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Net Zero Futures

New initiative launches to mobilise global state and regional leadership on net zero emissions

16 June 2021, 14:01 UTC 3 min read

Led by the Scottish Government and in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Climate Group has launched Net Zero Futures, an initiative to increase action towards reaching net zero emissions at the state and regional level.

State and regional governments are in a unique position to tackle climate change. They’re often responsible for the policies critical to emissions reduction across sectors including transport, energy, industry and the built environment, and they’re a vital link between national and local actors. Now, we’re calling on all states and regions to lead the net zero agenda. 

Net Zero Futures will achieve this by bringing governments together to share successes and challenges, while empowering them to set net zero targets and join the UN’s Race to Zero campaign. As a partner of Race to Zero, the Under2 Coalition Secretariat, the Climate Group, supports individual states, regions, provinces and prefectures to join the campaign.

States and regions with existing net zero targets are also being profiled as Net Zero Leaders to demonstrate how they are implementing plans to achieve their ambitious targets. In showing their progress, they are able to support other states and regions in doing the same in their own jurisdictions. Experts from these early mover governments have already started to share their net zero journeys as part of the Net Zero Futures dialogue series: a set of 6 thematic sessions aimed at building the capacity of states and regions to set and achieve their climate targets. 

In Scotland we have already set ambitious targets, committing in law to achieve a 75% reduction in emissions by 2030, and net zero emissions by 2045.  However, that is just the first step, and we in Scotland – and other governments around the world – must continue to focus on achieving our targets. 

As we deliver the actions needed to transition to a net zero future, it is crucial that we come together to exchange ideas and share our experiences – making sure that all governments are equipped with the tools they need to deliver decisive action.

Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport, Scottish Government

Video message from Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport, Scottish Government

From the critical early stage of setting a long-term vision in a participatory and inclusive way, to designing a decarbonisation pathway and tracking progress along the way, state and regional governments will benefit from a dedicated space to exchange with peers and key voices from the international scientific community. 

Almost 80 states and regions from all continents participated in the first two dialogue sessions, which featured presentations from the Scottish Government and New York State, together with scientists from the University of Oxford and Data-Driven Envirolab on defining net zero, how to set a long-term vision, and keeping equity and justice at the centre of net zero targets.

Bloomberg Philanthropies is proud to partner with the Scottish Government and Climate Group to support Net Zero Futures, an initiative to mobilise states and regions to set ambitious net zero targets and help them take immediate action towards achieving them. I encourage more states and regions to lead the way by engaging with Net Zero Futures and joining the UN's Race to Zero campaign.

Antha Williams, Global Climate and Environment Programs Lead, Bloomberg Philanthropies

Video message from Antha Williams, Global Climate and Environment Programs Lead, Bloomberg Philanthropies

Net Zero Futures is designed to bridge ambition and knowledge while providing a simple process for states and regions to join Race to Zero. Earlier this week, Hessen, Germany, Emilia-Romagna, Italy, and Minas Gerais, Brazil, became the latest regions to make a public commitment to reach net zero emissions and join Race to Zero through the Under2 Coalition. They join 2,162 businesses, 708 cities, 127 investors and 571 investors in forming the largest global alliance of actors credibly committed to halving global emissions by 2030 and achieving net zero emissions by 2050 at the very latest.

If all states and regions, everywhere, target net zero emissions, this will put the world in a much stronger position on climate. Urgent action is needed at all levels to avoid damaging temperature rises. Through Net Zero Futures, we’re strengthening state and regional leadership on net zero emissions. They must all step up and act.

Tim Ash Vie, Director of the Under2 Coalition Secretariat at the Climate Group

The Under2 Coalition invites all states and regions to participate in Net Zero Futures and attend the dialogue series. Governments that participate in the series will receive a Certificate of Participation to support their teams understanding of global net zero experiences. Please contact Virginia Bagnoli for more information. 

Governments interested in joining Race to Zero can do so through the Under2 Coalition. More information on how to join can be found here

We’d like to thank the following governments for providing inspirational messages on their net zero actions: 

  • Baden-Württemberg, Germany 
  • Basque Country, Spain 
  • California, United States 
  • Catalonia, Spain
  • Chungnam, South Korea 
  • Emilia-Romagna, Italy 
  • Hawai’i, United States 
  • Hessen, Germany 
  • Kymenlaakso, Finland 
  • Minas Gerais, Brazil 
  • Navarra, Spain
  • Nevada, United States 
  • New York, United States 
  • Québec, Canada 
  • Wales, United Kingdom 
  • Wallonia, Belgium  
  • Victoria, Australia  

The messages can be seen and shared through the Climate Group's Twitter account.