In the run-up to the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, the global events industry has adopted a comprehensive “Net Zero Carbon Events Pledge” to commit actors in the sector to targets aligned with the Paris Climate Accord. The pledge has wide-ranging industry support, with members of the entire events industry supply chain involved in developing and executing the plans. On 10 November 2021, leaders from across different parts of the industry will be live at COP26 to introduce the pledge and the broad industry commitment. This session will also include an address from the President of the United Nations General Assembly, Abdulla Shahid, who sees the pledge as in alignment with his “5 Rays of Hope.”

Facilitated by the Joint Meetings Industry Council, an industry trade body, and with the support of the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), this joint industry action has been the most inclusive global collaboration ever undertaken in the events sector. To date, there are more than 150 businesses from across the sector, and all regions of the world, who are registered supporters.

Signatories to the pledge commit to:
  • Before the end of 2023, 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
  • 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 at least every two years

This pledge is the starting point for practical work to be done afterwards, with the participation of all interested industry stakeholders.

The events industry globally covers a wide variety of businesses and stakeholders, from globally active event organisers to local supplies, and from destinations to international institutions. The sector builds communities and operates the meeting places and market places that drive social, economic, and societal development through events big and small – from COP26 itself to local events.

The session at COP26 will be freely available to view on 10 November 2021 at 15:00 local time in Glasgow. When available, information on accessing the session will be available here.

Additional notes about the COP26 session

The themes of the Net Zero Carbon Events Pledge session will include the two roles the event sector plays as a driver of the climate change agenda:

  1. As a central strategic tool for all governments, institutions, and industries to drive developments and implementations in a sustainable way.
  2. As a sector who needs to, and is proactively working on, driving its own development towards carbon neutrality and net zero carbon.

Events industry leaders taking part 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, 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

Access details for the live COP26 session 10 November at 15:00, will be available here.