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Press Release

19 countries now on board to build a carbon neutral world

New York City, 27 September 2018.

The global momentum towards carbon neutrality is mounting with 19 countries now on board at the launch of a Carbon Neutrality Coalition Plan of Action today at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Coalition convenors New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine welcomed four new countries to the Coalition: Canada, Denmark, Spain and the United Kingdom.

The Coalition members commit to developing and publishing long-term strategies by 2020 to achieve carbon neutrality in the second half of the century, as outlined in both the Paris Agreement and the Declaration of the Carbon Neutrality Coalition.

The 19 members of the Coalition have now adopted a Plan of Action (see annex) to build global momentum for developing robust long-term climate strategies. The Plan takes into account the conclusions of the upcoming IPCC special report on global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius which is expected to highlight the need for urgent global action.

Under the Plan of Action, Coalition members commit to develop and share their long-term low emissions development strategies before 2020. The strategies will seek to mainstream climate change into government decision-making and leverage the socio-economic benefits of transitioning to carbon neutrality.

Coalition members are also committing to sharing experiences, data and tools to help one another reach their ambitious goals, and to advocate for increased global ambition.

The Coalition members will work together to promote increased ambition on reducing emissions. They will also lay the groundwork for a successful 2019 UN Secretary-General’s Climate Summit by showcasing the economic, social and environmental benefits of long- term, ambitious climate action.

The Carbon Neutrality Coalition came out of the One Planet Summit in December 2017 in Paris. Its aims are to promote the swift development and adoption by all countries of

ambitious long-term climate strategies, with a view to achieving the Paris Agreement vision of a carbon-neutral and resilient future.


“New Zealand is proud toco-championa growing community of countries and cities significantly increasing their climate ambition. We intend to put into law our goal to reach carbon neutrality - so we’re putting our money where our mouth is. Our long-term target will be supported by a range of initiatives, including taking a measured and planned approach to ensure the transition to a low emissions economy is just and inclusive, launching a green investment fund with a $100 million capital injection from government, and boosting our support to Pacific Island countries by 50% from $200 to $300 million over four years.

“Climate change is the greatest challenge of this generation. It has never been more urgent and important for countries, cities and citizens to work together if we are to protect our planet for our children and grandchildren.”

Jacinda ArdernPrime Minister of New Zealand

“If we are to keep temperature increases within the 1.5°C limit we agreed in Paris, every country must increase the ambition of their existing targets by 2020 and chart a long-term pathway to net zero emissions by 2050. My country has shown that if one of the smallest and most isolated nations can do it – so can everyone else, including the big emitters. Making the transition to net zero emissions makes sense for our global economy and for our environment, as well as for our people and our planet”.

Hilda HeinePresident of the Republic of the Marshall Islands

"Considering the serious threat that climate change generates over our economies and welfare, Costa Rica commits to launching an ambitious intra generational effort of decarbonizing our economy in the second half of the century. A similar task only compared with our grandfathers’ decision to abolish the army. Our generation now has the task to abolish the dependency on the use of fossil fuels!"
“Climate change is the greatest challenge of this generation. It has never been more urgent and important for countries, cities and citizens to work together if we are to protect our planet for our children and grandchildren.”

Epsy Campbell BarrFirst Vice-President of Costa Rica

“Our planet’s future depends on how quickly we can become carbon neutral. To do this, and to meet our Paris commitments, countries need ambitious, long-term plans to reduce carbon emissions. Through our Climate Change Act, the UK was the first country to introduce legally binding emission reduction targets, and it has helped us reduce our emissions by over 40 percent in just three decades, while simultaneously our economy has grown by 67 per cent. The UK is proud to join this international coalition of countries and cities, and we look forward to working towards a healthier, safer future together.”

Mark FieldMinister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom

“Canada is proud to join the Carbon Neutrality Coalition. Practical solutions that protect the environment and grow the economy are essential to achieve the Paris Agreement targets temperature goals. We are taking serious action at home and abroad to reduce our emissions, support clean innovation and protect nature to ensure a healthier and more sustainable future for our kids and grandkids.”

Catherine McKennaMinister of Environment and Climate Change of Canada

“Denmark is very proud to join the Carbon Neutrality Coalition today. Moving towards net- zero emissions will create a more prosperous, healthier and sustainable world. Denmark has set an ambitious target of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest. Through the Coalition, we believe that we can inspire and support other partners to undertake similar processes, while continually raising the bar for climate action. We applaud the governments of New Zealand and the Marshall Islands for their leadership in establishing this important initiative, and look forward to engaging with all partners towards reaching our shared goals.”

Ellen Trane NørbyDanish Minister for Health

France is absolutely committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. We have elaborated a long-term low-carbon strategy which shows the way to go. And to get there we have also implemented a policy package including carbon pricing, phasing out of coal power plants by 2022, a ban on oil and gas drilling by 2040, and a ban of new thermal engine vehicle by 2040. I strongly believe that the carbon neutrality coalition can make a big difference and ratcheting up climate ambition by sharing good practices among countries and cities.

Brune PoirsonFrench Secretary of State for Ecological and Inclusive Transition

“Carbon neutrality needs to be the lodestar of the climate community, and the Carbon Neutrality Coalition will be essential to build that shared vision. It is hard to overstate the importance of countries and other actors developing ambitious long-term climate strategies if we are to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement. Long-term plans are in fact essential to guide investment and policy decisions today, and it is very encouraging to see a growing number of countries and large cities committing to plan for a zero GHG emissions economy.”

Laurence TubianaCEO of the European Climate Foundation

About the Carbon Neutrality Coalition:

At the One Planet Summit in December 2017, 15 countries signed the Declaration of the Carbon Neutrality Coalition which highlighted the role of long-term climate strategies as the lodestar, an essential tool to guide and accelerate global climate action. 32 cities that also pledged to go carbon neutral by 2050.

Signed by: Colombia, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Sweden. New members: Canada, Denmark, Spain and the United Kingdom.

The following 32 cities have also pledged to become emissions neutral by 2050: Austin, Accra, Barcelona, Berlin, Boston, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Caracas, Copenhagen, Durban, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Mexico City, Milan, New York City, Oslo, Paris, Philadelphia, Portland, Quito, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, San Francisco, Santiago, Seattle, Stockholm, Sydney, Toronto, Vancouver, Washington and Yokohama.