Going faster on global ambition to tackle climate change ahead of COP26

COP26 President Alok Sharma at the New York Climate Week Event, “COP26 and the Zero Carbon Growth Agenda”, hosted by the UN Race to Zero campaign in partnership with the Climate Group

The Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP

Last week, Facebook announced science-based emissions reduction targets, including a commitment to net zero by 2030.

And today, I’m delighted that building materials firm LafargeHolcim has committed to developing the world’s first net-zero roadmap in the cement sector.

While CP Group, one of Asia’s largest conglomerates and food companies, has also the same UN ‘Business Ambition for 1.5 degrees’ campaign.

These are just three examples of the leadership and ambition we have seen from businesses in tackling climate change.

We have come a long way, not least in the past year.

But over the next fourteen months to COP26, I am calling on the world to up its ambition.

Because we are at a critical moment.

The clock is ticking on climate action.

Temperatures are soaring.

Storms are raging.

And crops are failing.

And if we do not take this chance, every single one of us will be affected.

We all have a part to play.

Countries, regions, businesses, people.

Together, through our collective effort, we can make a difference in tackling the climate crisis.

By shifting investment, spurring innovation, scaling up technologies and driving down costs.

Renewable technologies are the proof.

Every time the global deployment of solar has doubled, its costs have fallen by almost 30 percent.

As COP26 President, I am urging all countries to submit more ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions.

To pledge to reach net zero emissions, as soon as possible.

To consider adaptation in all planning decisions.

And to honour their pre-2020 commitments on mitigation.

And on the totemic 100 billion dollar goal for climate finance.

It is not just countries that need to act.

We need companies, regions and civil society, to continue what they have already started.

To reduce emissions and adapt to climate change.

So, I have four concrete requests.

First on clean energy.

I’m asking companies to join the likes of H&M, Panasonic, and HSBC.

And commit to using 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050 at the latest, through the ‘RE100’ initiative.

And cities, regions and businesses, please join the likes of California, New Taipei City, and Rotterdam.

To end the use of polluting coal power.

Join the Powering Past Coal Alliance.

Second, zero emission road transport.

Join the EV100 campaign.

Commit to operating, or supporting, zero-emissions vehicles by 2030.

Wipro, Lyft, EDF and many others are already on board.

Third, for all you bankers, asset managers, financiers and insurers.

Please, follow the TCFD disclosure recommendations.

To green the financial system.

My fourth and final ask is of you all.

Businesses, regions, cities, and civil society organisations.

Please join the great City of New York, and many others, in the Race to Zero Coalition.

And commit to reaching Net Zero by 2050, at the latest.

And I’m delighted that Brambles, PayPal and Mastercard are now part of Race to Zero.

In New York Climate Week, we have a real opportunity to go faster on climate action.

And we will all benefit.

Through sustainable businesses.

Cleaner air in our cities.

And a brighter future for our children and grandchildren.

Thank you.

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
The Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP