Race to Zero: September roundup

From the launch of the COP28 Presidency and SME Climate Hub partnership to engaging events during New York Climate Week and the progression across our 5P criteria, September has been a pivotal month for the Race to Zero. By Climate Champions | October 11, 2023

September marked a significant development for the Race to Zero with the launch of a joint initiative to support the campaign by the COP28 UAE Presidency and the SME Climate Hub. The key focus of the initiative is to provide small and medium-sized enterprizes (SMEs) in the MENA region with access to the Race to Zero. This will equip them with tools and resources necessary for implementing emissions reduction strategies in their businesses and subsequently report on their annual progress. Notably, the SME Climate Hub platform, which was primarily available in English and Spanish, now includes an Arabic version.

Progress across the 5Ps 


Catherine McKenna, previous Chair of the UNSG High-Level Expert Group, has written a thought-leadership piece on the Race to Zero. Read or share the article here.


We will be releasing a blog on transition plans in the coming days, watch this space!


The United Nations Secretary-General’s Climate Ambition Summit showcased “first movers and doers” responding to the call for accelerated climate action. Taking place at the UN headquarters in New York on 20 September 2023, Race to Zero members showcased their leading action. Read and share our article here.

Nature-based solutions are embedded across Race to Zero’s criteria, and under ‘Proceed’ through our 2030 Breakthroughs. Holding one-third of our mitigation potential, we hold an incredible opportunity to mobilize through the Race to Zero campaign a nature-positive, net zero economy. Find out how, through this new video of our members and allies, on nature-based solutions.


CDP, the global non-profit providing a platform for all companies, financial institutions, and cities to report information on their environmental impacts, and the NZDPU, have announced a significant step toward making high-quality, comparable global climate transition-related data freely available. Read more here. 

CDP also announced its partnership with XBRL International to accelerate the digitization of sustainability disclosure. Read more here.

We are working with the wider data and regulatory communities to better understand how climate data questionnaires (i.e., CDP’s) can become machine-readable so we can find and aggregate data to combat current transparency issues.

Race to Zero has started working on its Progress Report, which we aim to share at COP28. Watch this space!


At Climate Week NYC, Race to Zero and Oxford Net Zero ran a Roundtable on ‘The Road to Regulation’, where we gained insights from 30+ attendees on the benefits of using the Global Stocktake this year to translate ambitious voluntary action into net zero aligned policy and regulation. Agreed benefits of net zero policy & regulation include:

Race to Zero and Oxford Net Zero ran a Roundtable on ‘The Road to Regulation’

— Level the playing field, so laggards do not undercut leaders and all country voices are heard.

— Limit the potential for greenwashing, increase credibility, protect consumers and investors.

— Drive innovation at speed and scale, by removing barriers.

— Incentivize climate action, by unlocking investment and creating certainty.

Read the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions’ perspective on how we need to help turn net zero promises into policy. 

InfluenceMap released their ‘CorpWe need net zero policies to help turn climate promises into reality rate Climate Policy Engagement Leaders’ ahead of Climate Week NYC, and it is totally worth the read! You can share their LinkedIn post here.

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Partner updates

We can’t wait to share more Partner updates with you in our upcoming Progress Report, which will be released at COP28! In the meantime:

  • Business Declares hosted a Queue for Climate & Nature on 15 September for UK professionals, learn more about the campaign here.
  • Under2 Coalition have written an excellent piece on how islands are pioneering climate action globally. Read more here.


Race to Zero is pleased to welcome The Surpluss, a B2B climate-tech operator and SME Climate Hub member with more than 400 members in the UAE that drives the net zero transition by assisting companies to reduce the intensity of their industrial processes through resource sharing and industrial symbiosis cluster formation.

At Solutions House during New York Climate Week, Environmental Defense Fund’s + Business team launched the Net Zero Action Accelerator (NZAA), a new climate action hub to help businesses fast track and scale climate progress, reach their sustainability goals and galvanize net zero leadership across supply chains. Learn more about the NZAA here and stay up to speed with the platform via their newsletter here.


The Climate Pledge also announced in New York a new partnership with C40 Cities to launch #Laneshift, a groundbreaking initiative aimed at decarbonizing freight trucks in developing countries.

The UKGBC has taken a seat on the Construction Leadership Forum’s net zero working group, with an early aim of influencing the Scottish Government’s Just Transition Plan for the built environment and construction.

At the Impact of the Health Sector on Climate Change: Carbon Footprint in Health Centres meeting that took place within the agenda of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Sanidad #PorElClima, an initiative of Accelerator Comunidad #PorElClima, had the opportunity to present the results from the calculation of the carbon footprint of Spanish health centres and is collaborating with the Ministry of Health to develop the first Carbon Footprint Reduction Plan in the Spanish healthcare sector.

Leadership stories

Race to Zero Partner, the Venture Climate Alliance, joined others from across the climate tech ecosystem to ring the Nasdaq opening bell as part of  New York Climate Week.

SBTi member, Apple, launched new carbon-neutral products, including Apple Watches, and committed to ending the use of leather in their products as a part of their plan to be carbon-neutral across its entire business, supply chain and product life cycle by 2030.

Under2 Coalition member, Yucatan, is working to reach Net Zero through their Special Climate Change Program which focuses on eight strategic themes including energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable mobility, and circular economy. With a mitigation potential of 34 million tons of CO2e by 2050, compared to a baseline projection of 31 million tons, Yucatan aims to become a carbon sink.

Upcoming events

8 – 12 October: MENA Climate Week

1. MENA Race to Zero: Opportunities and Challenges Towards COP28

Location: Zone 5.6 – Meeting Room

Date: October 12, 2023

Time: 13:30 AM – 14:30 AM (GMT+3)

Partners: UNEP, UNGC, and UACA

This engaging panel discussion, moderated by the Climate Champions Team, brings together a diverse group of experts and thought leaders from various sectors critical to climate action in the MENA region. The panelists represent regional campaigns and NGOs, the hard-to-abate sector, SMEs, policy and governance. Together, they will delve into the unique challenges and opportunities facing the MENA region on its journey towards achieving net-zero emissions by COP28. The outcomes of this session will feed into the regionalisation strategy of the Race to Zero Campaign in the MENA region and will help connect the leading organizations in the region towards COP28. Register your attendance here. 

2. Accelerating Transition Finance To Create An Enabling Environment For Decarbonisation In MENA

Location: Zone 5.8 – Meeting Room

Date: October 11, 2023

Time: 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM

Partner: CIB

The Race to Zero Campaign’s engagement in the MENA Climate Week features a pivotal session engaging the finance sector’s role in enabling decarbonisation in the region. The session is co-hosted by Commercial International Bank (CIB) and the Climate Champions Team, this panel discussion delved into the critical role of financial institutions in driving the transition to a low-carbon economy in the MENA region.

23-27 October: Latin America and Caribbean Climate Week

1. Accelerating Just Transition Together: Potential of South-South Partnership

Location: Contadora Ill, Marriott Panama Hotel, Panama City, Panama

Date: 23 Oct 2023

Time: 12:30 – 13:30

Partners: WRI India, Transforma, WRI IOs (e.g., Brazil, Colombia, Mexico)

​​The session of Latin America and the Caribbean Climate Week is the moment that brings together regional policymakers, experts, and practitioners to deliberate on the just transition-related policy measures and strategies that worked in favour of zero-emission transition considering the regional priorities and sensitivities. The moderator shall present a few cases on the just transition aspect that WRI worked on in the Latin American region which will form the basis of the panel discussion with the regional policymakers, experts, and practitioners.

2. Boosting companies’ climate action through the SBTi in LATAM

Location: Action Hub

Date: 23/10

Time: 12:45

Partners: UN Global Compact Brazil, Mexico and Colombia with WWF

3. The Ibero-American private sector in the race to zero

Location: Action Hub

Date: 27/10


Partners: #PorElClima, Libelula, IntegrarSE & Race to Zero

In the context of a weakening narrative and respect for the 1.5ºC limit, we want to highlight the importance of decarbonization for Latin America and why it is important to build a prosperous economy for people and nature. To this end the Ibero-American private sector is a driver of climate action in the face of the many challenges facing the region, and its climate action and ambition are key drivers of societal transformation. In this event we will share how joining the global race towards mitigation with shared governance facilitates cooperation between different actors, unlocks innovation and investment, and enables accelerated implementation of voluntary commitments.

Partners & Accelerator Events 

On 8 November, Climate Action Accelerator is running an event on how we can reduce emissions while meeting growing humanitarian needs, zooming in on food aid, nutrition and agriculture. Find out more here. 

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Race to Zero

Google CSO Kate Brandt: In 2023, terms like “carbon footprint”, “charging station” and “solar energy” reached all-time highs

Google Chief Sustainability Officer, Kate Brandt explains why a CSO’s daily work is no longer simply confined to decarbonizing a businesses. For Google this means empowering individuals, businesses, organizations and governments with quality information through products and platforms, and by helping drive systems change to accelerate climate action.