The global campaign to commit to accelerate climate action towards halving global emissions by 2030 and achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
The Race to Zero (RtZ) is the UN-backed global campaign rallying non-state actors across the global economy to take rigorous and immediate action to halve global emissions by 2030 and deliver a healthier, fairer zero carbon world. Led by the UNFCCC’s High-Level Climate Champions for Climate Action – Nigel Topping and Dr Mahmoud Mohieldin – 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.
RtZ is an umbrella campaign that aggregates a number of separate Net Zero Partner initiatives, including the Science-Based Targets Initiative’s Business Ambition for 1.5°C – actors can join RtZ via these initiatives and are required to report annually on their progress. All members must meet the minimum criteria in order to join the campaign. These criteria are strengthened and updated on an annual basis to ensure upward convergence towards best practice. In addition to providing actors with support to reach Scope 1-3 emission reduction targets, it is the role of Partners to ensure their signatories subscribe to RtZ’s “Four Ps” meta-criteria:
Upon request from the COP26 president, Alok Sharma, the CGF – in collaboration with Accenture, Unilever, and Walmart – formed a Race to Zero Taskforce to help drive Net Zero ambitions and execution against climate commitments within its membership. Through this work, the proportion of CGF Board member companies in the RtZ more than doubled (from 22% to 52%) in the six months leading up to COP26. As a result of these efforts, the CGF was recognised as an official “Accelerator” of RtZ at COP26 and continues to support members on their decarbonisation journeys.
The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) was formed in 2015 with the objective of helping companies set emissions reduction targets in line with the latest climate change science. The project is a collaboration between CDP, United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI), and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Since 2015, over 3,000 companies from around the world have joined the initiative, making it one of the most recognised business decarbonisation commitments.
The SBTi defines and promotes best practice in science-based target setting, including offering a range of resources for companies to use when they are assessing their own emissions trajectory. The SBTi independently assesses all approved proposals in line with its established criteria to ensure every company is using comparable methods across different industries.
Companies can set an SBT in line with 1.5°C warming trajectories. Those with the most ambitious decarbonisation goals can choose to set a Net Zero target in line with the SBTi’s Net Zero Standard, which requires deep emissions cuts of 90-95% across Scopes 1-3 by 2050 at the latest. By making this commitment, companies will be recognised as part of the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign (the Race to Zero’s partner initiative for the consumer industries) and the Race to Zero.