International Wineries for Climate Action (IWCA) has joined the global campaign Race to Zero, a United Nations-backed, global campaign to rally leadership and support from businesses, cities, regions, and investors for a healthy, resilient, zero-carbon recovery that prevents future threats, creates decent jobs, and unlocks inclusive, sustainable growth. IWCA becomes the first Race to Zero member representing the wine and agricultural industry.
Launched on World Environment Day 2020 (June 5th), the objective for Race to Zero is to build momentum around the shift to a decarbonized economy ahead of COP26, where governments must strengthen their contributions to the Paris Agreement. All members are credibly committed to the same overarching goal: halving emissions by 2030 and achieving net zero emissions by 2050 at the very latest. This will send governments a resounding signal that businesses, cities, regions and investors are united in meeting the Paris goals and creating a more inclusive and resilient economy. To date, the campaign has mobilized a coalition of leading net zero initiatives that represent more than 12% of the global economy, including 23 regions, 471 cities, 1,675 companies, 569 universities, and 85 investors.
"Whilst the wine industry is responsible for few emissions, it is one of the agricultural activities most affected by global climate change. We are delighted to welcome International Wineries for Climate Action into the Race to Zero, and applaud their ambition to become Climate Positive by 2050." said Nigel Topping, UK High Level Climate Champion for COP26.
Gonzalo Munoz, Chilean High Level Climate Champion for COP25, stated: "As a winemaker myself, I have a deep love and appreciation for this industry. It brings me great joy to see wineries across the world coming together as the first initiative of the agriculture sector in the Race to Zero emissions, and I look forward to more companies engaging with nature-based solutions in our journey to net zero."
Founded in February 2019 by Familia Torres (Spain) and Jackson Family Wines (USA), IWCA is a collaborative working group that addresses climate change through innovative carbon reduction strategies. IWCA’s objective for all members is to achieve a 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and to become Climate Positive by 2050 for Scopes 1-3. By joining the Race to Zero, IWCA will become a facilitator and champion within the wine and agricultural industries to build momentum and support for immediate solutions that help move wine producers and vineyard owners closer to becoming climate positive. IWCA will also publish an annual report showing progress on its member wineries’ GHG emissions status and goals, which is required by Race to Zero.
In conjunction with these efforts, IWCA recently elaborated a Soil Health Report for its members that provides a detailed summary of research and best practices that IWCA member wineries are implementing to promote soil health and vineyard carbon sequestration. This includes regenerative farming techniques that create a wide range of environmental benefits and can capture and sequester carbon within vineyard soils, including conservation tillage, composting, crop diversity, animal and insect integration, among myriad other farming practices.
“As a global wine business with wineries and vineyards across four continents, we’re proud to be a founding member of IWCA, whose collective efforts have resulted in joining this important United Nation’s Race to Zero campaign,” says Katie Jackson, senior vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility and second-generation proprietor. ”Joining this unprecedented coalition shows not only our family’s serious commitment to finding solutions that help reduce carbon emissions, but it also demonstrates the positive, immediate impact from our collaborative work with other IWCA members throughout the world,” she added.
Miguel A. Torres, President at Familia Torres and co-founder of IWCA, added: “It is great to see how the Race to Zero Campaign is bringing so many diverse Net Zero initiatives together, making it very clear that as a world community we cannot afford a “stand by and watch” attitude towards climate change. Let us hope that more initiatives are taking action towards becoming Climate Positive by 2050 to signal to our world leaders that it is crucial that the 2015 Paris agreement must be fulfilled and that together we can put a stop to this madness that will make our earth almost uninhabitable at the end of this century.”
IWCA is open to any wine company who views climate change as a serious threat. To become a member, IWCA requires applicants to be powered by at least 20 percent on-site renewable energy, reduce 25 percent of CO2 emissions per unit of wine produced, and complete an annual greenhouse gas audit (across Scopes 1, 2 and 3) utilizing the World Resources Institute Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol methodology (following ISO14064-process) and verified by an internationally accredited, third-party auditor. Visit https://www.iwcawine.org/ to learn how your winery can apply to join this organization.