Race to Zero at COP28

By Climate Champions | December 18, 2023
  • Race to Zero showcased real economy global progress with the release of its 2023 Progress Report. Under the leadership of 26 Partners and 31 Accelerators, the campaign has nearly doubled in number since COP26, with 13,500 non-state actors from over 145 countries working towards the global halving of emissions by 2030.
  • Race to Zero’s COP28 video showcases leaders from around the world, such as HE Razan Al Mubarak, Paul Polman and Catherine McKenna, advocating for policy incentives for zero emissions. At COP28, Race to Zero and allies such as InfluenceMap and We Mean Business Coalition, put a spotlight on the need for non-state actors to align their advocacy with a just transition to net zero, and to build a conveyor belt from voluntary to mandatory climate action.
  • Race to Zero continues to advance and strengthen key frontiers of net zero, releasing a consultation on draft guidance principles for professional service providers on how to align service emissions with net zero. The team also supported Exponential Roadmap Initiative and Oxford Net Zero’s efforts to define and scale ‘climate solutions’, such as green steel and alternative proteins, and ran our first event on a youth engagement strategy.
  • Race to Zero in collaboration with the UNFCCC supported the ecosystem in strengthening transparency & accountability, through the Second Annual Accountability and Implementation Dialogue – and engaging our Partners and Accelerators in strategic planning ahead of 2024.

1. Showcasing real economy global progress

Race to Zero released its 2023 Progress Report on 6 December 2023. Under the leadership of 26 Partners and 31 Accelerators, the campaign has nearly doubled in number since COP26, with 13,500 non-state actors from over 145 countries. 

The report shows a positive increase in implementation across all of ‘the 5Ps’ (Pledge, Plan, Proceed, Publish and Persuade) and contains 20+ case studies. However, the transition is not happening at the speed and scale required to reach the goal of halving global emissions by 2030. Race to Zero Partners and its members need to exponentially accelerate the implementation of their commitments,enhance their transparency, finance the transition and support the policy and regulation that would enable the systems transformation required across all regions and sectors of the economy.

You can read more in our press release, and share our LinkedIn post.

Read the progress report

2. Increased climate aligned advocacy for net zero policy incentives 

Ahead of COP28, Race to Zero released a video from leaders, including H.E. Razan Al Mubarak, Paul Polman, Catherine McKenna and more, for stronger policy incentives to implement zero emissions. With nearly 400 views, we encourage non-state actors to continue taking this call forward to their political leaders.

At COP28, we were pleased to run three events on Race to Zero’s 5th P (Persuade) – covering how to align advocacy with net zero goals, and how to build on the groundswell of voluntary climate action into clear and fair ground rules for the net zero economy:

  1. ‘Road to Regulation Roundtable’, with a keynote from Jo Tyndall, Director for the Environment Directorate, OECD, where over 40 attendees discussed future plans for our Net Zero Policy Community. 
  2. ‘Climate Policy Engagement Roundtable’, with businesses and NGOs working on establishing climate policy engagement leaders. 
  3. ‘Climate Policy Engagement Event’How can corporations be climate policy leaders? The keynote from Senator Whitehouse was brilliant, followed by two excellent panels facilitated by We Mean Business Coalition and InfluenceMap. 

Watch and share our COP28 video below. For any questions, please reach out to Tessa Vincent, Policy & Engagement Lead: tessavincent@climatechampions.team.


3. Advancing and strengthening key frontiers of net zero 

Net zero for professional service providers

As part of its commitment to advancing the frontiers of net zero leadership, Race to Zero and its Expert Peer Review Group convened a working group on professional service providers throughout 2023. This group developed a discussion paper for consultation on opportunities for aligning the provision of services and advice by Professional Service Providers – specifically consultancy, legal and advertising providers – with net zero, and to explore emerging best practices. 

Read and provide input into the consultation

Youth engagement

This year, the Race to Zero hosted our first ever Youth Fellow – Karim Ehab Salah. Karim has not only helped to regionalise the Race to Zero campaign, with growth in Asia-Pacific and MENA regions, but also ran our first discussion on how youth can engage with the campaign. From youth as advocates, to employees, to students, Karim has mobilised this critical grouping of non-state actors to join the #RacetoZero emissions.

Join the Youth Race to Zero Whatsapp group

2030 Climate Solutions 

Climate solutions that replace high-emission activities with low- or zero-emission alternatives are essential for decarbonising our economies quickly and at the scale required. Many of the climate solutions we need are proven and exist today, but have not yet been scaled sufficiently. At COP28, Exponential Roadmap Initiative (ERI) and Oxford Net Zero released a discussion paper on criteria for qualifying climate solutions and ran an event, showcasing climate solutions from alternative proteins (Good Food Institute), to solar energy (NoorNation), and green steel (H2 Green Steel). 

To compliment this work, the Climate Champions Team has also released a 2030 Climate Solutions Roadmap at COP28. These are a set of solutions framed in specific actions, with insights from a wide range of non-Party stakeholders on effective measures being undertaken that need to be scaled up and replicated as well as current gaps that need to be bridged to halve global emissions, and increase the resilience of 4 billion people from vulnerable groups and communities to climate risks, by 2030. You can watch the event here, read ERI’s discussion paper here.

More on the 2030 Climate Solutions

4. Support ecosystem in strengthening transparency & accountability

Attending the Presidency’s ‘Accountability & Regulation for Net Zero Transition Roundtable’, supporting the Second Annual Accountability and Implementation Dialogue, alongside UNFCCC, WRI and CDP, the Race to Zero team was pleased to support the ecosystem at COP28 in strengthening transparency and accountability.

Finally, during our Strategy Session, we heard from Partners and Accelerators that Race to Zero’s main contributions, including creating coherence and connection among a community of multi-actor stakeholders – from finance, to business,cities, states and regions, universities, healthcare, and more. 

We look forward to engaging with our 26 Partners and 31 Accelerators over the next few months to finalise a strategy that supports an enabling environment for non-state actors for their climate action – and which continues to showcase leadership as we #RacetoZero emissions.

If you are a Partner or Accelerator, you can engage in our strategy consultation for 2024.


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