Leading Retailers Launch New Climate Change Initiative

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Major retailers across the world have come together to pledge their support to accelerate a movement in the retail industry to drive climate action.

Walmart, Sweden's H&M Group, Netherlands' Ingka Group (IKEA), and UK's Kingfisher plc joined together to launch a new climate change initiative. Along with their climate action plans, they aim to encourage other retailers to set out their plans to achieve 1.5 degree aligned carbon reduction targets.

The retailers' Race to Zero Breakthroughs: Retail Campaign is being conducted in partnership with the COP26 High Level Climate Action Champions and supported by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development or WBCSD.

Race to Zero is the United Nations-backed global campaign urging companies, cities, regions, financial and educational institutions etc. to take rigorous and immediate action to halve global emissions by 2030.

According to the participating retailers, the retail sector faces significant challenges due to climate change as well as the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite bold actions from some major retail brands, there is an absence of a decarbonization pathway for the retail sector. Only 5% of retail businesses, by total global industry revenues, have announced their actions to limit global warming in accordance with the Paris Agreement goals.

Through the Race to Zero Retail Campaign, the companies aim to set science-based targets, work to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and commit to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest.

The campaign will provide sector-specific guidance and access to networks and best practices to support the companies to reach the goal. In addition, it will work with trade association partners to drive awareness about the Race to Zero, share tools, resources and accelerate the adoption of net-zero roadmaps.

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