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2021-10 11
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Patricia Espinosa Outlines COP26 Priorities to LDC Ministers

Date:2021-10

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Floodwater in south Sudan Credit: Nektarios Markogiannis / UNMISS UN Climate Change News, 11 October 2021 – The UN’s top climate change official Patricia Espinosa addressed Ministers from Least Developed Countries (LDCs) today as they met to discuss key priorities heading into the crucial UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow.  In a keynote address, the UN Climate Change Executive Secretary acknowledged the frustration being felt by many LDCs about lack of progress on issues which are the most important for these countries. “Nobody understands like you the gravity of our climate emergency. I encourage you to make your priorities as strong as possible and as ambitious as possible at this meeting,” she said. The world’s 46 least developed countries have already been hit hardest by the impacts of the climate emergency, despite contributing very little to overall emissions. And these countries are in dire need of financial assistance to tackle accelerating climate impacts, which include ever more frequent and intense storms, droughts and floods. The meeting of LDC Ministers comes against the backdrop of the latest IPCC Report, released in early August, which showed that unless there are rapid, sustained and large-scale reductions of greenhouse gas emissions, the Paris Agreement goal will be impossible to reach. It was followed by the NDC Synthesis Report, an assessment of all national climate action plans, showing that under our current path temperatures could rise to 2.7C, with devastating results for humanity. The UN Climate Chief called for bold and immediate action to make an urgent transformation away from our high-emissions path towards a low-carbon, resilient future and outlined four key priorities as governments prepare for COP: First, fulfilling existing commitments. A key issue is the provision of financial support to developing countries, particularly the promise by developed countries to mobilize USD 100 billion annually in climate finance to support the needs of developing nations. This is crucial for building trust. Second, wrapping up outstanding negotiations. This includes resolving the complicated issues around Article 6 rules, to finally enable market and non-market tools to launch their operations. In addition, governments must ensure the transparency framework under the Paris Agreement is technically ready to operate and need to also advance work in areas related to adaptation and loss and damage. Third, increased ambition on all key aspects of the climate agenda. Among these are national climate action plans, known as NDCs, aligned with science; long-term strategies that can ensure climate neutrality by 2050; and progress on the important issues of building resilience. Fourth, leaving no voices unheard. Finally, and perhaps most critically, success in Glasgow means ensuring that no voices remain unheard, nor viable proposals left on the table. Acknowledging the remarkable power and influence of cities, regions, businesses, investors and educational institutions from all over the world, the UN Climate Chief cited such inclusive multilateralism as “fundamental to reaching global climate goals.” Ms. Espinosa urged countries with developed economies to take the lead, according to the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities,” one of the pillars of the Paris Agreement. As for the private sector, she called on all businesses and investors to align their portfolios with the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals by 2024. While acknowledging the significant challenge global leaders will face in Glasgow, she stated: “Billions around the world look to them to make the bold and courageous decisions necessary to finally implement the Paris Agreement, significantly boost climate ambition and ultimately get humanity off its current path of destruction.” See full statement below: Ministers, Colleagues. Good afternoon, I thank the Chair of the LDC group, under the leadership of the Royal Government of Bhutan, for hosting this important meeting. When I spoke to you almost a year ago, we were one year into COVID-19. We faced a long winter, especially with the knowledge that the COP would be delayed by a year. Nevertheless, we said that it was an opportunity for nations to continue to build climate ambition, to come through on their financial commitments, to submit their NDCs on time, and to make progress on items that continued to divide nations. Close to one year later, with less than a few weeks remaining before COP26, the results are clearly mixed. We have seen momentum by nations. We saw the return of the United States to the Paris Agreement, progress on the European Green Deal, and the submission of many new or updated NDCs. We held climate dialogues, Subsidiary Body and committee meetings and had many positive discussions with nations about progress in 2021 — thank you for such strong contributions in such difficult circumstances. Our Race to Zero campaign continued to grow, our work with Non-Party Stakeholders grew, and the UK Presidency has clearly indicated COP26 is both important and a priority. Yet progress was hard to find in other areas. The climate emergency again led to death and destruction throughout the world. I don’t have to tell you that — Least Developed Nations continue to be unduly impacted, despite contributing very little to overall emissions. The IPCC Report, released in early August, showed that unless there are rapid, sustained and large-scale reductions of greenhouse gas emissions, the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5C will be increasingly difficult to reach unless we act immediately to reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally. The NDC Synthesis Report, an assessment of all national climate action plans, showed that under our current path temperatures could rise to 2.7C, which will have devastating results for humanity. The two reports paint a sobering picture. But look beyond the surface and a second and more encouraging story emerges. Both reports indicate the 1.5C goal is still within reach but only — and this is the focus of our discussions today — only if action is taken now. That’s why COP26 is so important. Here are the four key priorities heading into the COP. First, it’s vital that parties fulfill their pre-2020 commitments. Doing so will be a key factor in the ultimate success of our deliberations. No issue is perhaps more significant — especially to all of you, and understandably so — than the provision of financial support to developing countries, especially in relation to the goal of mobilizing USD 100 billion annually by 2020. That pledge was made over 10 years ago. It’s time to deliver. And of course, we continue to call upon all nations to submit more ambitious and higher-quality NDCs. The relevant discussion at COP 26, informed by our most recent Synthesis Report, MUST provide a positive signal that the world is determined to transition towards a low-carbon future. Second. It’s also time to wrap up outstanding negotiations and actually implement the Paris Agreement. And that includes resolving the complicated issues around Article 6 rules, to finally enable market and non-market tools to launch their operations. We cannot keep pushing this from COP to COP. It’s time for bold and courageous decisions by Parties on this issue as well as several others. For example, Parties must ensure the transparency framework under the Paris Agreement is technically ready to operate and support implementation of the Paris Agreement. This will facilitate transparency and maintain trust. They must also advance work in areas related to adaptation, resilience, and loss and damage. Let me quickly address the issue of adaptation. The Paris Agreement established a global goal on adaptation. At COP 26, it’s important that Parties clarify the next steps towards making this goal operational. COP 26 is also an opportunity to strengthen national adaptation plans, the main instrument for adaptation, which all LDCs have begun to formulate and implement. The COP, for example, can request the Green Climate Fund to advance support for implementation of those national adaptation plans. While this is important because it establishes a balance between mitigation and adaptation support, it can also be central to a successful COP overall. Third. Success also means countries committing to do much more on all key aspects of the climate agenda. To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, we urgently need ambitious, rapid, deep and sustained emissions reductions globally. That includes national climate action plans aligned with science, Long-Term Strategies that can get us to climate neutrality by 2050, and national adaptation plans to ensure resilience under the Paris Agreement’s temperature goals and beyond. We particularly look to G20 nations, representing both developed and emerging economies, to lead by example. They are the main emitters responsible for 80 per cent of all global emissions and we cannot meet the 1.5-degree goal unless they pledge more decisive action — and do so rapidly. We also continue to call for 50 per cent of the total share of climate finance provided by all developed countries and multilateral development banks to be allocated to adaptation and resilience. That includes wider-ranging and comprehensive financial support for developing nations. On the private sector side, we call upon all businesses and investors to align their portfolios with the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals — by 2024. Finally, and perhaps most critically, success means ensuring that no voices remain unheard, nor viable proposals left on the table. The power and influence of teams of cities, regions, businesses, investors, and educational institutions from all over the world have been remarkable. This is inclusive multilateralism at its finest - and remains fundamental to reaching our climate goals. Colleagues, success at COP 26 is critical for the world to get back on track – not just with respect to the 1.5C climate goal under the Paris Agreement – but to meeting our SDG goals as well. There is no doubt that global leaders will face a significant agenda in Glasgow. But billions around the world look to them to make the bold and courageous decisions necessary to finally implement the Paris Agreement, significantly boost climate ambition and ultimately get humanity off its current path of destruction. Before I end, I want to note that I fully understand your frustration with respect to progress. Many of you are literally watching your nations sink beneath the waves. Getting nations who are so far removed from your situation to listen, is not easy. But rest assured that I will, along with UN Climate Change, support your efforts in every way possible at the COP. You are all here to discuss key priorities and messages heading into COP26. I note a particular line in your materials saying that you choose no to look at this as an issue related to “victimhood”. I would just like to say that you have every reason to be frustrated, to be upset and angry, but the fact that you choose to be constructive is not only admirable, it’s one that should be followed by all nations in these discussions at COP26. Nobody understands like you the gravity of our climate emergency. I encourage you to make your priorities as strong as possible and as ambitious as possible at this meeting. I look forward to the results of this meeting and as we work to encourage all nations to see what you see — the need to make an urgent transformation away from our deadly path of high emissions toward a safer and healthier world for all. Thank you. Source:UN Author:UN Date:Octorber 11, 2021

2021-10 06
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UN Global Climate Action Awards: Winners Unveiled Today

Date:2021-10

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Credit: Energise Africa (Bonn, Germany: 6 October 2021) - The recipients of a special 10th anniversary edition of the United Nations Global Climate Action Awards were announced today, shining a light on innovative examples of what people across the globe are doing to combat climate change ahead of the pivotal UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow later this month. “This past year, we have seen deadly wildfires and floods in many parts of the world,” said UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa. “The report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in August rang the alarm bells, showing that the world is warming faster than scientists previously thought. And the new synthesis report of national climate action plans (NDCs) released recently confirmed that unfortunately we are moving in the wrong direction. We urgently require solutions and actions from everyone: public and private sectors, civil society, academia, investors, cities and regions, etc. The winners of the 2021 UN Global Climate Action Awards provide tangible proof that solutions to tackle the climate crisis exist and that they can be replicated and quickly scaled up. This is what inspiring leadership looks like.” This year’s award-winning projects demonstrate leadership on climate change by nations, businesses, investors, cities, regions and civil society as a whole. They range from the world’s first renewable island community in Denmark to the leading debt-financing provider for distributed solar energy in Africa to a London-based fashion house focused on environmentally, ethically and socially conscious style for a sustainable future. Other winning activities include a UK crowdfunding platform enabling people to support home solar in Sub-Saharan Africa, and Mexico’s first metropolitan-level climate action plan. The annual award programme, run by United Nations Climate Change since 2011, recognizes the world’s most innovative, scalable and replicable examples of action to tackle climate change. The projects are recognized as solutions that not only address climate change, but also help drive forward progress on many other sustainable development goals, for example, innovation, gender equality and economic opportunity. A special new award category called ‘Climate Leaders’ was added for 2021. It recognizes transformational and replicable government action at any level (national, regional, city, community,  etc.). Today’s announcement is part of the wider effort to mobilize action and ambition ahead of the critical UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) taking place at the end of this month in Glasgow, Scotland. The 2021 winners of the UN Global Climate Action Award are: Climate Neutral Now: Microsoft | Global: Carbon neutral since 2012, Microsoft is now committing to remove from the environment all the carbon the company has emitted either directly or by electrical consumption since it was founded in 1975 by 2050.   Taylors of Harrogate | United Kingdom: An independent family tea and coffee business whose carbon neutral product certification is from ‘field to supermarket shelf’ accounting for all the emissions from cultivating, processing and shipping its tea and coffee.   ICA Gruppen | Sweden: Sweden’s leading food retailer is going beyond climate neutrality to achieving a net zero impact from the Group’s own operations by 2030 and cutting the climate impact from customers’ grocery purchases in half by 2030.    House of Baukjen | United Kingdom: A London-based fashion house whose business and operations follow in every way the circular economy ideal, from production to materials being cycled, and does so while being carbon negative. Financing for Climate Friendly Investment: SunFunder | Africa: The leading debt-financing provider for distributed solar in Africa and other emerging regions, bringing access to energy and long-term climate investments. To date, it has closed over USD 150 million in loans to 57 solar companies.   Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance | Multi-regional: The Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance network accelerates well-designed financial instruments that can unlock billions towards a sustainable, inclusive, net zero economy, while also reducing private investors’ risks.   Energise Africa | Africa: A UK crowdfunding platform enabling people to support renewable energy projects (home solar) in Sub-Saharan Africa. To date, it has raised over £25 million in investments from everyday people putting their money to work for climate action and the SDGs.   IFC Renewable Energy Projects in the West Bank and Gaza | State of Palestine: The first private sector investments in domestic power supply to help jump-start renewables and support economic development in the West Bank and Gaza, supported by the International Finance Corporation. Climate Leaders: City of Paris | France: By 2050, the City of Paris aims to reduce local emissions by 100%, achieving the goal of zero emissions in Paris, promoting an 80% reduction in the carbon footprint of Paris compared to 2004 levels.   Samsø | Denmark: Denmark’s municipality of the island of Samsø has completely transformed its energy system from fossil fuels to renewable energy, becoming the world’s first renewable energy island.   Metropolitan Area of Guadalajara | Mexico: The Metropolitan Area of Guadalajara Climate Action Plan, launched at the end of 2020, is the first instrument of its kind, built on a metropolitan scale in Mexico and within the C40 Network. The 2021 winning activities were selected by UN Climate Change’s international Advisory Panel. “Everyone has a role to play when it comes to confronting the climate crisis,” said Gabrielle Ginér, Chair of the Advisory Panel. “The recipients of the UN Global Climate Action Awards are stepping up with the kind of bold and courageous leadership we need to see much more of to avoid the ever-worsening impacts of climate change.” The 11 award-winning projects fall within three focus areas:Climate Neutral Now, Financing for Climate Friendly Investment and Climate Leaders All winning projects will be showcased during a series of special events and an Award Ceremony during the second week of COP 26 in November.  Source:UN Author:UN Date:Octorber 6, 2021

2021-09 27
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Africa Climate Week 2021 Builds Regional Momentum in Advance of COP26

Date:2021-09

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African engineer standing with wind turbine Credit: Adobe Stock UN Climate Change News, 27 September 2021 – The Africa Climate Week 2021 (ACW 2021) Virtual Thematic Sessions are underway with calls to action from leading voices from across the region. ACW 2021 is being held through 29 September and is hosted by the Government of Uganda, with support from UN and other multilateral agencies. A wide array of regional stakeholders gathering for the virtual meeting are showcasing climate action and sharing progress ahead of COP26 on the submission of stronger national climate plans – Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) – under the Paris Agreement. NDCs include plans to build resilience to the inevitable impacts of climate change, including ever more severe frequent floods, storms, fires and droughts. They are complemented by National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), which are of particular relevance for Africa. Hon. Sam Cheptoris, Minister of Water and Environment of Uganda, said, “We have seen recently that the world is not on course to limit warming to as close to 1.5 degrees C as possible as laid out in the Paris Agreement. This increases risk of severe impacts at a moment in which we are looking to grow quickly. For Africa, this is a generational crisis and one we will have to adapt to. In the face of the climate crisis, Africa must come together and chart a course to low-emission growth that is good for all Africans and the world”. UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa praised the ACW 2021 host country of Uganda for their leadership on climate change. In addition to hosting ACW 2021, Uganda is the first African country to develop a National NDC Partnership Plan to implement their NDC through collaboration with more than 15 partners. “Africa Climate Week builds momentum for a successful COP26. It brings governments, business leaders and civil society together to engage in solution-oriented dialogue and showcase climate action. It’s also an opportunity to foster collaboration on pressing challenges and build resilience against growing climate risks in the region. Ambition must be the word guiding everything we do. We are in a race against time,” she said. Hafez Ghanem, Vice President for Eastern and Southern Africa at the World Bank Group, said, "The World Bank Group’s new Climate Change Action Plan, which complements the Africa Climate Business Plan, commits that over the next 5 years, 35 percent of World Bank Group financing will directly contribute to climate action. These plans support national action and economy-wide approaches to align planning and policy with action to achieve a sustainable, low-carbon and resilient future." Ahunna Eziakonwa, Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Africa of UNDP, said, “In recent months, Africa has witnessed devastating floods, an invasion of desert locusts and now faces the looming spectre of drought because of a La Niña event. Human activity is now the dominant activity shaping the planet… Africa Climate Week is about solutions. I know that we can dig deeper and emerge on the other side with rich and context relevant pathways for Africa. The road to Glasgow must offer solutions for Africa. So let us work together for a successful outcome, for people and planet.” Mark Radka, Chief of the Energy and Climate Branch at UNEP, said, “Getting the recovery right is an opportunity to grow faster, better and greener, and bring us closer to a greener and more inclusive future for all Africa. So much more can be gained by working together, and the Africa Climate Week is an excellent opportunity to share experiences, learn from one another, and get motivated to bring about lasting change.” ACW 2021 also aims to provide information on the UN’s Race to Zero and Race to Resilience campaigns, while ensuring that regional voices are heard in the multilateral climate process. There are three key areas in focus at ACW 2021: Integrating ambitious action in key economic sectors into national planning Adapting to climate risks and building resilience Seizing transformational opportunities to put the region on a low-emission and highly resilient development pathway. Harsen Nyambe Nyambe, Head of Environment, Climate Change, Water and Land Management at the African Union, said, “Africa is suffering crippling effects of climate crisis. The lack of progress in the last COP25 on key articles that reinforce equity such as finance, loss and damage, gender and markets, is a major concern. We believe that this Africa Climate Week will explore most of the possible actions and make key recommendations particularly on loss and damage and finance as most of the impacts of climate crisis in Africa are beyond adaptation capacity of individual countries”. Al Hamdou Dorsouma, Acting Director of the Climate Change and Green Growth Department at the African Development Bank, said, “The African Development Bank stands ready to deploy its resources to save people and planet and generate wealth for our continent. The Africa Climate Week presents us an opportunity to dialogue with partners to generate pipeline of transformative projects and programmes that will deliver Africa’s post COVID-19 recovery in line with Africa’s Agenda 2063, the SDGs and Paris Agreement goals”. Dr Vera Songwe, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, said, “No issue is more fundamental for African countries than climate resilience. How we address it will define sustainable development. We need the 100 billion for the most vulnerable, and we need to unlock billions more through financial innovations and de-risking private finance to kick start an African Green Recovery. We need ambition which not only allows low carbon development, but which shifts the paradigm for value addition in Africa by embracing a green African Continental Free Trade Area. And we need a global carbon price aligned to the Paris Agreement to further generate resources for African citizens who safeguard some of the world’s most important carbon sinks.” The ACW 2021 Virtual Thematic Sessions are part of a series of three Regional Climate Weeks leading up to the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in November. They include virtual meetings for the Asia-Pacific region, Latin America and the Caribbean (LACCW 2021) and Africa (ACW 2021). Middle East North Africa Climate Week 2022 (MENA 2022) will follow COP26. Reporting to Ministers and the COP Presidency will ensure that outcomes from all Virtual Thematic Sessions are captured and framed within the larger context of COP26. More than 2,500 participants have registered for the Virtual Thematic Sessions of ACW 2021. All stakeholders are invited to join ACW 2021 and collaborate with government ministers, senior representatives of multilateral agencies and non-governmental organizations, civil society, indigenous leaders and youth. Source:UN Author:UN Date:September 27, 2021

2021-09 24
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Doconomy and UN Climate Change Launch Lifestyle Calculator

Date:2021-09

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UN Climate Change News, 24 September 2021: The Swedish tech company Doconomy, in partnership with UN Climate Change, has launched an online tool to help individuals calculate their carbon footprint so they can understand how their everyday decisions impact the climate and enable them to take effective climate action. Climate action on the part of consumers is essential to complement the efforts of governments and businesses to tackle climate change. Users answer a set of straightforward questions covering several categories, such as travel, food or living environment. In only 10 minutes, they can understand how their lifestyle impacts the climate. This knowledge can allow people to take simple, climate conscious decisions that benefit everyone. "The Lifestyle Calculator is first and foremost a great education tool,” says Niclas Svenningsen, Manager at UN Climate Change. "Quite frankly, citizens around the world cannot be expected to take climate-smart decisions without first getting a proper grasp of their own climate impact. It is also a climate action tool, because once we know and understand the scale of our business-as-usual decisions, we can really act accordingly. This is why it is key to openly share this product and use it to unite against climate change.” The Lifestyle Calculator offers a standardised method so everyone can calculate their carbon footprint regardless of where they live in the world. The underlying data includes a set of UNFCCC-verified, publicly available, reputable sources. They belong to recognised organisations that have been chosen due to their credibility. In addition, a full methodology is available to ensure full transparency of the calculations and underlying assumptions, and to encourage further collaboration around possible improvements or additions in the near future.  “It’s an absolute privilege for Doconomy – together with UN Climate Change – to present the Lifestyle Calculator to the world,” says Milton Noel Malmestrom, Doconomy Product Manager. “To solve the climate crisis as a collective, we need to first understand how our everyday decisions affect the planet, and this product provides that very snapshot — in turn empowering us to commit towards reducing our impact.” Source:UN Author:UN Date:September 24, 2021

2021-09 20
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15 Sectors of Global Economy Shift the Dial on Climate

Date:2021-09

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Credit: Steven Liao / Pixabay  Article published on behalf of the COP25 and COP26 Climate Champions 20 September, 2021  – With 40 days to go before the pivotal COP26 climate conference in Glasgow this November, over half the sectors that make up the global economy are now committing to halve their emissions within the next decade and achieve near-term emissions reductions targets known as the 2030 Breakthroughs. In each of these sectors, at least 20% of the major companies by revenue are aligning around sector-specific 2030 goals — in line with delivering net-zero emissions by 2050 — which include targets such as 60% renewable generation in the energy sector and 5% zero-emissions fuel in the shipping sector. The full list of sectors that have reached this level of ambition is below. The announcement comes as part of the UN High Level Climate Action Champions’ Opening Session for Climate Week NYC on Race to Zero and Race to Resilience – ‘Delivering on the Promise of Paris: every fraction counts’. Nigel Topping, UN High Level Climate Action Champion, said: “Committing to net-zero emissions by 2050 is not enough on its own. We also need actors to show they are serious about winning the Race to Zero emissions by advancing critical sectoral breakthroughs  – especially in the hardest-to-abate sectors – in line with halving global emissions by 2030. We’re therefore delighted to see that actors are already shifting the dial today, but we will be looking for signs of progress in the next 2-3 years.” The UN High Level Climate Champions issued the challenge for actors to join these ‘2030 Breakthroughs’ in January earlier this year at the Davos Agenda, calling on all leaders to commit their ‘skills, resources and ingenuity’ to delivering the breakthroughs required to address climate change. Since then, the real economy has risen to the challenge and stakeholders across sectors are poised for systemic transformation, in the following critical sectors: Clean Power: 21% of major utilities by total industry revenue have joined the Race to Zero, including Engie, Enel SpA and Kenya Electricity Generating Company PLC.   End of the internal combustion engine: Medium- and heavy-duty vehicles: 39% of major heavy goods vehicles manufacturers by total revenue have joined the Race to Zero, and have committed to 100% zero emission sales by 2040 (via RouteZero), including Ford, Volvo, BMW and Nissan.   End of the internal combustion engine: Buses: 24% of major bus automakers by total by revenue have joined the Race to Zero and commit to 100% zero emission bus sales by 2030 (via RouteZero), including General Motors.   Nature-based-Solutions and Land Use: 28% of major food suppliers by revenue have joined the Race to Zero and commit to implement deforestation free supply chains as part of the transition to halting land conversion, as well as to fully adopt regenerative agriculture and land restoration practices by 2030.   Fashion: 49% of major fashion companies by revenue have joined the Race to Zero, including Burberry and H&M.   Cement & Concrete: 28% of major cement / concrete producers by revenue have joined the Race to Zero, including recent new joiners Cemex, Heidelberg, and ThyssenKrupp.   Consumer Goods: 36% of major consumer goods companies by revenue have joined the Race to Zero, including Asahi and Unilever.   Retail: 23% of major retail companies by revenue have joined the Race to Zero, including Walmart and Tesco.   Cooling: 24% of major residential AC manufacturers by revenue have joined the Race to Zero, including Electrolux, Danfoss, Schneider Electric, Philips, Godreij and Hitachi.   ICT: 40% of major ICT companies by revenue have joined the Race to Zero, including tech giants Apple, Microsoft and Google.   Mobile & Telco: 33% of major mobile & telco companies by revenue have joined the Race to Zero, including America Movil and Vodafone.   Pharma & Medtech: 30% of major pharmaceutical and medtech companies by revenue have joined the Race to Zero, including GSK, AstraZeneca, and Philips.   Water: Major water & wastewater utilities responsible for 23% of global water supply have joined the Race to Zero, including Suez and Igua Saneamento. “Climate change threatens to disrupt virtually every part of the global economy, and it’s critical that business leaders in every industry take action and join the fight,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Ambition and Solutions, Founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies, and Global Ambassador for the Race to Zero and Race to Resilience Campaigns. “Today’s announcement is an important signal that more and more companies recognize the need to reach net-zero emissions. Ahead of COP26 this fall, the Race to Zero and Race to Resilience campaigns are working to rally even more commitments and ambitious action — from businesses as well as cities, regions, investors, and local organizations — to achieve a clean energy future.” As a first step towards meeting these ‘2030 Breakthroughs’, all actors are required to join the UN Race to Zero campaign. With now over 6,200 members from across 110 countries, including 4,470 companies, 799 cities, 35 regions – most recently Rhode Island and Nevada – 220 financial institutions, 731 educational institutions and 45 healthcare institutions, Race to Zero has almost doubled in size since last year’s Climate Week NYC. The campaign now represents over 11% of the global population and close to 15% of the global economy. COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma said: “I am encouraged to see businesses demonstrating such incredible progress on driving climate action around the globe. It is through committing to Race to Zero that companies, investors, cities and regions can move with conviction to put their commitments to tackle climate change into practice and help limit global temperatures rising above 1.5 degrees.” Paul Polman, Influencer, business leader, campaigner, Co-Author of ‘Net Positive: how courageous companies thrive by giving more than they take’, said: “Tackling climate change is the biggest economic opportunity of our lifetime in jobs, growth and innovation. Forget incremental change and doing less harm; it’s time to go net positive, where we thrive by giving more than we take, making this a better world for all.”  Alberto Carrillo Pineda, Managing Director and Co-Founder of the Science Based Targets initiative, said: “This progress is hugely impressive. Science-based targets now cover more than 20% of global market cap. But now is not the time to rest – far from it. We need urgent, robust and ambitious climate action from all organisations across sectors and the world in order to accelerate emissions reductions at the pace and scale required by science.” Cross-society mobilisation as new Partners join Race to Resilience In parallel to the race to halve global emission by 2030, four new initiatives join the Race to Resilience, including The International Coalition for Sustainable Infrastructure, Resilience First, The Climate Heritage Network and The Urban Sustainability Directors Network. These additions lift the total number of Partners to 24 representing over 2,500 non-state actors. These actors are taking global action across the campaign’s themes of urban, rural and coastal resilience. The Race to Resilience also launched its Transformations programme for non-state actors delivering action to advance the campaign’s 2030 goal, including increasing the quantity and quality of finance and investment, capacity building, governance systems, infrastructure and technological innovations. The campaign will announce the first group of Partners delivering on Transformations at COP26. Gonzalo Munoz, UN High Level Climate Champion, said: “We need humanity to come together to keep alive the hope of 1.5, and know that every fraction of a degree counts to protect those most vulnerable and build resilience across the world. This is not about pointing the finger at others. This is about each taking responsibility to step up to the challenge. It’s about us all moving together, and moving now.”  Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, said: “It is a responsibility – in fact, an imperative – for all of us to make COP26 a success. The impacts of climate change are becoming more frequent and more severe than had been anticipated. We can no longer postpone the actions needed to set the world on the path towards lower emissions, stronger resilience and, in a word, sustainability. Governments at all levels, businesses in all sectors and of all sizes, and non-state actors of every kind need to work closely together to accelerate the just transition that the people all around the world demand. I applaud those who are taking the lead in racing towards these targets, and urge others to follow the same path. Success in Glasgow will bring hope for the world.”  Media contact  Matthew Phillips: matthewphillips@climatechampions.team  / +44 7834 699991 About the UN High Level Climate Champions The UN High Level Champions for Climate Action from Chile and UK – Gonzalo Munoz and Nigel Topping – build on the legacy of their predecessors to engage with non-state actors and activate the ‘ambition loop’ with national governments. Their work is fundamentally designed to encourage a collaborative shift across all of society towards a decarbonised economy so that we can all thrive in a healthy, resilient, zero carbon world. Gonzalo and Nigel have convened a team to help them deliver on this work through flagship campaigns, targeted stakeholder engagement and leadership in systems transformation. About the 2030 Breakthroughs The 2030 Breakthroughs articulate what key actors must do, and by when, to deliver the systems change we need to achieve a resilient, zero carbon world in the over 30 sectors of the real economy. The 2030 Breakthroughs are derived from the Climate Action Pathways – a set of comprehensive sectoral roadmaps to achieve the Paris Agreement in line with 1.5°C, developed by the UN High Level Climate Champions and the Marrakech Partnership. About Race to Zero Race to Zero is the UN-backed global campaign rallying non-state actors – including companies, cities, regions, financial, educational, and healthcare institutions – to take rigorous and immediate action to halve global emissions by 2030 and deliver a healthier, fairer zero carbon world in time. All members are committed to the same overarching goal: reducing emissions across all scopes swiftly and fairly in line with the Paris Agreement, with transparent action plans and robust near-term targets. Led by the High-Level Climate Champions for Climate Action – Nigel Topping and Gonzalo Muñoz – Race To Zero mobilizes actors outside of national governments to join the Climate Ambition Alliance, which was launched at the UNSG’s Climate Action Summit 2019 by the President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera. About Race to Resilience Race to Resilience is a non-state actor led global campaign to catalyse a step-change in ambition and action for climate resilience, so people and nature don’t just survive climate shocks and stresses but thrive in spite of them. Led by the High-Level Climate Champions for Climate Action – Nigel Topping and Gonzalo Muñoz – Race for Resilience catalyses actors outside of national governments to build the resilience of 4 billion people from groups and communities vulnerable to climate risk by 2030. Through a partnership of initiatives, the campaign focuses on helping frontline communities to build resilience and adapt to impacts of climate change, such as heat, drought, flooding and sea-level rise. Source:UN Author:UN Date:September 20, 2021