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In its climate action efforts, the UK has enshrined in law the goal to achieve Net Zero emissions by 2050 and we have seen an accelerating movement to align its strategy towards this target. The upcoming Conference of Parties (COP26) in November is a major opportunity for the UK to not only demonstrate its global leadership and technological capabilities around a net zero economy but also and more crucially to form the relationships that will become the fabric of its future global trading network. 

Make UK is equally committed to supporting and guiding its members in achieving the UK’s Net Zero by 2050 objective and has set up a Net Zero framework comprising a set of Net Zero Guiding Principles (download here), a Toolkit developed in partnership with Energy & Carbon Management ‘My Net Zero Toolkit’ and other resources and educational workshops. Additionally, we will be building a sectoral roadmap that should be ready in time for COP26.

In this context, we also plan to provide an opportunity for our members to participate in the COP26 in November, through our standalone and/or joint events in the official Blue (UK Pavilion) and Green (public) zones, for which we have submitted several expressions of interest.  

The aim of these events is to showcase our innovative manufacturers, demonstrating the pace and ambition of the sectors’ transition to a sustainable economy. The events will highlight manufacturers' crucial part in helping everyone achieve net zero. By helping the UK government demonstrate its global leadership in this area,  we will be contributing to the future creation of many international and domestic business opportunities. 

To participate in the COP26 events, organisations must take part in the COP26's official promotion campaigns which are the 'Race to Zero' for large individual businesses (≥500) or 'The SME Climate Hub' for smaller companies (<500 employees). 

1. Larger businesses (> 500 employees)

Can join the Race to Zero campaign through the following initiatives and coalitions– all of which are official partners.  By joining one of these initiatives/coalitions you will be directly included in Race to Zero- you only need to ask your partner initiative to include you on the Race to Zero list.
There are four main ones and a cohort of others:
  • Business Ambition for 1.5oC (a global coalition set up by UN Global Compact, the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTI), and We Mean Business) and is the SBTI’s leadership campaign. In a nutshell, it offers 2 options: 1) commit to 1.5oC by 2020-2030 or 2) commit to Net Zero by 2050
  • The Climate Pledge (essentially committing to Net Zero by 2040- founded by Amazon, and Global Optimism)- reporting, carbon elimination in line with the Paris Agreement), credible offsets (quantifiable, real, permanent and socially beneficial)
  • B Corp Climate Collective for those who want to use business as a ‘force for good’ to improve global well-being and take action on the climate emergency and towards climate resilience. The independently verified B-Corp certification legally requires members to consider the impact of their decisions on all their stakeholders and undergo an impact assessment on their business as a whole (not just on a product or service).

2. SMEs (≤ 500 employees)

Are encouraged to sign up to The SME Climate Hub, which includes a commitment to halve your greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030, to report your progress annually, and to achieve net zero by 2050 or earlier. Your GHG emissions means your own emissions (both scope 1 and scope 2 emissions), as well as those emissions related to business travel. You will have 18 months from making the commitment to provide the first progress report. More on the SME Climate commitment here.

There is also the additional opportunity to post your case study on the COP26’s ‘SME Climate Hub’ (see further below how to). 

For sector-specific organisations:

The Race to Zero and The SME Climate Hub campaigns will not stop at COP26 and they can be taken as an opportunity for your company to make that all-important commitment to start working towards achieving net zero by 2050 or earlier.  
There is also the opportunity, for those who have signed up to Race to Zero or to The SME Climate Hub, to be part of video featuring a selection of 10 case studies and prefaced by Nigel Topping, the UK high level champion for climate action appointed by the UNFCCC.  

For Make UK to understand better who wants to get involved in our events at the COP26, please let us know by emailing your response directly to [email protected], ideally by Friday 14th of May 2021, indicating which initiative you are/plan to signed up to or whether you have (already or decided to) sign up to The SME Climate Hub.  

If you do not wish to be involved directly in the COP26, but still want your sustainability actions to be showcased, we are building a collection of case studies that we will post on our website/hub and for future reference. You are invited to provide a few short paragraphs using this simple template and to submit it to Brigitte Amoruso, our Energy and Climate Change Lead, at [email protected].

We recognise that for some sectors or businesses, it will be a lot more difficult if not impossible to fully abate your emissions by 2050. We are keen to collect your concerns as your views will be fed into any policy work needed to help support and move you forward. Again, please feel free to contact Brigitte Amoruso, our Energy and Climate Change Lead, at [email protected]

News / Make UK / Net Zero