COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland (November 1 -12, 2021) is the most important milestone since the adoption of the Paris Agreement. For the first time nations are expected to present new and enhanced pledges showing how they will reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
Race To Zero brings together participants committed to the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement and to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 at the very latest. It is a global campaign led by the High-Level Climate Champions for Climate Action, Nigel Topping and Gonzalo Muñozto, to rally leadership and support from businesses, cities, regions, and investors for a healthy, resilient, zero carbon recovery that prevents future threats, creates decent jobs, and unlocks inclusive, sustainable growth.
Where can I learn more?
C40 is an official cities recruitment partner for Race to Zero in North America and CUSP is working with them to recruit Canadian cities.
Visit citiesracetozero.org, read the pledge form and the commitments of Race to Zero and determine who within your organization can sign the pledge. In some cases, a staff report and council motion may not be necessary if your climate plan and declaration of a climate emergency already endorse the commitments of Race to Zero.
What are the commitments of Race to Zero?
Endorse the following principles:
We recognize the global climate emergency
We are committed to keeping global heating below the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement.
We are committed to putting inclusive climate action at the centre of all urban decision making, to create thriving and equitable communities for everyone.
We invite our partners – political leaders, CEOs, trade unions, investors, and civil society – to join us in recognizing the global climate emergency and help us deliver on science- based action to overcome it.
Pledge to reach net-zero in the 2040s or by midcentury at the latest and limit warming to 1.5°C.
Plan to set an interim 2030 target consistent with a fair share of 50% global emission reductions.
Proceed to plan at least one inclusive climate action.*
e.g. Procure only zero emission buses from 2025.
Publish your target and action to your usual reporting platform and report progress annually.
*Actions in Year One: Action planning cities can choose among 50+ high-impact inclusive actions that will set them on a path to 1.5 °C, deliver a green a just recovery from COVID -19, as well as better health, air quality, jobs and resilience for all. All signatories must commit to at least one action before COP26; it can be an action already underway, a new action, or multiple!
Our city has signed on to Race to Zero, what's next?
Once you’ve signed up you can use C40’s resources to help:
promote your city’s involvement in Race to Zero through social media
recruit other cities in your region
leverage Race to Zero to form partnerships with local universities, colleges, and large employers
What resources are available through Race to Zero?
There are existing resourcesavailable from C40 for promotion and activation of your community around Race to Zero.
The first commitment of Race to Zero is the establishment of a science-based target and carbon budget. A tool for calculating your carbon budget and setting science-based targets is on its way from CUSP.
More to come from CUSP’s collaborative work with C40, CDP, and GCoM.
Who has already committed to Race to Zero*?
624 Educational Institutions
*As of May 27, 2021.
Of the 724 CRTZ Cities: 229 are from Europe, 55 are from the United States, and seven are from Canada: Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Halifax, North Vancouver, Guelph, and Hamilton (as of May 1st, 2021).
How does reporting work? It's simple.
Signatories should report their targets and actions through the reporting system they are already using. In 2021, cities will report the information they have, even if incomplete. By 2022, cities will report confirmed or updated targets, and start reporting progress annually.
Cities can report using CDP-ICLEI Unified Reporting Platform, MyCovenant, or PCP/BARC. Cities that have not reported will receive support.
My city is a signatory to the Global of Covenant of Mayor on Climate Change – How does Race to Zero fit?
GCoM supports and encourages any signatory city to join both races. As a signatory of the Global Covenant of Mayors (GCoM) your city is already working toward decarbonizing your economy. The Race to Zero campaign offers a new, voluntary opportunity for raising your city’s current ambition, setting science-based targets (SBTs) and to showcase ambitious action at global level in the run up to COP26. If you are already are a GCoM signatory and you are interested in joining the Race to Zero, you still have to pledge at citiesracetozero.org.
GCoM signatories interested in joining the campaign, will be committing, in addition to their current commitments, to reach net-zero in the 2040s or by mid-century at the latest a medium-term science based target (e.g. 55%+ by 2030). Whilst Race to Zero does not require the development of action plans, cities are required to identify and submit one of more specific pledges for action, and to provide a yearly report on their progress. After making the pledge on the Cities Race to Zero website, you can continue to report your progress through the reporting platform that you are currently using. In Canada, this includes both CDP/ICLEI Unified Reporting System and PCP/BARC.
What if our city isn't currently reporting in CDP or PCP/BARC and hasn't joined GCoM?
If you aren’t reporting annually on your city’s emissions and your planned actions and progress for climate action, resilience, and justice, consider starting. Climate transparency and accountability is increasingly expected by residents and businesses and as a condition of funding for infrastructure and capacity building.
For Canadian cities that haven’t signed onto GCoM, you can commit to long-term climate action by joining the largest global alliance for city climate leadership, built upon the commitment of over 10,500 cities and local governments. By committing to the Global Covenant of Mayors, cities and local governments can continue to increase their visibility as leaders responding to climate change beyond COP26 and demonstrate their commitment to an ambitious global climate solution.
We pursue transformative impact for the equitable and lasting wellbeing of people and planet.