Despite efforts to reduce emissions, the sector is on the 1.5-C path to mitigate climate change, as defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and ratified by the 2015 Paris Agreement. To achieve this path, fashion should reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 1.1 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent by 2030. But our growth calculations, adapted to the likely effects of COVID-19, show that the industry will almost double its target in 2030, with emissions of 2.1 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent, unless it takes further mitigation measures (Figure 1). The authors of our new report “Valuing Nature Conservation” explain how protecting nature can create jobs, improve health and combat climate change. For more information on our methodology, see the full report. The debate is not about closing down sectors. The question is how they are moving in a cleaner, more sustainable and more resilient way towards a cleaner, more sustainable and more resilient functioning, which no longer jeopardizes the future of humanity on this planet. To reach the 1.5-C trajectory, the industry should step up its efforts to reduce emissions and intensify existing decarbonization efforts to reduce annual emissions to about 1.1 billion tonnes by 2030, about half the current figure. Approximately 60% of the additional emission reduction under this accelerated emissions reduction scenario could be achieved upstream through initiatives such as energy efficiency improvements and the transition to renewable energy, with the support of brands and retailers.
18% of additional emissions could be saved through operational improvements by fashion brands and 21% due to changes in consumer behaviour. Together, these efforts could transform the fashion landscape. In order to obtain an emissions base for the fashion industry, we calculated the volume of clothing manufactured, used and disposed of in 2018 taking into account the fibers used to meet the needs of clothing, as well as the energy consumption and intensity of emissions of the raw materials and processes involved. . In addition, the proper functioning of voluntary co2 markets – where private investors, governments, non-governmental organizations and businesses can voluntarily purchase CO2 offsets for their emissions – will be essential to achieving net and net negative targets. In conversations and announcements made during this week`s Climate Week week, we see that the demand for these markets is considerable, which will require the implementation of CHARBON`s compensation supply and robust mechanisms for their certification and verification. To better understand fashion CO2 emissions and identify additional industry reduction efforts, we looked at the entire value chain, from farms and factories to brands and retailers, policy makers, investors and consumers (see side bar, “Our Methods and Assumptions”).