Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action updated

COP26: Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action raises eco ambitions

The fashion sector is raising its collective environmental ambitions via updated science-based emission reduction targets under the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action.

Announced at the United Nations’ (UN) climate summit, COP26, the renewed commitments form a decarbonisation plan aligned with Paris Agreement ambitions to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The fashion industry charter commitments recognise the sector as a major global player that needs to take an active part in contributing to achieving the eco goals set out in Paris.

Central to it all is the call for companies to set science-based targets or halve their emissions by 2030, with a pledge to achieve net-zero emissions no later than 2050. This is an update on the previous target of 30% aggregate greenhouse gas emission reductions by 2030.

Stefan Seidel of fashion and footwear brand Puma, who co-chairs the Fashion Industry Charter Steering Committee, said: “This is an important milestone for the fashion charter, as it increases the ambition level in an effort to align the industry with 1.5 degrees.

“It is a signal that we need to work closely together with our peers, our supply chain, policymakers and consumers to get on the track to net-zero.”

Further commitments in the updated charter include sourcing 100% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030, sourcing of environmentally-friendly raw materials, and phasing out coal from the supply chain by 2030.

There are currently 130 companies and 41 supporting organisations that have signed the fashion industry charter, including Burberry, H&M Group, VF Corporation, Adidas, Kering, Chanel, and Nike, as well as suppliers such as Crystal Group and TAL Apparel.

The renewed charter calls for creating incentive mechanisms for supplier engagement in the move towards decarbonisation, and it outlines measures to engage policymakers, financial institutions and communicators in the process.

Niclas Svenningsen, manager of global climate action at the UN climate change, commented: “In a time when the climate crisis is accelerating to unprecedented levels, we need the real economy to lead on climate action.

“The strengthened commitments of the fashion charter signatories is an excellent example of such leadership.”

The new fashion industry charter was presented on Monday at COP26, in a session exploring how to move the sector to a net zero pathway. It also covered the opportunities and barriers to decarbonisation, and the existing available solutions that can be adopted and accelerated.

Also issued during the event was a call for policies to incentivise the use of traceable and environmentally-friendly materials.

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