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KATOWICE – Under the auspices of UN Climate Change, over forty leading apparel brands, suppliers and supporting organisations have today launched the ‘Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action’ at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 24) – which is being held in a town at the very heart of Poland’s large coal industry.

Signatories to the new Charter include brands such as Puma and H&M, who both chaired working groups on the new initiative, as well as Adidas, Burberry, Esprit, Gap, Hugo Boss, Inditex, Kering Group, Levi Strauss and Target, among other organisations.

As reported previously by Ecotextile News, these companies have now set an initial target to reduce their aggregate greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent by 2030 and promised to phase out coal-fired boilers or other sources of coal-fired heat and power generation in their own businesses and direct suppliers from 2025.

“The fashion industry is always two steps ahead when it comes to defining world culture, so I am pleased to see it now also leading the way in terms of climate action,” said UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa. “The Charter, like the renowned fashion runways of the world, sets an example that I hope others will follow.”

The signatories have appealed for wider support from the fashion sector and urge new parties to sign up to the Charter’s new commitments.

However, the news was tempered somewhat by the Polish government's decision to allowed COP to be sponsored by three large Polish coal companies – in a very visible sign that powerful elements in the global energy sector are determined to protect their interests at the expense of planetary health.

The coal industry generates around 80 per cent of Poland's energy needs.

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