Simon Fraser University Joins Race to Zero

Committing to Net Zero Ahead of COP26: The British Consulate-General welcomes Simon Fraser University to the Race to Zero Campaign.

19 October 2021, Vancouver – Today the British Consulate-General is pleased to welcome Simon Fraser University’s (SFU) pledge to join Race to Zero, the United Nations-backed global campaign rallying for rigorous and immediate climate action to halve global emissions by 2030.

In two weeks, the UK will host COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference, in Glasgow. This will be a pivotal moment for the world to come together to take meaningful action to avoid irreversible climate change.

Ahead of this critical summit, the British High Commission and consulates have been working collaboratively with Canadian partners, organisations, and communities in the fight against climate change and the drive for a net zero future. Today’s announcement sees SFU join 130 other non-state Canadian actors who are spearheading the path to a cleaner future by joining Race to Zero.

Joy Johnson, President and Vice-Chancellor, Simon Fraser University:

“We are at a critical time where we need to come together—on a global scale—to inspire climate action and make a positive impact. As leaders in sustainability, SFU will continue to take action to address climate change and promote efforts to build healthier, safer and more resilient communities. Joining the UN’s Race To Zero campaign is another positive step forward in furthering our commitment.”

Nicole Davison, British Consul-General in Vancouver:

“Climate change is not a distant threat but happening now, and urgent action is needed to address it. The Race to Zero campaign is a critical part of this climate action and we are delighted to be welcoming Simon Fraser University to the race to build a cleaner, net-zero future. In the lead up to COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference hosted by the UK in Glasgow, we have been working with our Canadian partners to drive climate action forward. With now only two weeks to go until this critical summit, there is no time to waste.”

The Race to Zero campaign is a global initiative to elevate ambition and mobilize credible climate action among cities, regions, businesses and investors to deliver a sustainable net zero transition. Through credible and science based climate targets these actors are working to keep global temperature rise to within 1.5C warming by 2050, which is in line with the Paris Agreement.

SFU’s commitment to Race to Zero is part of the university’s wider sustainability initiative to help protect the planet and ensure a cleaner future for all. Through its efforts, SFU provides a great example of a leading British Columbia institution putting green initiatives at the forefront. To find out more about these initiatives and to welcome SFU’s net zero commitment, British Consul-General Nicole Davison sat down with SFU President and Vice-Chancellor Joy Johnson to discuss what these changes will mean to students, faculty and staff. Watch the interview below.

Tackling climate change requires a global effort and the UK is pleased to be working alongside Canadian partners in our shared commitment and dedication to addressing this existential threat and holding the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees.

About SFU’s commitment to sustainability and joining Race to Zero

  • SFU has set ambitious emission reduction targets for Race To Zero that will see 85 per cent GHG emissions reductions by 2030, net zero reductions of direct emissions by 2035, and net zero of all emissions by 2050.
  • In 2020, SFU committed to a five-year sustainability plan (SFU 2025) to acknowledge the climate crisis and mobilize the entire institution to embed climate action throughout its operations, research, academics, and community and global engagement. This includes more aggressive climate action targets, after reaching operational emission reduction targets (reduction of 50 per cent) ahead of schedule.
  • Along with SFU joining Race To Zero, the university has launched a Sustainable Development Goals website to share how the institution has—and is—advancing in these areas.
  • In the coming months and throughout the next year, more will be shared about SFU’s sustainability initiatives currently underway, as well as the university’s progress towards the Race To Zero targets.

Learn more at

About Race to Zero

Race To Zero is a 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.

It mobilizes a coalition of leading net zero initiatives, representing 733 cities, 31 regions, 3,067 businesses, 173 of the biggest investors, and 622 Higher Education Institutions. These ‘real economy’ actors join 120 countries in the largest ever alliance committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest. Collectively these actors now cover nearly 25% global CO2 emissions and over 50% GDP.

The objective is to build momentum around the shift to a decarbonized economy ahead of COP26, where governments must strengthen their contributions to the Paris Agreement. This will send governments a resounding signal that business, cities, regions and investors are united in meeting the Paris goals and creating a more inclusive and resilient economy.

About COP26

The UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow on 1 – 12 November, 2021. The COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The UK is committed to working with all countries and joining forces with civil society, companies and people on the frontline of climate change to inspire climate action ahead of COP26. To learn more visit 

About the British High Commission Ottawa

The British High Commission in Ottawa, is the UK government’s main diplomatic mission in Canada. Along with Consulates-General in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver, we work closely with the Canadian government and partners across the country to develop and maintain a wide range of substantive partnerships of real value to both countries. These partnerships cover business, defense, climate change, science and innovation, education, and culture.

About Simon Fraser University

As Canada’s engaged university, SFU works with communities, organizations and partners to create, share and embrace knowledge that improves life and generates real change. We deliver a world-class education with lifelong value that shapes changemakers, visionaries and problem-solvers. We connect research and innovation to entrepreneurship and industry to deliver sustainable, relevant solutions to today’s problems. With campuses in British Columbia’s three largest cities—Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey—SFU has eight faculties that deliver 193 undergraduate degree programs and 127 graduate degree programs to more than 35,000 students. The university now boasts more than 160,000 alumni residing in 143 countries.

British Consulate-General Media Contact

Claire Wallace
Media & Public Affairs Officer, British Consulate-General, Vancouver

SFU Media Contact

Marianne Meadahl
Assistant Director, Media Relations and Public Affairs, Simon Fraser University

Watch the Full Interview