Events Industry Leaders to Present Net Zero Carbon Events Pledge at COP26

The comprehensive pledge commits signatories to achieve net zero carbon emissions at their organizations by 2050 at the latest.

Author: Curt Wagner       

Net Zero Events Pledge

The event industry’s Net Zero Carbon Events Pledge requires signatories to commit to targets aligned with the Paris Climate Accord, which includes achieving a 50-percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 on the way to net zero emissions by 2050.

Leaders from the business events industry will present a Net Zero Carbon Events Pledge, signed by players in the industry, during a session at the UN Climate Change Conference COP26, which runs Oct. 31 through Nov. 12 in Glasgow, Scotland.

The event industry’s Net Zero Carbon Events Pledge session takes place at 10 a.m. EDT Nov.10. Details explaining how to watch it live will be posted closer to the date on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) site.

The pledge comes out of an initiative facilitated by the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC), an industry trade body, and has involved the work of events industry members in its development.

Those industry actors who adopt the pledge commit to targets aligned with the Paris Climate Accord signed at COP21 in December 2015, which includes achieving a 50-percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 on the way to net zero emissions by 2050. Net zero refers to the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas produced by events and the amount removed from the atmosphere in return.

Signatories to the pledge commit to:

  • Before the end of 2023, publish their organization’s pathway to achieve net zero by 2050 at the latest, with an interim target in line with the Paris Agreement’s requirement to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030.
  • Collaborate with partners, suppliers, and customers to drive change across the value chain.
  • Measure and track Scope1, 2, and 3 greenhouse gas emissions according to industry best practice.
  • Report on progress at least every two years.

The joint industry action, which is supported by the secretariat of the UNFCCC, is the most inclusive global collaboration ever undertaken in the events sector, according to JMIC. More than 150 international organizations and businesses from across the events sector are registered supporters so far, but others still can show their support at netzerocarbonevents.org, where they also will be able to sign the pledge after the COP26 session on November 10.

Abdulla Shahid, president of the United Nations General Assembly, will address the COP26 session. Events industry leaders taking part in the session are:

  • Stephanie Dubois — Head of Event Operations, SAP
  • Kai Hattendorf —CEO, UFI
  • Monica Lee-Müller —Managing Director, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
  • Charlie McCurdy — CEO, Informa Markets
  • Miguel Alejandro Naranjo Gonzalez — Programme Officer, UNFCCC Secretariat
  • Cristina Pace — Chair of the Sustainability Working Group, eSkootr Championship (eSC)
  • Bob Priest-Heck — CEO, Freeman
  • Mike Seaman — CEO, Raccoon Events
  • Alan Steel — President & CEO, New York Convention Center Operating Corporation (Javits Center)
  • Kathleen Warden — Director of Conference Sales, Scottish Events Campus
  • Barbara Weizsäcker — Secretary General, European Major Exhibition Centres Association

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