Ford and Facebook join Race To Zero climate campaign
Ford and Facebook commit to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 as part of the UN’s ‘Race To Zero’ campaign
- Race To Zero aims to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest
- The campaign’s partners will accelerate net-zero carbon emission commitments
- Other new Race to Zero partners include PayPal, Mastercard and Mercedes-Benz
Facebook and car maker Ford have joined the UN’s campaign to reach net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2050.
‘Race To Zero’ is an international campaign ‘for a zero-carbon world’, where carbon emissions are balanced by carbon that’s removed from the atmosphere.
The campaign’s partners, which need to meet a set of criteria, are tasked with ‘accelerating net-zero carbon emission commitments’, including taking immediate action to achieve net zero emissions.
Achieving net zero by 2050 ‘at the very latest’ is in line with the scientific consensus on limiting warming to 2.7°F (1.5°C), set out in the Paris Agreement in 2015.
Facebook itself has already made promises to stamp out carbon emissions from its own operations, but the new partnership commits the social network to adhering with the UN’s climate goals.
Facebook is among the supporters of the Race To Zero campaign, the largest alliance of local governments, businesses and investors aiming for zero emissions in the 2040s
Boston Consulting Group
The announcement comes ahead of the 26th annual United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, which will be held in Glasgow in November.
‘Those involved in the Race to Zero have made a commitment to build that future and to achieve specific goals and will be held to those promises,’ said Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
‘The world cannot afford to be let down, nor can this campaign become something that allows nations to defer action until a later date.
‘It’s about needing more climate ambition and climate action now – in 2020.’
The UN’s Race to Zero initiative is backed by 22 regions, 452 cities, 1,128 businesses and 549 universities.
Other new Race for Zero partners include PayPal, Mastercard, Mercedes-Benz, the world’s largest cement company LafargeHolcim and CP Group, a Thai conglomerate and one of the world’s largest agri-food producers.
‘As the global leader in our industry, LafargeHolcim has a key role to play to address today’s climate crisis,’ said LafargeHolcim CEO Jan Jenisch.
‘That’s why we are proud to announce our net zero pledge with science-based targets to accelerate green construction and the transition to a net zero world.’
The campaign aims to bring together net zero commitments from cities, businesses and investors across the climate action community.
Its objective is to build momentum around the shift to a decarbonized economy ahead of COP26 in November, where governments ‘must strengthen their contributions to the Paris Agreement’, the UN says.
Between 2015 and 2021 the government expects to invest more than £2.5 billion in research and development of low carbon energy technologies – such as those involving wind and solar – transport, agriculture, and waste
Value chain includes emissions from suppliers and other factors such as employee commuting and business travel
Facebook itself has recently committed to reaching net zero emissions throughout its value chain by 2030 – meaning emissions of greenhouse gases will be offset by its operations.
Also last week, it launched the Climate Science Information Centre – a dedicated webpage on the site that collects resources from climate experts, including the UN.
Now, Facebook’s decision to join Race To Zero demonstrates ‘clear momentum behind the shift towards a decarbonised economy’, according to the UK government.
‘Climate change affects every single one of us and we all have a part to play to champion climate action ahead of Cop26,’ said UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Alok Sharma, who is also president of COP26.
‘Through the Energy Transition Council and the UK’s ambitious climate finance commitments, I hope to drive the transition to cleaner energies, and I urge all businesses, cities and regions to join the Race To Zero coalition.’
Business Secretary Alok Sharma, who will announce Ford and Facebook have joined the campaign to reach net-zero carbon emissions
Sharma is to speak at a special event on Monday, alongside political and industry leaders about the next decade of clean energy co-operation, to mark the first day of Climate Week NYC on Monday.
Sharma is also set to launch the UN Climate Change Conference’s Energy Transition Council, to bring together leaders to speed up the transition from coal to renewables in developing countries.
The UK will chair the council alongside Damilola Ogunbiyi, the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL).
It comes after the UK Government announced a new £50 million investment in a new Clean Energy Innovation Facility (CEIF).
CEIF help developing countries get easier access to innovative clean energy technologies, focusing on key sectors such as industry, cooling, smart energy and storage.
Between 2015 and 2021 the government expects to invest more than £2.5 billion in research and development of low carbon energy technologies – such as those involving wind and solar – transport, agriculture, and waste.
WHAT IS THE PARIS AGREEMENT?
The Paris Agreement, which was first signed in 2015, is an international agreement to control and limit climate change.
It hopes to hold the increase in the global average temperature to below 2°C (3.6ºF) ‘and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C (2.7°F)’.
It seems the more ambitious goal of restricting global warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F) may be more important than ever, according to previous research which claims 25 per cent of the world could see a significant increase in drier conditions.
In June 2017, President Trump announced his intention for the US, the second largest producer of greenhouse gases in the world, to withdraw from the agreement.
The Paris Agreement on Climate Change has four main goals with regards to reducing emissions:
1) A long-term goal of keeping the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels
2) To aim to limit the increase to 1.5°C, since this would significantly reduce risks and the impacts of climate change
3) Goverments agreed on the need for global emissions to peak as soon as possible, recognising that this will take longer for developing countries
4) To undertake rapid reductions thereafter in accordance with the best available science
Source: European Commission
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