MADRID – A delegation from the UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action (UNFCCC) has used COP25 to urge energy ministers to do more to promote renewable energy and remove obstacles such as fossil fuel subsidies. They called for more renewable energy installations at manufacturing facilities in the nations producing the majority of the fashion industry’s products — including China, Turkey, Vietnam, and Bangladesh, which are all considering significant coal expansion.
The statement has been praised by Stand.earth, an international environmental organisation that was instrumental in pushing Levi’s to make a major climate commitment in 2018.
“We applaud the UN fashion charter’s work to incentivise renewable energy in nations where coal-fired power is the standard method of powering mills and factories, and we hope to see its signatories get to work right away in transitioning their global supply chains off dirty fossil fuels,” said Liz McDowell, Filthy Fashion campaign director at Stand.earth. “The world is literally on fire — there’s no time to wait.”
“The fashion industry is moving in the right direction to reverse its massive climate pollution, and we look forward to learning which brands step up next to develop specific targets and action plans to keep warming below 1.5°C,” added Maya Rommwatt, climate campaigner at Stand.earth. “As the world’s fourth largest polluter on the planet, the fashion industry has an enormous responsibility to clean up its emissions, and the creative ability and consumer demand to rapidly transform the sector. Right now a number of brands including Disney, Primark, Louis Vuitton, Macy’s, and Nordstrom – and even ‘green’ brands like REI and LL Bean – are completely failing to take any meaningful climate action in their supply chains.”
More than 80 companies have signed the UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, including Levi’s, Kering, Nike, Gap, and H&M. The signatories are committing to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through their global supply chains by 30 per cent by 2030, and committing to not installing new sources of coal-fired heat or power generation in tier 1 and tier 2 factories and mills by 2025.
Earlier this year, Stand.earth released a Filthy Fashion scorecard ranking the climate commitments of 45 top fashion companies who have joined the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, the UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, or the G7 Fashion Pact, and showing how nearly all of the companies’ pledges fail to reach the level of emissions reduction needed to align with the UN Paris Agreement’s pathway to 1.5°C degrees of warming and avert the worst consequences of climate change.