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Halving Emissions By 2030 Is New Normal – Race To Zero Anniversary

UN Climate Change News, 15 June 2021
–Over 4,500 non-state actors from across the
global economy have committed to halving emissions by 2030,
joining the UN-backed Race
to Zero
campaign. These actors from over 92 countries
recognise the value and the imperative of racing to a
zero-carbon economy to build a healthier, safer, cleaner,
more resilient world for generations to come.

One year
since its launch, the campaign has seen a tenfold increase
in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), a fivefold
increase in the number of financial institutions and now
includes 40% of FTSE100 companies, almost 1000 cities and
over 600 educational institutions committed to credible
climate action. Major new joiners include Google and
Microsoft (through Exponential Roadmap Initiative), Apple,
Pfizer and ENGIE (through Business Ambition for 1.5C); JLL
and Visa (through The Climate Pledge), Minas Gerais through
Under2; Nashik through Cities Race to Zero, and many more.
See here
for a full list of Partners and their

Patricia Espinosa, Executive
Secretary of the UNFCCC
, said: “At COP26 the
world must lay the ground for a decade of transformational
climate action. What the Race to Zero has shown – in just
one year – is that there is unprecedented momentum among
non-state actors to achieve that goal and deliver the
promise of the Paris Agreement as rapidly as

I applaud the more than 4,500
companies, cities, regions, financial, educational and
healthcare institutions that have joined, and urge the rest
of the world to join us as we work to halve emissions by

Non-state actors are already delivering

With less than five months left until COP26,
actors are racing to implement their commitments to provide
our best hope of delivering on the promise of the Paris
. Decarbonising as fast as possible is not only
a societal obligation, but crucially a commercial
expectation and the only future path to

Alok Sharma, COP26
said: “In just over a year,
the Race to Zero has become the gold standard for ambitious
climate action and I am proud to be joining the UNGC and
world leaders to mark this anniversary. We all need to work
together to make the necessary changes and we know action
from companies encourages bold commitments from countries.
This clear display of support for ambitious climate action
across the global economy is critical to delivering a
successful COP26 and to limiting the global temperature rise
to 1.5C.”


· Even despite the
Covid-19 Pandemic, over 3,000 hospitals in 37 healthcare
institutions are racing to halve emissions by 2030. The Hospital Cliìnica
in Costa Rica is undertaking a major
installation of solar panels on its journey to slash
emissions by using renewable energy. As healers, these
hospitals know that prevention and preparedness are
essential to fighting the climate crisis and that the road
to recovery begins with transformative climate


· A sample cohort of
companies in Business
Ambition for 1.5C
collectively reduced
their annual emissions by 25% between 2015 and 2019

a difference of 302 million tonnes.

· The 1.5C
Supply Chain leaders
in the Exponential Roadmap
initiative work with their suppliers to reach collective
targets and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through firm
action and collaboration. One of them –
IKEA – is striving to achieve 100%
renewable energy across the IKEA value chain.

· In The Climate
, ITV helped build the world’s
first digital content carbon calculator – DIMPACT – with
Bristol University and other media companies. ITV is also
the first broadcaster in the UK to commit to 100% of the
programs they produce and commission having to achieve
Albert certification by 2021. With 206 renewable energy
projects across the globe, Amazon is the world’s largest
corporate buyer of renewable energy. These projects have the
capacity to generate over 8,500 megawatts (MW) and deliver
more than 23 million megawatt hours (MWh) of energy
annually—enough to power more than 2 million U.S.

· SMEs are also racing
ahead, and more than 800 of the over 1,200+ SMEs in Race to
Zero through the SME Climate Hub committed to net zero by
2030. Make, an international architectural
practice, is focused on reducing the environmental impact of
the buildings they create, to enhance passive design, waste
reduction and energy performance.


Through Cities
Race to Zero
, Recife, a large city in
Brazil, is a pioneer in making education on sustainability
and climate emergency compulsory in municipal public
schools, as well as being the first Brazilian city to
declare a climate emergency.

Bringing this all to
life, UK commercial property and investment company –
Landsec – is hosting Race to
Zero’s birthday video
on its famous Piccadilly Lights.
Landsec, which manages a portfolio of £10.8 billion,
covering 23.5 million sq ft, in 2016 became the first
commercial real estate company in the world to have its
carbon emission target approved by the Science Based Targets
Initiative, and in 2019 it aligned its targets to a 1.5C
scenario. As a result, this year it has already reduced its
carbon emissions by 42%.

Gonzalo Munoz, Chile
COP25 High Level Climate Champion
, said: “Our
partners and members are racing to halve emissions by 2030.
This global coalition of leading initiatives demonstrates
the positive impact of radical collaboration and inclusive
multilateralism. We are inspired by the change already
underway, but this is only the beginning: we all need to
keep racing as fast and as far as each of us possibly

Christiana Figueres, Founding
Partner of Global Optimism
, said: “The
Race to Zero is one year old – but decades in the making.
We have a once-in-a-lifetime chance right now to realise the
goals of the Paris Agreement. To do this we have to act in
the present tense, activating every company, city, region,
financial institution and individual to seize the
achievement of the goal for net-zero emissions in a timely
and appropriate fashion. In this decisive decade, the
collective force of the growing Race to Zero community is
the hope we need.”

Accelerating the transition
ahead of COP26

Race to Zero is not an end in itself:
the campaign aims to bring together these leading Partner
initiatives in order to amplify their voice and activate an
ambition loop with national governments to help countries
both ratchet and deliver their NDCs.

As the campaign
looks to work with the whole climate community and the
broader public to support the implementation of these robust
commitments, the Champions and Race to Zero Partners warmly
welcome you to join them in an opening
session to launch the public consultation on the future of
Race to Zero

This session will set out the
context and outline the process for the public consultation
to shape the future of Race to Zero, seeking to gather
feedback on specific themes to continue enhancing the
campaign and maximising its impact on limiting emissions. It
will explore how to drive cooperation and coordination
within the climate action ecosystem to leverage different
non-State actors’ capacities and expertise with a view to
ensure the implementation of robust climate action based on
credible net-zero targets.

Nigel Topping, UK
COP26 High Level Climate Champion
, said:
“Achieving net zero is an issue being discussed by
citizens of the world, in articles across the media and in
Citizens’ Assemblies across the world. We learn and we
succeed by coming together across the global economy and
taking action. We call on you to help us shape the future of
Race to Zero and to act now towards a healthier, safer,
cleaner and more resilient future for the next

Bridging the gap between
mitigation and resilience.

The race to a world in
which people can thrive in spite of climate change does not
end with climate mitigation. Efforts to reduce emissions
must take into account the impacts of climate change we are
already feeling, and help reduce them, especially for the
most vulnerable. In recognition of this, the Race
to Resilience
was launched in January 2021 to place
adaptation and resilience on equal footing to mitigation,
catalysing a step-change in global ambition and action on
resilience from non-state actors.

As in the Race to
Zero, the non-state actor community is stepping up in this
crucial year of climate action to drive more resources to
climate resilience and adaptation. Twenty-one non-state
actor-led initiatives are now part of the Race to
Resilience, with over 1,500 members, operating in over 80
countries across five regions.

Emma Howard
Boyd, Global Ambassador for Race to Zero and Race to
Resilience, and Chair of the UK Environment Agency,

said: “Ahead of COP 26, we need to ensure that the race
to net zero runs hand in hand with the race to resilience.
Climate shocks like droughts, crop failures and storms
affect people’s health, drive inequality and disrupt
economies. Preparing for these can provide skills, jobs and
opportunities for nature recovery, but resilience to these
shocks is still too reliant on the public purse. Unless we
change this, the economic recovery we so badly need could
melt in a heatwave or wash away in a

Find out more about all the Race
to Zero Partners
and about the Race to Resilience Partners

you haven’t already, register
for the UN Global Compact Leaders’ Summit, marking the 1
Year Anniversary of the Race to

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