Understanding our process

To ensure integrity and accelerate meaningful progress towards halving global emissions by 2030, Race to Zero sets out robust criteria for all its members to meet. These criteria have been annually reviewed to continue being clarified and strengthened. To learn more about the 2022 Criteria Consultation, please see the Summary Report.

The Race to Zero criteria are delineated in two categories: ‘Starting line’ criteria lay out common procedural requirements for all individual members to meet, below which members cannot fall if they wish to join and remain in the campaign. Known as the 5 P’s, these criteria require members to Pledge, Plan, Proceed, Publish and Persuade. These criteria apply to all members, who join Race to Zero through Partner initiatives. It is Partners Initiatives who manage the operationalisation and fulfilment of these criteria by their members.

Leadership practices’ map out example pathways for leading entities to light the way to a net zero economy.

These criteria are supported by two complementary documents: Interpretation guide‘, first published last year, provides guidance for EPRG members for how to assess applications from Partners and shares insights for members to learn from to implement these criteria;

Lexicon’ lists key terms in the net zero space, designed to drive convergence around the use of language to encourage specificity in using important terms.

All members are expected to meet the starting line and strive to adopt many leadership practices.While these criteria apply to all members, they are operationalised by the individual Partner networks and initiatives to match the needs of different groups of actors, often depending on their region, sector and type of work. The EPRG annually reviews Partners to ensure the criteria are applied in a consistent fashion, that at least some leadership practices are being adopted, and that the Partners continue to integrate updates to the criteria in their management of members. If Partners are deemed to no longer be capable of managing their members to these criteria and supporting them in embracing leadership practices, they are removed from the Campaign.


Starting Line

Pledge at the head-of-organisation level to reach (net) zero GHGs as soon as possible, and by 2050 at the latest, in line with the scientific consensus on the global effort needed to limit warming to 1.5C with no or limited overshoot, recognising that this requires phasing down and out all unabated fossil fuels as part of a global, just transition.

Set an interim target to achieve in the next decade, which reflects maximum effort toward or beyond a fair share of the 50% global reduction in CO2 by 2030.

Targets must cover all greenhouse gas emissions:

  1. Including scopes 1, 2 and 3 for businesses and other organisations;
  2. Including all territorial emissions for cities and regions;
  3. For financial entities, including all portfolio/financed/facilitated/insured emissions;
  4. Including land-based emissions.


Leadership Practices

Target absolute zero or net negative emissions

Reduce emissions to absolute zero with no remaining residual emissions, or go further and ensure your activities remove more GHGs than they produce. See Lexicon for further details.

Adopt inclusive boundaries

Widen the scope of your target to include cumulative emissions, especially where these are significant (for all actors) and / or consumption emissions (for cities, states, and regions). See Lexicon for further details.

Set twin targets for reductions and removals

In addition to your emissions reductions targets, compensate for any unabated emissions year on year through investment in high quality carbon credits, disclose neutralisation milestones that demonstrate the integrity of commitments to neutralise unabated emissions and state how you plan to ultimately neutralise any residual emissions by 2050 through high-quality, permanent removals.

Set specific targets for short-term reduction of methane and other GHGs

Pledge to reduce methane emissions by at least 34% by 2030, in line with the IPCC’s 6th Assessment Report, and make near-term pledges to reduce other high global warming potential GHG emissions.

Protect nature

Pledge to halt deforestation and protect biodiversity, making your activities consistent with climate resilient development. Pledge to make finance consistent with climate resilient development including ending deforestation and conversion of other natural ecosystems, and respecting biodiversity.

Contribute to 2030 Breakthroughs

Set sectoral targets in line with the 2030 Breakthroughs or more ambitious sector targets. For financial institutions, use sector-specific targets that drive emissions reductions and do not simply shift investment from high-emitting to low-emitting sectors.


Starting Line

Within 12 months of joining, publicly disclose a Transition Plan, City/Region Plan, or equivalent which outlines how all other Race to Zero criteria will be met, including what actions will be taken within the next 12 months, within 2-3 years, and by 2030.

Leadership Practices

Support a just transition

Explain how you will support communities affected by both climate impacts and the climate transition, and strengthen their participation in achieving the global goal of halving emissions by 2030, seeking to address injustices and build towards a more equitable future.

Integrate nature

Drawing on the Convention on Biological Diversity, integrate the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity into relevant sectoral or cross-sectoral plans, programmes and policies.

Empower stakeholders

Explain what actions you will take to empower other stakeholders in your community and beyond to achieve their own targets, embracing the spirit of radical collaboration. Include how you will support the Sustainable Development Goals. Identify in your plan how you will help build the resilience of, and drive funding to, developing countries to achieve a just, inclusive transition.


Starting Line

Take immediate action through all available pathways toward achieving (net) zero, consistent with delivering your  interim targets. Where relevant, contribute to sectoral breakthroughs.

Leadership Practices

Contribute beyond your own territory / value chain

In addition to following a science-aligned net zero pathway to reduce your own emissions and neutralise any residual emissions that remain, contribute toward global (net) zero through beyond value chain / territorial mitigation efforts, such as the purchase and retirement of high-quality carbon credits (emission reductions, avoidance or removals) that do not substitute for nor delay emissions reductions necessary to meet the Pledge.

Prioritise emissions-intensive sectors

Take immediate action to protect standing forests and avoid and reduce emissions in the most GHG-intensive activities and sectors, while not neglecting longer-term efforts. Align to the 2030 Breakthroughs sectoral targets.

Scale up climate solutions

Proactively grow activities that contribute to the achievement of global net zero, such as new technologies, business models, policy approaches, and community practices.

Empower your ecosystem

Empower those in your ecosystem to implement Race to Zero plans, including through financing, capacity building, knowledge-sharing, and access to resources. In particular for financial institutions, scale-up investment in emerging markets and developing countries


Starting Line

Report publicly progress against both interim and longer-term targets, as well as the actions being taken, at least annually. Report in a standardised, open format, and via platforms that feed into the UNFCCC Global Climate Action Portal.

Leadership Practices

Report on progress in and beyond your value chain or territory: Outline progress both regarding within-value-chain / territorial emissions reductions and investment made / action taken outside of your value chain / territory. Report on how you have allocated resources and capacities to achieve the short-term and longer-term targets.




Starting Line

Within 12 months of joining, align external policy and engagement, including membership in associations, to the goal of halving emissions by 2030 and reaching global (net) zero by 2050.

Leadership Practices

Activate the ambition loop

Proactively advocate for your peers, stakeholders, and governments to align their goals and actions to 1.5C. Demonstrate how the implementation of your own ambitious targets creates opportunities for others to follow.

Mainstream (net) zero alignment 

Advocate for appropriate regulation and facilitating measures to ensure that alignment to 1.5C becomes the default for all actors.

Join the Race

The global campaign to rally leadership and support from businesses, cities, regions, investors for a healthy, resilient, zero carbon recovery.