// H&M Group, Ikea, Walmart & Kingfisher join forces to tackle climate change in the Race to Zero campaign
// They pledged will encourage other retailers to set out their plans to achieve 1.5°C aligned carbon reduction targets
// Only 5% of retail businesses have so far committed to taking action to limit global warming
H&M, Ikea, B&Q and Walmart have launched a new climate change initiative to drive action on encouraging other retailers to achieve carbon reduction targets.
The initiative is known as the Race to Zero Breakthroughs: Retail Campaign and it’s being done in partnership with the COP26 High Level Climate Action Champions and supported by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).
H&M Group, Ikea retail holding company Ingka Group, B&Q parent company Kingfisher, and Walmart have pledged their support to accelerate a movement in the retail industry to encourage other retailers to set out their plans to achieve 1.5°C aligned carbon reduction targets.
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The Race to Zero campaign states that the retail sector faced “unprecedented challenges” due to climate change, which have only been accentuated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
It added that the imperative to take action to limit warming to 1.5°C “has never been higher”.
So far, only five per cent of retail businesses – by total global industry revenues – have committed to taking action to limit global warming in accordance with the Paris Agreement goals.
Retailers can join the Race to Zero effort by setting science-based targets, working to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and committing to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest.
The campaign also helps retailers achieve these goals by providing sector-specific guidance and access to networks and best practices, as well as work with trade association partners to drive awareness, share tools, resources and accelerate the adoption of net-zero roadmaps.
“I encourage the retail industry to join us and take immediate climate action to halve global emissions by 2030. Together, we can win the Race to Zero,” said Nigel Topping, UN High Level Climate Champion for COP26.
WBCSD chief executive Peter Bakker said: “This campaign is a call to retailers everywhere to take ambitious climate action as they increasingly recognize the risks posed by climate change across their supply chains and operations.
“We need more retailers to join the UNFCCC’s Race to Zero and showcase leadership and commitment, like H&M Group, Ingka Group (Ikea), Kingfisher and Walmart.”
Bakker also stressed that “the climate emergency, together with the loss of nature and rising inequalities, are the greatest and most complex challenges of our time”.
“Only by joining forces and collectively rethinking the industries, like retail, will it be possible to tackle them,” he said.
“Governments, investors and businesses are uniting to support a pathway to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5°C, in line with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement – the only viable way for people and planet.”