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  • Writer's pictureDavid Connolly

‘No chance’ of meeting 2030 carbon targets, senior figure warns



An executive vice-president of garment manufacturing group Epic, Dr Vidhura Ralapanawe, has said there is “absolutely no chance” that the global garment industry can meet decarbonisation targets it has set itself for 2030.


Speaking at an online event to present a new white paper on decarbonisation of the apparel industry on March 19, Dr Ralapanawe said he could not see how 2030 targets of reducing emissions by 50% could be met.


“I’m sorry to say there is absolutely no chance,” he said. “The kind of mobilisation that would be required for the industry to make that type of shift is not happening on the ground. We are not even having the conversations that need to happen first.”


He explained that a large amount of funding and changes to the whole business model will be necessary for the apparel sector to make progress towards decarbonisation.


He insisted that, already, not enough time remained between now and 2030 for garment brands and their supply chain partners to put in place and then execute decarbonisation plans for a 50% reduction in emissions. “I am going to say openly that we will be lucky to get to a reduction of 15% by 2030,” the Epic vice-president said.


However, he went on to say that it was important for companies across the apparel supply chain to remember that 2030 is only an interim target. The real target is that the industry is aiming to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. 


He explained that this is why the new white paper, ‘From Catwalk to Carbon Neutral: Mobilising Funding for a Net Zero Fashion Industry’, has come out now. “We don’t want to wait until 2027 and start scratching our heads,” Dr Ralapanawe said. “Even if we don’t get to where we want to by 2030, we need to think about what happens in 2035, what happens in 2040 and what happens in 2045. We need to work on this until we completely decarbonise the value chain.”


He argued that work that can begin now to mobilise the funding and the will to bring emissions down can still make the 2050 target achievable.




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