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COP26 President’s challenge to every sector of the global economy to reach critical net zero tipping points

The UN High-Level Climate Champions, COP26 President Alok Sharma, COP25 President Carolina Schmidt, together with the UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa, have this week launched the Race to Zero Breakthroughs at the World Economic Forum’s Davos Agenda.

The Race to Zero Breakthroughs have been published in a special paper, which sets out the specific, near-term tipping points for more than 20 sectors that make up the global economy, forming a master plan around which business, governments, and civil society can unite ahead of COP26. Collectively, they articulate what key actors must do, and by when, to deliver the sectoral changes needed to achieve a resilient, zero carbon future by 2050 at the latest.

COP26 President Designate Alok Sharma said:

“It is vital that businesses go net zero, as part of our fight against climate change. Which is why we look to all sectors to reach a point at which a clean way of operating becomes the norm. Because if every sector plays its part, we will see the global economy on the right path to achieving net zero by 2050.”

To meet the challenge, actors covering 20% of their sector are being asked to commit to each breakthrough. By the time governments convene in Glasgow in November for the UN climate negotiations, the UN High-Level Champions — Nigel Topping and Gonzalo Muñoz — are now calling on local governments, businesses and investors to achieve breakthroughs in at least 10 sectors of the economy.

The Race to Zero Breakthroughs have been drawn from the Climate Action Pathways, a set of comprehensive roadmaps to achieve the Paris Agreement in line with 1.5°C across all sectors, which were developed by the Marrakech Partnership — a vast coalition from across the climate action ecosystem — all of whom will need to play their part to transform their sector to deliver the Breakthroughs.

Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, said:

“The Race to Zero Breakthroughs set out the specific tipping points that every sector in the global economy must reach in order to create a resilient, zero carbon world. We now know what key actors must do, and by when, to deliver the sectoral changes needed. I call on leaders across all sectors of the global economy to work together to deliver the Race to Zero Breakthroughs.”

Industry leaders rise to the challenge

Leaders in climate and industry across the sectors of the global economy have welcomed the launch of the Race to Zero Breakthroughs – the global campaign is rallying leadership and support from businesses, cities, regions, investors for a healthy, resilient, zero carbon recovery.

The campaign has mobilized a coalition of leading net zero initiatives, representing 454 cities, 23 regions, 1,397 businesses, 74 of the biggest investors, and 569 universities. These ‘real economy’ actors join 120 countries in the largest ever alliance committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest. Collectively these actors now cover nearly 25% global CO2 emissions and over 50% GDP.

 

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