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In a communiqué, fashion company signatories reiterate their commitment to “drive the fashion industry to net-zero emissions” by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement goals.

Signatories call on the political leaders of countries with major fashion production and consumer markets to provide business and financial institutions with “predictable, transparent and motivating planning contexts for renewable energy investment”; scale up grid-connected renewable energy sources and phase out the highest emitting fossil fuel-based sources of energy; and provide incentives for a swift transition to renewable energy.

On the sidelines of the 25th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 25) to the UNFCCC, a group of 86 fashion companies called on political leaders to help deliver ambitious and effective climate action. The fashion companies released a communiqué at an event celebrating the one-year anniversary of the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action.

In 2018, 43 fashion leaders representing fashion brands, retailers, supplier organizations, a major shipping company and others committed to addressing climate change through the ‘Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action,’ which complements and supports other fashion industry initiatives aimed at increasing climate action. The global fashion sector launched the charter at UNFCCC COP 24, with the aim of addressing the sector’s climate impact across its entire value chain and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. The Charter contains a series of principles addressing climate change, including a target of 30% greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions by 2030 “against a baseline of no earlier than 2015” and a commitment to analyze and set a decarbonization pathway for the industry based on the methodologies of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

The fashion industry communiqué sends a very important signal to policymakers around the world on the necessity to have the right framework to enable actions to reduce carbon emissions.

In the communiqué, fashion company signatories reiterate their commitment to “drive the fashion industry to net-zero emissions” by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change goals. Signatories state that current business models and solutions “will be insufficient to deliver on the climate agenda,” and recognize that the fashion industry will need to scale low-carbon solutions and embrace deeper, more systemic change. Signatories reaffirm their commitment under the Charter to, inter alia: set and meet targets on renewable energy and energy efficiency and rapidly scale up energy efficiency and emission reduction programmes; support supply chains to phase out new coal-fired boilers or other sources of coal-fired heat and power generation by 2025; collaborate to develop emission reduction pathways, programmes and tools to achieve emission reduction targets; collaborate with policymakers to identify and implement low-carbon solutions; and invest in sustainable production and related targets.

Signatories call on the political leaders of countries with major fashion production and consumer markets to “partner with us to bring the industry in line with the Paris Agreement goal of limiting average global temperature rise to 1.5°C.” They ask leaders to: provide business and financial institutions with “predictable, transparent and motivating planning contexts for renewable energy investment” such as by ensuring that government energy roadmaps are clearly communicated; scale up grid-connected renewable energy sources and phase out the highest emitting fossil fuel-based sources of energy; and provide incentives for a swift transition to renewable energy, including by providing feed-in tariffs to manufacturers and suppliers that can generate electricity from renewable sources and feed excess electricity into the public electricity grid. The fashion industry proposes additional renewable energy solutions, and calls on leaders to work with the fashion industry to understand and address potential barriers to sector transformation and uptake of energy efficiency and renewable energy technology. 

At a COP 25 event, fashion brands reaffirmed their commitment to achieving at least 30% reduction in GHG emissions across the value chain by 2030. They further emphasized their commitment to set an ambitious decarbonization pathway, scale renewable energy and climate programmes in textile production countries, and collaborate with policymakers. RT Knits CEO, Kendall Tang, said the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action communiqué sends a “very important signal to policymakers around the world on the necessity to have the right framework to enable and promote actions to reduce our level of carbon emissions.” He said RT Knits, which is based in Mauritius, is fundamentally changing its business model to reduce its energy consumption and replace it with renewable sources across its design, sourcing and production. [UNFCCC Press Release] [Communiqué] [Fashion for Climate Action UNFCCC Webpage] [IISD RS Coverage of COP 25]


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