High level speakers to discuss credible climate action for a 1.5°C world

The UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2021 will elevate ambition for strategic collective action, with focused objectives and clear paths to recovery from the continued climate crisis, global pandemic, economic disparities and social inequalities.  By Climate Champions | June 10, 2021

2021 is a make or break year to confront the climate crisis. While the world continues to deal with the COVID pandemic, climate change still rages on. In the lead up to COP26, we are at a crossroads and yet, countries’ climate plans are falling short of the Paris Agreement goals.

Finally, the world is gathering at the starting line to race to net zero emissions and significant change is underway. The past year has seen an unprecedented increase in companies and other stakeholders setting net-zero targets aligned with a 1.5°C pathway through the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign and other partner initiatives of the “Race to Zero”.

In this Race,  ambitious corporate leaders are joined by investors, mayors, universities, coming together for credible climate action. Change is accelerating thanks to multi-stakeholder collaboration, but we cannot rest on our laurels. Non-state actors must continue catalysing action which will help us globally halve emissions by 2030 and ultimately achieve net zero by 2050.

So, what next? What has to be unlocked in order to accelerate shifts in all areas of the economy and society, so as to deliver a resilient zero carbon world in time? Not only companies aligned with a 1.5°C future need to showcase credible climate action to lead the way for their peers – they must also use their voice and join that of the UN Secretary-General and High-Level Climate Champions in calling on Governments to enhance their climate policies and make the right choices as they rebuild their economies in the recovery from COVID-19.

On June 15 and 16, to mark the first anniversary of the Race to Zero, high-level speakers will discuss the transformational shifts in the economy and society that are already taking place today, accelerated by radical, multi-stakeholder collaboration – and what is needed to accelerate the transition to a net-zero world.

Please click here to register for the event.

Plenary session: Tuesday 15 June 2021 | 16:00 BST | 11:00 – 11:45  ET | 17:00 – 17:45 CET (Live)


Cities & Regional Governments Race to Zero |  17–18:15

What has to be unlocked in order to accelerate shifts in all areas of the economy and society, so as to deliver a resilient zero carbon world in time? Cities and regional governments bridge the gap between national governments and non-state actors and therefore have a critical role to play in influencing national policy-making to deliver on the promise of Paris, and in engaging other non-state stakeholders to accelerate progress.

Speakers: Cesar Carreno, Head of Climate Data at ICLEI Romeu Zema; Governor of Minas Gerais (Brazil) Elly Shlein; Vice President of Emilia Romagna (Italy) Carolina Urrutia, Secretary for the Environment in Bogota (Colombia); Josefine Belmonte, Mayor of Quezon city (Philippines); Vanessa Pérez-Cirera, Deputy Leader of WWF’s global Climate & Energy Practice.

No speed limits: Transport races to Zero |  19:00 –19:45

We cannot reach the targets set out in the Paris Agreement without addressing the transport sector. In land transport, the pathway to zero carbon is feasible. It is estimated that about 85% of CO2 emission reductions needed to meet the 1.5°C target can be achieved with existing and emerging policies and technologies, such as electrification and efficiency improvement.

In this panel, we gather different parties in the industry to find out how the roles and responsibilities are changing, and what we can do together to accelerate the speed of zero emission transportation transition.

Speakers: Angela Hultberg, Transport Lead for the High Level Climate Champions (moderator); Manufacturer: Mr Christian Levion, CEO Scania Demand-side: Mrs. Pia Heidenmark-Cook, CSO IKEA Retail (Ingka Group). Mobility: Mr Renato Franklin, CEO Movida (Brazil). Renewable Energy: Mrs Rana Adib, Executive Director, REN21

The impact of net zero |  21:45 – 22:30

Arguably, Race to Zero is already winning the momentum battle – now the focus must shift towards ensuring this accelerating ambition is matched with robust action that will deliver against the commitments made. The panel will discuss the landscape of net zero commitments and how Race to Zero stands out, whilst spotlighting what still needs to happen to accelerate the Race.

Speakers: Thomas Hale, Chair of the Expert Peer Review Group, University of Oxford (moderator); Alberto Carrillo, Director of Science Based Targets at CDP; Angel Hsu, Founder/Director of the Data-Driven EnviroPolicy Lab; Richard Black, Senior Associate at Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit; Kate Cullen, Net Zero Policy Researcher at Oxford.

Bridging the gap between adaptation and mitigation | 07:00 –07:45

Delivering on the promise of Paris and achieving a just transition can only be done by addressing mitigation and adaptation as two sides of the same coin. Throughout this conversation, we will hear from two global leaders in climate action who will share their thoughts on the importance of bridging resilience and mitigation, and in doing so will offer a long-term vision for success which will require specific, short-term action.

Speakers: Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the UK Environment Agency; Manuel Pulgar Vidal, Global Leader of Climate & Energy at WWF.

Engaging Youth in the Race |  09:30A–10:15A

In this panel, we gather different generations from across regions to find out how youth can engage and already are engaging – in fact often leading – in racing towards a decarbonized economy. The panel will explore how together we can enhance and accelerate the transition, and will explore the role of higher education institutions as enablers and as shapers of the future.

Speakers : Gonzalo Munoz, Chile COP25 High Level Climate Champion; Farai Chireshe, Youth Fellow for High Level Champions; Valeria Soto, Student of Sustainable Development Engineering at Tec de Monterrey, Mexico and leader of her student community; Dr Emily Shuckburgh, Director of Cambridge Zero; Joshua Amponsem, Founder of Green Africa Youth Organisation

Vision for the Future 15:00P–15:30P

Nigel Topping, UK COP26 High Level Climate Champion and Gonzalo Munoz, Chile COP25 High Level Climate Champion will reflect on lessons learned and look forwards to the future of the campaign

Please click here to register for the event.

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