Under the stewardship of the United Nations, a huge alliance of businesses, municipalities, investors, and academic and other institutions are launching Race to Zero, a global campaign committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050. This goal is inline with the scientific consensus on limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Launching today, to mark World Environment Day, the alliance consists of 992 businesses, 449 cities, 38 investors, 21 regions and 505 universities, representing nearly 25% of global CO2 emissions and more than 50% of world GDP. Participants have pledged not only to reach zero emissions by 2050, but to submit a plan for this achievement in advance of the 2020 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26, now postponed to November 2021 due to COVID-19), and also to submit interim plans for the next decade.

In a bid to drive coordinated global action by investors, businesses, policymakers and NGOs, the campaign also will work to determine effective pathways to zero emissions for many of the most difficult to abate economic sectors, including energy, transport, industry, food, retail and finance.

Additionally, in conjunction with the Race to Zero campaign, The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), a CEO-led organization of over 200 leading businesses, is launching 1.5C SOS, a framework to help guide companies through steps to reach the 1.5 degree Celsius goal.

Commenting on today’s launch, COP25 President Carolina Schmidt said:

“In September 2019 we launched the Climate Ambition Alliance to commit states and non-state actors to carbon neutrality by 2050 as science asks us, in order to achieve the goal of 1.5°C. Today we applaud the Race To Zero campaign, which was born from this Alliance, and which invites non-state actors to continue joining to take on this enormous challenge we have as humanity. Despite the health crisis, climate action must continue at all levels.”

UN Special Envoy for Climate & Finance and advisor to the UK Government on COP26, and former Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney added:

“The transition to net zero is creating the greatest commercial opportunity of our time.  Net zero targets must be underpinned by transition plans so that investors can assess which companies will seize the opportunities in the transition and which will cease to exist. The priority of the COP 26 Private Finance work is to support investors in: assessing the credibility of company transition plans; measuring how their own portfolios are aligned to net zero; and disclosing the alignment of investment portfolios.”

Marking the launch, several companies announced today that they are joining the Race to Zero alliance, Including Nestle, Iberdrola, Adobe, Ajinomoto Co, Brunswick Group, Cap Gemini, Diageo, H&M, Husqvarna, Inditex, Kuehne + Nagel AG, JLL, Legrand, Magyar Telekom, Rolls-Royce, and LONGi Green Energy Technology Co.