Accelerating Net Zero

The shift towards net-zero greenhouse gas emission pathways is accelerating, and the group of actors pledging net-zero targets is substantial:

  • 823 cities and 101 regions have net-zero targets. These local governments represent more than 846 million people across every continent — 11 percent of the global population — and have an emissions footprint of more than 6.5 gigatonnes of GHG emissions, an amount greater than emissions from the U.S. in 2018.
  • 1,541 companies pledge to net-zero targets. They have a combined revenue of over US$ 11.4 trillion, equivalent to more than half of the U.S.’s GDP, and cover 3.5 gigatonnes in GHG emissions, an amount greater than India’s annual emissions.
  • These actors have pledged to fully decarbonising their emissions footprints, adopted specific net-zero targets in sectors like energy, transport or buildings, or signed onto initiatives articulating net-zero goals. Some actors are even going beyond net-zero emissions within their direct emission scopes, and targeting supply-chain or down-stream consumption-based emissions.
  • The timelines for net-zero targets vary widely, with some actors having already achieved net-zero emissions or aiming to by the end of 2020, while most others aim for 2030, 2040, or 2050, depending on the magnitude of their existing emissions, their progress in abating emissions to date, and the difficulty in eliminating the remaining emissions.
  • This first look at the state of play shows us where momentum is building, and where there is more work to be done. The number of net-zero pledges has roughly doubled in less than a year. Late 2019 found 11 regions, more than 100 cities, and roughly 500 businesses with economy or company-wide net-zero targets.

Read more in “Accelerating Net Zero: Exploring Cities, Regions, and Companies’ Pledges to Decarbonise.