throughout the COP23, preparing a road map to a carbon-free transport sector for 2050.

Presented for the first time at the COP22 in 2016 in Marrakesh, further enriched for the COP23, this road map deeply engages the PPMC (and Michelin) in the international climate negotiations.

By the COP24 which will be held in Katowice, Poland in 2018, the ambition is to create a common framework for public authorities and private operators to help

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Our ambition for 2030

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Global vehicle ownership is expected to have doubled and reach 2 billion by 2050. To help fight against global warming, it is mandatory to reduce cars’ greenhouse gas emissions. Michelin develops new technologies and services to provide more sustainable everyday mobility.