Sustainability-focused organizations The Climate Group and the UN High Level Climate Champions announced today the launch of RouteZero, a global platform calling for ambitious commitments to zero emission vehicle adoption.

The goal of the new platform is to increase commitments from players in leading markets by profiling concrete initiatives and steps taken along the value chain, such as automotive manufacturers committing to only sell zero-emission vehicles, city leaders implementing zero-emission areas, individuals pledging to buy electric vehicles, and businesses and public sector bodies switching their entire fleets to zero emissions. According to the Climate Group, the launch aims to show momentum ahead of the UN climate change summit, COP26.

COP26 President Designate, Alok Sharma, said:

“We will not win the Race to Zero if we do not accelerate the shift to clean road transport. RouteZero will showcase the highest levels of ambition to drive momentum on the road to COP26, bringing together commitments and evidence of action to send a clear message that zero emission vehicles are the future.”

The new platform will engage businesses, cities, states, regions, investors and individuals in the shift toward emissions-free road transportation across all motorised road vehicle segments, including cars, vans, buses, medium and heavy-duty commercial trucks, as well as two and three-wheelers.

According to the Climate Group, transport is the fastest-growing contributor to climate change, currently accounting for 24% of global energy-related CO2 emissions, with road transport responsible for around three-quarters of these emissions. Accelerating the transition to zero-emission transport will be critical for achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement, while also creating opportunities for green jobs and new investments in manufacturing and infrastructure.

RouteZero was designed in response to the UK government’s clean road transport campaign for COP26 and the UN Race to Zero Breakthroughs, and aligns with the breakthrough goals of achieving 100% zero-emission new vehicle sales in leading markets no later than 2030 for buses, 2035 for cars and vans, and 2040 for heavy goods vehicles.

Helen Clarkson, CEO of international non-profit the Climate Group, said:

“The transition to zero emission vehicles is well under way – there are now over 100 global businesses part of EV100, committing to switch over 5 million vehicles to electric by the end of the decade. But this is a pivotal year for climate action and pockets of leadership are not enough. We need to use COP26 as a moment to bring everyone together to rapidly accelerate action and deliver a real breakthrough in clean road transport.”

Nigel Topping, COP26 High Level Champion and Gonzalo Muñoz, COP25 High Level Champion added:

“We must reach tipping points in every sector of the global economy, and road transportation is well on its way. RouteZero is the first global initiative designed to actively support the Race to Zero ‘Breakthroughs’ launched earlier this year, and we invite other sectoral efforts to build on this pioneering platform to accelerate the race to zero emissions vehicles.”