UN Secretary-General António Guterres with the Chair of his Net-Zero Expert Group, Ms. Catherine McKenna, former Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change
High-Level Expert Group on the Net-Zero Emissions Commitments of Non-State Entities
Since the adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015, the world has seen an increasing number of net-zero commitments by non-State actors, in particular from the private and financial sectors, as well as from local government and regions. The growth in pledges has been accompanied by a proliferation of criteria and benchmarks to set net-zero commitments with varying levels of robustness.
To develop stronger and clearer standards for net-zero emissions pledges by non-State entities – including businesses, investors, cities and regions – and speed up their implementation, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on 31 March 2022 established a High-Level Expert Group on the Net-Zero Emissions Commitments of Non-State Entities.
“Governments have the lion’s share of responsibility to achieve net-zero emissions by mid-century. Especially the G20. But we also urgently need every business, investor, city, state and region to walk the talk on their net-zero promises ,” the Secretary-General said.
The launch of the Group comes amid a worsening climate crisis and growing urgency for all commitments to be transparent, credible, backed by robust action plans, and converted into real emissions cuts as rapidly as possible.
Tasked with ensuring the credibility and environmental integrity of net zero pledges, the Expert Group gathered for the first time since its launch in March. “The world is in a race against time. We cannot afford slow movers, fake movers or any form of greenwashing.” Secretary-General said in a video address.
The Group, chaired by former Canadian Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna, will develop stronger and clearer standards for net-zero emissions pledges by non-State entities, including businesses, investors, cities and regions.