Cities, regions and businesses set for “Race to Zero”

Businesses, investors, cities and regions around the world are being urged to commit to reaching net zero by 2050 and join an international campaign.

Race to Zero, launched on 5 June, will run until COP26 and is led by the UNFCCC Champions for Climate Action. It brings together 992 businesses, 449 cities, 21 regions, 505 universities and 38 of the biggest investors, joining 120 countries in the Climate Ambition Alliance, in a coalition committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 at the very latest. The campaign will aim to mobilise leadership and support for a healthy, resilient, zero carbon recovery that creates well-paying jobs, unlocks inclusive, sustainable growth and prevents future threats.

It is now looking to rally more “real economy” leaders to join the coalition, with Oxford University setting out minimum criteria for initiatives and networks that join Race to Zero. This will require all participants to not only pledge to reach net zero emissions by 2050, but also to submit a plan in advance of COP26 and set interim targets in the next decade.

The campaign, which covers just over half (53%) of GDP and accounts for almost a quarter (23%) of global CO2 emissions, is also working to define the most effective pathways to zero emissions for key sectors such as energy, transport, industry, food, retail and finance. This is in an attempt to mass mobilise the number of companies and cities committed to net zero by at least 2050 and reach key economic tipping points faster. These new pathways will drive coordinated action by investors, businesses, policymakers and NGOs.