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Global events industry presented “Net Zero Carbon Events” pledge at COP26

Leaders from around the industry shared their commitment and alignment to fight climate change

10 November 2021, Glasgow – Today, the global events industry presented a united pledge and roadmap for a net zero carbon future for events. Industry leaders from venues, organisers, suppliers, and associations, were live on stage at the UN Climate Change Conference, COP26, in Glasgow, to represent and demonstrate the commitment of the events industry community to fight climate change.

Events are a tool to drive progress in a sustainable way

More than ever, post-pandemic, the fundamental need of societies and communities to come together is clear. Events are a strategic tool used by governments, institutions, and industries to drive developments and implementations in a sustainable way.

As an example, COP26 itself is the meeting place on one of the most critical issues of our time, and people from around the world are here to share their thoughts, to find answers, and to get support. Being together face-to-face is the most expedient way to make connections and find solutions, and, as an event brings together an entire community in one location, the need for one-off travel throughout the year is significantly reduced.

Events can be held in a sustainable way

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.

The “Net Zero Carbon Events” pledge

On the occasion of the official launch of the pledge, there are already 109 businesses from around the world committed to taking action.

Signatories commit 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% 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

The pledge presented today was developed through a broad industry collaboration hosted by the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC), a global trade body, with the guidance and support of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and with representatives from across the sector. It is the practical starting point for the work that needs to be done in our 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.


Additional notes

Watch the COP26 session recording here

List of pledge signatories netzerocarbonevents.org

Events industry leaders speaking in the COP26 session

  • 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, Freemam
  • 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


More information about the Net Zero Carbon Events Pledge

Net Zero Carbon Events Initiative netzerocarbonevents.org

UNFCCC unfccc.int