Global fashion industry steps up climate ambition with renewed charter

The fashion industry is raising its collective ambition with updated emission reduction targets under the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action. Announced recently at the COP26 meet in Glasgow, the renewed commitments form a decarbonisation plan aligned with Paris Agreement ambitions to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Central to this 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 per cent aggregate greenhouse gas emission reductions by 2030, according to a press release from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

It comes at a crucial moment for climate action following the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, which referred to a “code red for humanity”.

“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,” said Stefan Seidel of PUMA, who co-chairs the Fashion Industry Charter steering committee.

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

Fashion Charter signatories collectively represent a significant proportion of the fashion industry. There are currently 130 companies and 41 supporting organisations that have signed the Fashion Charter including some of the well-known brands such as Burberry, H&M Group, VF Corporation, adidas, Kering, Chanel, Nike, and PUMA as well as suppliers such as Crystal Group, TAL Apparel and others.

The renewed charter also calls for creating incentive mechanisms for supplier engagement in decarbonisation pathway as well as outlines measures to engage other stakeholders who will need to play their part, including policymakers, financial institutions and communicators.

The charter lays out a plan to jointly develop and implement a collective decarbonisation strategy with the practical tools necessary to deliver on the charter greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

The mission of the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action is to drive the fashion industry to net zero greenhouse gas emissions no later than 2050, in line with the goal of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Since the launch of the charter in 2018, 130 companies and 41 supporting organisations have committed to climate action. The Charter provides a framework for stakeholder dialogue and engagement on climate action.

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