Race to Zero for Universities and Colleges


We are asking universities and colleges around the world to be part of the Race to Zero now

740* Higher and Further Education institutions, representing 9,477,856 students, are part of Race to Zero - join them today

What is Race to Zero? 

Race To Zero is a global campaign to rally leadership and support from businesses, cities, regions, investors for a healthy, resilient, zero carbon recovery that prevents future threats, creates decent jobs, and unlocks inclusive, sustainable growth.

Led by the High-Level Climate Champions for Climate Action – Nigel Topping and Gonzalo Muñoz– it mobilizes a coalition of leading net zero initiatives, representing cities, regions, businesses, the biggest investors, and universities and colleges. These ‘real economy’ actors join 120 countries in the largest ever alliance committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest. Collectively these actors now cover nearly 25% global CO2 emissions and over 50% GDP.

The objective is to build momentum around the shift to a decarbonized economy ahead of COP26, where governments must strengthen their contributions to the Paris Agreement. This will send governments a resounding signal that business, cities, regions, investors and universities and colleges are united in meeting the Paris goals and creating a more inclusive and resilient economy.

What is the role of higher and further education?

By joining the Race to Zero, you will help demonstrate both the higher and further education sector’s commitment to the net zero agenda as well as your institution’s leadership on a global level at COP26 in November 2021.

There are over 25,000 universities and numerous colleges across the world, together we make a huge impact and can be a force for change. We need to take action now. Commit today by completing this form.

Below is a message from Nigel Topping, UK High Level Climate Champion for COP26 and Gonzalo Munoz, Chilean High Level Climate Champion for COP25 on why universities and colleges need to take action now.

Watch the TEDxUNEP Countdown: Racing to Zero with Higher Education.

Click here for further resources to help you achieve net-zero.

By joining you are committing to the following Race to Zero criteria:

  • Pledge: Pledge at the head-of-organization level to reach (net) zero GHGs as soon as possible, and by mid-century at the latest, in line with global efforts to limit warming to 1.5C. Set an interim target to achieve in the next decade, which reflects maximum effort toward or beyond a fair share of the 50% global reduction in CO2 by 2030 identified in the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5C 
  • Plan:  Within 12 months of joining, explain what actions will be taken toward achieving both interim and longer-term pledges, especially in the short- to medium-term. 
  • Proceed: Take immediate action toward achieving (net) zero, consistent with delivering interim targets specified.
  • Publish: Commit to report publicly both progress against interim and long-term targets, as well as the actions being taken, at least annually. 

Full details on the refined criteria, and accompanying interpretation guide and language guide

Sign here

Sign the Race to Zero as part of your response to COP26
Firme la <Race to Zero> como parte de su respuesta a la COP26
Signez <Race to Zero> dans le cadre de votre réponse à la COP26
Podpíšte Race to Zero ako súčasť vašej odpovede na COP26

If you are unable to access Forms click here.

You can see the current signatories here.

You can see the supporting networks here. Contact us if your network would like to support this campaign.

Who is running this campaign?

This campaign is run in partnership with EAUC, Second Nature and UN Environment. EAUC are the secretariat. If you have any questions please email us.

By committing to this campaign your institution will automatically be added to the UNFCCC Race to Zero campaign. This campaign replaces the Global Climate Letter for Universities and Colleges, all signatories have been contacted and consented to be part of the Race to Zero campaign. 

*This is the total figure as part of the Race to Zero which includes signatories of this Race to Zero (formerly Global Climate Letter) and Second Nature's Presidents’ Climate Leadership Commitments. You can see the full list of institution's committing to the Race to Zero here.

If you would like an alternative language sign up form please contact us.

If you are a pre-16 year old educational institution based in the UK you can commit at Let's Go Zero.