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Retailers call for ambitious climate action by launching the Race to Zero Accelerator Pledge at COP26

Published: 10 Nov 2021
Type: News
  • The Breakthroughs 2030: Retail Campaign was launched this year, with the UNFCCC Race to Zero, WBCSD, H&M Group, Ingka Group (IKEA), Kingfisher plc and Walmart. Best Buy has now joined as a founding member.
  • The retail campaign launched Race to Zero Retail Accelerator Pledge as an opportunity for global, regional and national retail associations to commit to galvanize their members to take coordinated climate action and achieve a genuine step-change in progress.
  • Retail associations that join the Race to Zero Accelerator Pledge gain access to the Race to Zero Retail Center of Excellence resource hub.
  • Retail Associations can become an official Accelerator for the Race to Zero by reaching 20% of their membership officially entered into the Race to Zero within the next 24 months.
  • The British Retail Consortium and the Australian Retailers Association have joined the Race to Zero Accelerator Pledge at COP26.

Glasgow, COP26, 10 November 2021 – Founding members of the Breakthroughs 2030: Retail campaign H&M Group, Ingka Group (IKEA), Kingfisher plc, Walmart, and now joined by Best Buy, launched the Race to Zero Accelerator Pledge for retail associations at COP26.

Retailers are increasingly recognizing the risks posed by climate change across their supply chains and operations, but at present, only 5% of retail sector businesses by total global industry revenues have joined the UNFCCC Race to Zero.

The Race to Zero Retail Accelerator Pledge offers the opportunity for global, regional and national retail associations commit to galvanize their members to take coordinated climate action and achieve a genuine step-change in progress, with the aim of reaching 20% of their membership officially entered into the Race to Zero within the next 24 months.

The British Retail Consortium and Australian Retail Association have joined the Race to Zero Accelerator Pledge, allowing them and other retail associations who join access to best practices, capacity building resources, communication tools and guidance within the Race to Zero Retail Centre of Excellence resource hub.

Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive Officer of the British Retail Consortium, said: “We are delighted to be the first major retail association to sign the Race to Zero Retail Accelerator Pledge, as part of BRC’s Climate Action Roadmap. Working with Race to Zero as an accelerator program strengthens our roadmap, providing another catalyst to go faster and further on the industry’s ground-breaking journey to Net Zero.”

The Australian Retail Association’s Chief Executive Officer Paul Zahra added that taking urgent action to address climate change will become a leading focus for Australian retail as the sector emerges from Covid-19. “Having navigated the global pandemic, we are now moving on to tackle the next big global disruption – climate change.”

“The science is clear, the case for change is compelling and our members are acting, with 40% of Australia’s retail trade already covered by net-zero commitments. Becoming a Race to Zero Accelerator will galvanize our intent, connect our members with global best practice and let the global supply chain know that Australian retail is ready to take action to address climate change,” said Mr Zahra.

“At a time when the climate crisis might seem too big to solve, we are proud to be a founding member of the Race to Zero Breakthroughs 2030: Retail Campaign,” Corie Barry, the Chief Executive Officer of Best Buy. “Together, we will be able to make a meaningful and positive impact on the planet by joining forces and collectively rethinking how we do business.”

“It is great to see the momentum in the Breakthroughs: 2030 Retail campaign with Best Buy joining H&M Group, Ingka Group (IKEA), Kingfisher plc and Walmart as founding members, and the British Retail Consortium and Australian Retail Association pledging to become Accelerators for the Race to Zero. I encourage all retailers and retail associations to step up climate action and join the Race to Zero.” - Nigel Topping, UN High Level Climate Champion for COP26

Further information on the Breakthroughs 2030: Retail campaign and the Race to Zero Accelerator Pledge can be found on the campaign webpage. Contact: DJ Forza, Campaign Manager: forza@wbcsd.org

About 2030 Breakthroughs: Retail campaign

The 2030 Breakthroughs: Retail campaign was founded by Best Buy, H&M Group, Ingka Group (IKEA), Kingfisher plc and Walmart in collaboration with the COP26 High Level Climate Action Champions and supported by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). Through the collaboration, the retailers have pledged their support to accelerate a movement in the retail industry to drive climate action and hope to encourage other retailers to set out their plans to achieve 1.5 degree aligned carbon reduction targets. For more information, please visit - Race to Zero & Race to Resilience (unfccc.int)

About the Race to Zero

Race to Zero is the United Nations-backed global campaign rallying non-state actors – including companies, cities, regions, financial and educational institutions – to take rigorous and immediate action to halve global emissions by 2030 and deliver a healthier, fairer, carbon-neutral world in time. racetozero.unfccc.int

About the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

The UNFCCC Secretariat (UN Climate Change) is the United Nations entity tasked with supporting the global response to the threat of climate change. The Convention has near universal membership (197 Parties) and is the parent treaty of the 2015 Paris Agreement. The main aim of the Paris Agreement is to keep the global average temperature rise this century as close as possible to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The UNFCCC is also the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The ultimate objective of all three agreements under the UNFCCC is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system, in a time frame which allows ecosystems to adapt naturally and enables sustainable development. UNFCCC

About COP26 Climate Champions

At the COP 21 United Nations climate change conference in Paris, governments agreed that mobilizing stronger and more ambitious climate action is urgently required to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. To connect the work of governments with the many voluntary and collaborative actions taken by cities, regions, businesses and investors, nations decided to appoint two high-level champions. Meet the Champions | UNFCCC

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