“Race to Zero” will rally leaders who are committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest, in line with global efforts to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. All participants will submit a plan in advance of COP26 and set interim targets in the next decade.
Nestlé reports that the company had already committed to net-zero emissions by 2050, and will be publishing a company roadmap including interim targets consistent with the “Race to Zero” path. The company reports that its ability to succeed relies on system-wide changes, and urges others to follow suit. It also recognizes that COVID-19 will be a confounding variable in ensuring that this recovery revives the economy, and that recoveries from both adverse climate policy and a global pandemic must be simultaneous.
“We know the challenge of climate change will not wait, so neither will we,” Mark Schneider, Nestlé CEO, said in a statement. “Time is of the essence, and we need quick wins in the short term to build a better future as we recover from the COVID-19 crisis. Nestlé is committed to this cause. WE will work with others and use our scale and expertise as well as the power of our brands to drive progress – fast. Building a more sustainable food system will be a core element of the solution to climate change, and we intend to play our part in making this happen.”
“Race to Zero” has seen involvement from key sectors such as energy, transport, food, retail, and finance, and is working to define the most effective pathways to zero-emission for each of these categories, and to reach key economic tipping points faster. The new pathways will drive coordinated action by investors, businesses, policymakers, and NGOs.
“Race to Zero” was launched on World Environment Day, which took place on June 5 this year. So far, the coalition of net zero emissions initiatives covers 992 businesses, 449 cities, 21 regions, 505 universities, and 38 biggest investors, and is considered by the UN to be the largest-ever alliance committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
According to the UN’s Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, the economic actors involved cover just over half GDP, a quarter of global CO2 emissions, and over 2.6 billion people, representing a 66% increase in commitments since last year’s COP event. In total, it represents combined annual revenues of $4.72 trillion. The minimum criteria for initiatives and networks that join “Race to Zero” was published by Harvard University and Oxford University.