Race to Zero aims
The purpose of the Race to Zero is to get more non-governmental institutions and individuals involved in the Race to Zero campaign. The Climate Ambition Alliance was launched during the 2019 Climate Action Summit with the aim to get nations to renew their commitment to achieve net zero CO2 emissions by 2050.
So far, the Race to Zero Campaign includes the commitment and actions of 452 cities, 22 regions, 1101 businesses, 45 of the biggest investors and 549 universities, representing 120 countries that are committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
At the COP 21 United Nations climate change conference in Paris, governments appointed two high-level champions to urgently promote the achievement of the goals of the Paris Agreement. They are Gonzalo Muñoz from Chile and Nigel Topping from the UK.
In an interview with IRENA, Gonzalo Muñoz said, “The importance of the Pathways is the number. It is about positioning the 1.5 degree in the centre. We are sending a political message to the world and to the Parties that we can work together and impact their work positively.”
Nigel Topping agreed and added: “We are trying to create a normative scenario which more and more people commit to. And that is really a lot of what IRENA has been doing and why it is so great to have you leading on the energy track. And now we have to work on bringing in everybody else.”
As part of the drive to get global action on climate change going before COP26, the High-Level Champions facilitate the Race to Zero Dialogues from November 9 – 19, 2020. The Race to Zero Dialogues encompasses nearly 100 virtual events. The 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 26) would originally have taken place from November 9 – 19 this year.
The loudest possible message
“Number one objective of the Race to Zero is to send the loudest possible message from non-state actors”, said Nigel Topping. “The loudest possible message to state actors and national governments that the whole of society is committing to zero.”
“There is a big need for the mobilization of non-state actors. Non-state actors have to consider COVID-19 in the recovery plans to build back better. This unprecedented crisis shows an unprecedented opportunity and I believe that the renewable energy sector is the frontrunner in that aspect,” added Gonzalo Muñoz.