With talks ongoing at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP21) in Paris this week and next, leading U.S. apparel companies are calling for a strong climate change agreement that will curb temperature shifts and other impacts that will make apparel production “more difficult and costly.”
In a statement organized by sustainability advocacy group, Ceres, leaders from Levi Strauss & Co., VF Corp., H&M, Gap Inc., Eileen Fisher, Adidas Group and Burton Snowboards, acknowledged that climate change is harming the world and that the apparel industry can do its part to curb that.
“From the farmers in cotton fields to the workers in garment factories, we know that people in some of the least climate-resilient regions are being negatively impacted by a warming world. Drought, changing temperatures and extreme weather will make the production of apparel more difficult and costly,” the statement noted.
The brand leaders are asking for a climate change deal that includes:
- A global goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions well before the end of the century.
- National carbon emission mitigation commitments that are strengthened every five years starting in 2020 with a clear timetable for new commitments in 5-year blocks from 2030 onwards.
- Adaptation funding to build climate-resilient economies and communities.
“We recognize that human-produced greenhouse gas emissions are a key contributor to climate change. Climate change mitigation and technological innovation are vital to the health and well-being of those who make and use our products, as well as to the future supply of materials needed to make those products.”
Each of the undersigned pledged to continue reducing emissions and pursuing energy efficiency, advocate for climate and energy policies that meaningfully address the problem, and engage trade associations for help promoting long-term growth and health for the global apparel industry.
“We are prepared to be held accountable to our pledge,” the joint statement noted.
Stakeholders are hoping the Dec. 11 close of the climate meetings brings with it an international agreement on change.