Race to Zero Breakthroughs launched

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Good evening everyone from Addis Ababa. It is an absolute pleasure to join you and to be sharing this panel with some real champions for global climate action.

So happy to be here as part of this event.

The momentum behind zero emissions is building.

We’ve seen in the last year countries coming forward with their net zero commitments. Of course I welcome what the US administration has said in terms of climate action.

Last year we also saw Net zero commitments from business and local government double.

And the Race to Zero membership increased to almost 1400 companies, many of them very large, global companies.

And that is all in the midst of a global pandemic.

But we know the reason for doing this is such action is absolutely vital.

Reaching net zero is essential if we are to meet the aims of the Paris Agreement and limit global temperature rises.

And we all know that the science on the catastrophic consequences is clear if we do not.

We’ve seen around the world increasingly extreme temperatures.

Rising sea levels. Droughts. Floods. Other events.

And the resulting devastation on people and nature.

The progress that we are seeing to avert this crisis with these commitments to net zero is of course very welcome.

And I want to thank everyone who has set out net zero targets.

But we know that to achieve a zero global economy, every single sector in business must play their part.

And that requires us to cooperate even more than before.

To coordinate our efforts, sector by sector. And we need to get each sector to a tipping point.

And we must reach a critical mass, where the transition to clean ways of working takes off and develops a momentum of its own. And then rapidly becomes the norm.

And that is why enhancing international collaboration is one of my key priorities as COP26 President.

And it is why I am absolutely delighted that we, alongside our brilliant High-level champions, Nigel Topping and Gonzalo Munoz, are launching the Race to Zero Breakthroughs today.

They are both doing extraordinary work and I absolutely applaud them for that.

The campaign shows that more than 20 major sectors precisely how they can get to their tipping points. How they can reach that tipping point. And when they need to do so.

Whether that is the power sector delivering 60% of renewable energy by 2030.

Or a fifth of top asset managers committing to align their portfolios with the Paris Agreement within the next five years.

Now these are rigorously researched targets, they’re developed with sectoral experts with business, governments, and civil society, we can all unite around these targets.

Each of these groups has a crucial role to play.

Whether that is developing policy to encourage the change, or galvanising public support for action, or committing their business to leading the way.

I urge all leaders across society, but particularly within the business community, to commit to taking action, and taking that action now, and reaching these breakthroughs as soon as possible.

Because – and I think this is the good news – if every sector plays its part, and passes that tipping point within the next decade, we will see the global economy accelerate towards net zero by 2050.

And thereby of course, helping to make the Paris Agreement a reality.

And forging what we all want to see – a clean and prosperous future for our planet.

We can do it. Let’s go for it.

Thank you.

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