Sector presents net zero carbon events pledge at COP26

The international events industry has presented a united pledge and roadmap for a net zero carbon future for events at COP26.

Industry leaders from venues, organisers, suppliers, and associations were live on stage at the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow to represent and demonstrate the commitment of the events industry community to fight climate change.

The pledge commits signatories to:

  • Publish their organisation’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 GHG emissions by 50 per cent by 2030 – before the end of 2023
  • Collaborate with partners, suppliers and customers to drive change across the value chain
  • Measure and track Scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions according to industry best practice
  • Report on progress every two years, at a minimum

More than 100 businesses from around the world have committed to the pledge.

The pledge was developed through a broad industry collaboration hosted by the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC) with the guidance and support of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and with representatives from across the sector.

A JMIC spokesperson said: “As the industry responsible for bringing people together, the events sector needs to play its part in fighting climate change. Many organisations in the sector have already adopted strong sustainability strategies and practices and are able to demonstrate significant progress. However, there is more work to be done.

“Therefore, across the entire sector, the Net Zero Carbon Events pledge has been launched. This pledge has already been supported by business in all regions around the globe and all facets of the sector.”

“Today’s session at COP26 demonstrated the support and commitment already seen throughout the industry. The events industry is on its way to a net zero future, and this pledge represents a call for accountability, responsibility, and action for all organisations in the sector.”

You can watch the COP26 session recording here

Events industry leaders speaking in the COP26 session included:

  • Stephanie Dubois Head of Event Operations, SAP
  • Kai Hattendorf CEO, UFI
  • Monica Lee-Müller Managing Director, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (Management) Limited
  • 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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