A ten-day event series, convened by the UNFCCC High-Level Champions for Global Climate Action in collaboration with the Marrakech Partnership, demonstrated how systems’ transformations can be achieved across eight key sectors of the global economy. Participants acknowledged the role of multilateralism, cooperation, and inclusivity in bringing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to net zero.

Race to Zero Dialogues convened from 9-19 November 2020 in a virtual format, across multiple time zones, to allow more than 300 speakers from 65 countries to reflect on progress made on climate change mitigation and adaptation. Events focused on: climate and health; industry; transport; oceans, coastal zones, and water; nature-based solutions and land use; energy; regenerative, resilient food systems; built environment and cities and regions; and finance.

The Dialogues drew on the ‘Climate Action Pathways’ report, which provides an overview of the transformational actions needed for systemic transformations within sectors, and highlights synergies and interlinkages across the thematic and cross-cutting areas to enable an integrated approach.

Some of the key findings and outcomes include:

Climate and health: the launch of Pathfinder Initiative to map healthy climate solutions;

Industry: a commitment by leading multi-stakeholder groups, producers, and brands in the fashion industry to produce a shared decarbonization roadmap;

Transport: a blueprint for large-scale demonstration projects to reach zero-emission shipping by 2030;

Built environment and cities and regions: a partnership by C40 Cities, CDP, and the Global Covenant of Mayors, in collaboration with the Science-Based Target for Cities, to mobilize 1,000 cities to join the Race to Zero in time for the Glasgow Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in 2021;

Energy: the launch by the CA100+ investor initiative of a consultation on a strategy for decarbonizing the power sector;

Water: a commitment by Water UK and AguasAndinas, Chile’s largest water utility, to cut their emissions to net zero by 2030;

Oceans and coastal zones: the launch by the Blue Climate Initiative of the Innovation Challenge, a prize to promote innovative solutions in the nexus of oceans and climate;

Nature-based solutions and land use: the launch of the Green Gigaton Challenge, a global initiative to enhance the contribution from forests to close the emission gap, ensure biodiversity conservation and a green recovery from COVID-19, and deliver its first gigaton of high-quality emission reductions by COP 26; and

Finance: a renewed commitment by 38 banks, convened in the Principles for Responsible Banking’s Collective Commitment to Climate Action, to issue tangible, scenario-based targets within the next 24 months to align their portfolios to limit global warming to well below 2°C.

Speaking at the closing event on 19 November, Carlos Alvarado Quesada, President of Costa Rica, noted that without cooperation and multilateralism, “there is no way we are going to tackle a new economy and … the climate crisis.”

UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa acknowledged that “the deep transformations we need … cannot be delivered by governments alone.” “They require everyone on board,” she said. [UNFCCC Press Release] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Race to Zero Campaign]

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