UN Special Envoy Michael R. Bloomberg, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa, and high-level climate champions, Nigel Topping & Gonzalo Munoz, announce the future of Race to Zero and Race to Resilience campaigns
With Bloomberg’s support, the campaigns will continue to amplify the voices of diverse non-Party climate leaders and track net-zero climate progress in conjunction with the UN Climate Change framework
Collaboration will help strengthen capacity and track real progress beyond COP26 as nearly 8,000 cities, regions, businesses, investors race to halve emissions by 2030 and build a more resilient world
New York, New York, and Glasgow, United Kingdom – Michael R. Bloomberg, the U.N. Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions and Race to Zero and Race to Resilience Global Ambassador, Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and High-Level Climate Champions of the United Kingdom and Chile, Nigel Topping and Gonzalo Muñoz, today announced that the Race To Zero and Race to Resilience campaigns will continue their momentum beyond COP26, elevating action from businesses, cities, regions, investors, educational institutions, and healthcare institutions to reduce emissions and build climate resilience. Supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Races focused on stakeholder actions, aim to support governments to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, heralding a new age of inclusive multilateralism by incorporating non-state climate leaders and organizations into the climate process through 2025.
“Climate change is a challenge that can’t be solved by national governments alone. It will also take cities, statesand regions, businesses and universities, local leaders, and everyone in between – because this is an all-hands-on-deck situation,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg L.P. and Bloomberg Philanthropies and the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Ambition and Solutions. “The success of the Race to Zero and Race to Resilience campaigns is a testament to the power subnational actors have to make a difference. And that’s why Bloomberg Philanthropies is making sure these campaigns continue in strong partnership with the United Nations.”
Race to Zero, which aims to see actors commit to halving emissions by 2030 and going net-zero by 2050, has seen 7,800+ non-state actors from over 110 countries join, including 5,235 businesses, 1049 cities, 67 regions, 441 financial institutions, 1039 educational institutions, and 52 healthcare institutions. These ‘real economy’ actors join 120 countries in the largest ever alliance committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest, collectively, covering nearly 25% global CO2 emissions and over 50% GDP.
“COP26 showed that the race to zero emissions is not only underway, it is picking up significant momentum,” said Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change. “But the road to higher climate ambition did not stop in Glasgow. This initiative will help increase climate action today while building a better future for tomorrow.”
Strengthening Capacity Post COP26
Bloomberg’s support will strengthen the capacity of the Race to Zero and Race to Resilience campaigns, including through six UN Climate Change Regional Collaboration Centres focused in developing countries. This will foster cross-sector and cross-geography collaboration to achieve faster innovation, larger economies of scale, stronger incentives for investment, and level playing fields where needed. The support will also ensure the Race to Resilience — the sibling campaign of Race to Zero aimed at catalyzing climate resilience for 4 billion people by 2030 — continues to drive progress and momentum toward a safer and more secure world.
Tracking & Reporting Progress
As part of their commitments to the Races, non-Party stakeholders are mandated to publicly report their progress toward interim and long-term targets and actions taken at least once per year. Building on their existing partnership, Bloomberg Philanthropies will work with UN Climate Change, through the Global Climate Action portal, to develop and build more integrated and accessible Race to Zero and Race to Resilience accountability, disclosure, and tracking mechanisms. This effort will help track the collective impact and progress of real economy action in the lead-up to the 2023 Global Stocktake, the official process of assessing the world’s collective progress towards achieving the Paris Agreement. This will complement existing data tools and resources to increase transparency and accountability as cities, regions, businesses, and investors continue to raise climate ambition and reduce emissions in the years ahead. In the critical “decade of delivery,” the Global Climate Action portal will help showcase how climate action is driving innovation, help spur investment for implementation, and provide a mechanism to bring additional rigor and credibility to net-zero progress.
“The progress we have seen from the campaigns has been a reflection of the power of the real economy in driving systemic change,” said Nigel Topping, UN High-Level Climate Action Champion for COP26. “This diverse, global coalition of leaders have stepped up to raise ambition and deliver results ahead of COP26 and I look forward to accelerating momentum even further to keep 1.5C within reach.”
A whole of society approach and radical collaboration are needed to address climate change, and action from businesses, cities, and regions will be critical. Momentum from real economy actors under Race to Zero has created the conditions for political leaders to step up with ambitious policies that can unlock and accelerate the transition to a resilient, zero-carbon future. Race to Zero is building consensus on what needs to happen and what best practice looks like, while Race to Resilience has begun catalyzing a step-change in global ambition for climate resilience. The job now is to move from ambition to action. This next phase will be critical in ensuring that happens by providing better data to understand priorities and track progress, building stronger networks to share best practices, and fostering better coordination between public and private sector action at the local level.
“Coming out of COP26, we are at a pivotal moment,” said Gonzalo Muñoz, Chilean High-Level Climate Champion for COP25. “In order to deliver the immediate emissions reductions we all need to reach a healthier, zero-carbon world in time, we must continue to empower cities, businesses, and investors to step up and take bolder climate action. Thanks to Mike Bloomberg, these campaigns have the opportunity to drive systemic change within the real economy.”
About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 810 cities and 170 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: the Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation, corporate, and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultancy that works in cities around the world. In 2020, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $1.6 billion. For more information, please visit bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.
About UN High Level Climate Champions
The UN High Level Champions for Climate Action from Chile and UK – Gonzalo Munoz and Nigel Topping – build on the legacy of their predecessors to engage with non-state actors and activate the ‘ambition loop’ with national governments. Their work is fundamentally designed to encourage a collaborative shift across all of society towards a decarbonised economy so that we can all thrive in a healthy, resilient, zero carbon world. Gonzalo and Nigel have convened a team to help them deliver on this work through flagship campaigns, targeted stakeholder engagement and leadership in systems transformation.
About Race to Zero
Race to Zero is the UN-backed global campaign rallying non-state actors – including companies, cities, regions, financial, educational, and healthcare 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 mobilizes 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.
About Race to Resilience
Race to Resilience is a non-state actor led global campaign to catalyze a step-change in ambition and action for climate resilience, so people and nature don’t just survive climate shocks and stresses but thrive in spite of them. Led by the High-Level Climate Champions for Climate Action – Nigel Topping and Gonzalo Muñoz – Race for Resilience catalyzes actors outside of national governments to build the resilience of 4 billion people from groups and communities vulnerable to climate risk by 2030. Through a partnership of initiatives, the campaign focuses on helping frontline communities to build resilience and adapt to impacts of climate change, such as heat, drought, flooding and sea-level rise.
Urban: Transform urban slums into healthy, clean and safe cities
Rural: Equip smallholder farmers to adapt and thrive
Coastal: Protect homes and businesses against climate shocks
About Global Climate Action Portal (GCAP)
The Global Climate Action portal (GCAP, formally NAZCA) is an UNFCCC online platform which tracks the climate action of non-Party stakeholders from around the globe – states and regions, cities, businesses, investors and international cooperative initiatives. It is recognized in the decision adopting the Paris Agreement, which encourages non-Party stakeholders to register their actions in the portal. Today the portal recognizes more than 24,000 non-Party stakeholders from over 160 countries, and 151 cooperative initiatives, including initiatives announced at UN 2019 Climate Action Summit. At COP 26, the portal has been relaunched to address the mandate by Parties made at COP 25 to track the progress of voluntary climate actions, work which has been developed in collaboration with the Camda analytical community. As a result, GCAP is now tracking the commitments made by non-Party stakeholders, including the Race to Zero and its participants.
Daphne Wang – Bloomberg Philanthropies
Matthew Phillips – UN High-Level Climate Champions
Alexander Saier – UN Climate Change