UN Climate Change
Global Climate Action
23 June 2020
The Race to Zero is ON!
This month we kicked off a broad and unlikely alliance of businesses, investors, cities, universities and others committed to recovering from the Covid-19 crisis by building a healthier, more resilient world where emissions fall to zero in the 2040s. 

Commitments under the Race to Zero alliance now cover 53 percent of global GDP, 23 percent of carbon emissions and one-third of the global population, according to the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit . The campaign’s membership is two-thirds larger than when the Climate Ambition Alliance was launched at COP25. 

That is a massive show of support, and we thank everyone involved for helping make the launch of Race to Zero a success. Three more companies have already joined since the June 5 launch - Verizon, Infosys, and Reckitt Benckiser, which have signed Amazon’s Climate Pledge

Now we aim to grow the alliance 10-fold before COP26 in November 2021. If you want to add your business, city or initiative to the Race to Zero, contact RaceToZero@unfccc.int . We will also be promoting dialogues to encourage collaboration and exchange - more on that below. 

Why now? We are in the midst of a pandemic that has triggered the worst economic collapse, with civil rights and justice movements spreading worldwide. Our ‘normality’ has been shaken to its core. We have the duty, and opportunity, to build back in a way that makes us healthier, stronger, more equal and more resilient. To do that, we must put private and public investment into public health and the jobs and infrastructure that support a healthy environment. 

A carbon-free economy, where nature is restored and thriving, will lead to reduced poverty, greater access to clean energy, water and air and more reliable food supplies. It’s a core tenet of the World Health Organization’s prescription for a healthy recovery
Support for a Green, Resilient Recovery is Strong
Reflections from the High-Level Champions
This is what businesses, investors, local governments and the public want — and it’s what many academic, economic and scientific experts recommend. Under the UN Global Compact, 155 companies representing 5 million employees and $2.4 trillion in market capitalisation have reaffirmed their commitment to limiting global warming to 1.5°C and policies that support this. Under the Principles for Responsible Investment, 109 investors with $11.9 trillion in assets under management or advice have called on policymakers to incorporate climate conditions in their financial support for companies. And under C40, 40 mayors have pledged to recover from Covid-19 with a better, more sustainable and fairer society.

A new survey by the Clean Air Fund found that at least two-thirds of people in the UK, India, Nigeria, Poland and Bulgaria support stricter rules to tackle air pollution. More than 90 percent in India and Nigeria wanti improved air quality.

Policymakers and economists at the University of Oxford’s Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment identified five types of policies that can help limit climate change while quickly and effectively stimulating the economy: 1) Investment in clean physical infrastructure, 2) Retrofitting buildings to make them more efficient, 3) Investing in education and training to curtail unemployment, 4) Investment in conserving and regenerating nature and biodiversity, 5) Investment in low-carbon research and development.

We have many more examples of why the benefits and opportunities to be gained from a green recovery, and the strong support for it. To receive the full presentation, email racetozero@unfccc.int.

So, let’s get to work. Forging a healthy, resilient recovery will require collaboration across the economic spectrum - between businesses, cities, regions, investors and civil society. We need to share stories of success (and failure), lessons learned, science, innovation and calls for support. This is especially crucial in 2020, as we build back better from the public health crisis, economic collapse and civil rights and justice movements - while honouring the Paris Agreement’s call to step up national climate commitments this year.
Express Your Interest for the Race to Zero November Dialogues
We are inviting our partners to organize dialogues this November that will promote collaboration around the Marrakech Partnership Climate Action Pathways, guided by science, and accelerating the race to zero emissions. The dialogues should help us reflect on the progress businesses, cities, investors and others have made in this challenging year to lower emissions and build resilience to the impacts of climate change. They should also create the enabling conditions needed to cross 10 tipping points towards systems transformation, and to help countries strengthen their existing Paris commitments and set ambitious long-term strategies.

Organisations, initiatives and alliances are welcome to submit concept notes for these dialogues, and can find more on how to submit an expression of interest here .
We Will Win or Lose This Race Together
We look forward to welcoming many more commitments, and shining a light on the inspirational stories of determination and transformation to come.

The Race to Zero now counts:
  • 995 businesses
  • 449 cities
  • 21 regions 
  • 505 universities 
  • 38 investors

Among those:

For more on the Race to Zero, check out:

Call for Feedback
Improving the Marrakech Partnership for enhancing ambition – deadline for feedback 31 July

Recall that the High-Level Champions launched the process for receiving written feedback on how to improve the work for enhancing ambition at the beginning of April. The Marrakech Partnership is entering a new phase and it is essential to build on past achievements and lessons learned and make the Partnership fit-for-purpose to start this decade of delivery. Receiving your feedback and ideas by 31 July on how to enhance ambition through the Partnership is crucial for the Champions as they develop a path forward.

UN Climate Change | Global Climate Action | Marrakech Partnership | GlobalClimateAction@unfccc.int | unfccc.int