What is the Race to Zero initative?
Race to Zero is the UN-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 zero carbon world in time.
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. Led by the High-Level Climate Champions for Climate Action – Nigel Topping and Gonzalo Muñoz – Race To Zero mobilises actors outside of national governments to join the Climate Ambition Alliance, which was launched at the UNSG’s Climate Action Summit 2019 by the President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera.
The Under2 Coalition is a partner of Race to Zero
As a partner to the Race to Zero, the Under2 Coalition Secretariat – the Climate Group supports individual states, regions, provinces, prefectures and other subnational 'actors' to join Race to Zero.
The Under2 Coalition’s Net Zero Futures initiative offers subnational governments an opportunity to be highlighted as a Net Zero Leader, be submitted to the Race to Zero, and have access to the latest knowledge, science, and international expertise on net zero target setting and long-term decarbonisation pathways. The Net Zero Futures Initiative is designed to bridge ambition and knowledge while providing a simple process for states and regions to become a part of the Race to Zero.
All states and regions taking part in Net Zero Futures are supported to join the Race to Zero, which is intended to rally leadership and support from businesses, cities, regions, investors for a healthy, resilient, zero carbon recovery that prevents future threats, creates decent jobs, and unlocks inclusive, sustainable growth.
We're working to ensure that individual states and regions are Net Zero Leaders in their own right and meet the minimum Race to Zero criteria.
Refer to the sections below to learn how to join the Race to Zero.
Race to Zero criteria
In order to join the Race to Zero all subnational governments and other stakeholders need to meet a set of minimum criteria. These criteria represent the “starting line” for the race, so meeting them reflects that actors have begun the process. These ‘meta-criteria’ are known as the Four ‘P’s.
Pledge at the head-of-organisation (for state/regional governments, this reflects a pledge at the Governor, Premier, First Minister, Chief Minister or other Minister) level to reach (net) zero GHG emissions as soon as possible, and by midcentury at the latest, in line with global efforts to limit warming to 1.5˚C.
Set an interim target to achieve in the next decade, which reflects maximum effort toward or beyond a fair share of the 50% global reduction in CO2 by 2030 identified in the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5˚C.
Note: The interim target must be set within 12 months from the point of joining the Race to Zero, if not shared already at the time of the pledge.
Within 12 months of joining, explain what actions will be taken toward achieving both interim and longer-term pledges, especially in the short- to medium-term.
Take immediate action toward achieving (net) zero, consistent with delivering interim targets specified.
Commit to report publicly both progress against interim and long-term targets, as well as the actions being taken, at least annually. To the extent possible, report via platforms that feed into the UNFCCC Global Climate Action Portal.
Key steps for a state, region or province to join the Race to Zero
- Make a public commitment at the head of government level with 2050 and 2030 targets in line with the Race to Zero criteria – this can be through legislation or through an announcement/statement, preferably backed with strong legislation or plans for legislating the target by COP26.
- Submit evidence of the public commitment to net zero to the Under2 Coalition Secretariat through the Under2 Coalition Ambition Tracker, including any updates to the target including new plans, documents, papers and progress figures to be re-submitted through the survey when released. Governments included in the Race to Zero campaign must continue to report their progress annually through this form to continue meeting the required criteria.
- Take part in Net Zero Futures, participate in the dialogue series and receive profile as a state and regional Net Zero Leader, as well as profile through the Race to Zero campaign.
- The Under2 Coalition Secretariat will assess pledges and submit governments to the Race to Zero database. Once the state/region is in Race to Zero, the Under2 Coalition Secretariat will share the Race to Zero Member Toolkit to guide their announcements and communications.