UK climate champion Nigel Topping says he is stubbornly optimistic that the world will converge on a deal to forge a transition to a net-zero future in the UN climate talks later this year.
Topping’s role in the run-up to the United Nations COP26 climate summit, to be held in Glasgow in November, is to drive and encourage action by business, civil society, and local and regional governments on change. climate.
Topping recognizes the need to be optimistic that the world hasn’t done enough and is running out of time. “But I am a stubborn optimist,” he said.
Topping, who was named UK Climate Champion by Boris Johnson last year, said: “We know what to do, we have solutions and we are quickly seeing the whole world converge on an agreement.
“Most commentators haven’t studied history long enough to see that these complicated industrial transformations always seemed to take forever to start, but then they went very quickly.”
Topping and his fellow climate champion, Gonzalo Muñoz from Chile, lead the call Zero race, a global campaign to gather support and commitments for a net zero future and emission limits for the next decade.
Topping says it is doing “tacos” to get as much support as possible from city leaders, regional governments, businesses and civil society to support the transition to net zero.
The The UK government has committed to reaching net zero by 2050and recently announced that it will reduce emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels in a move to spur action before Cop26.
At Cop26, nations will be asked to establish national plans to reduce carbon emissions over the next 10 years.
“Transformational change starts with bold goals, then you have to seal the policies. That’s pretty normal in politics, ”Topping said.
Public support for the changes needed to transform economies to net zero was vital, Topping said.
A new BBC documentary, People versus climate change, tracks the personal travels and major life changes of some members of the public who participated in the UK government’s climate assembly last year. The film follows some of the contestants, including 56-year-old Sue Peachey of Batheaston in Bath, a former fishmonger and traffic watchman who now runs a retirement home. From the experience, Peachey purchased an electric car and joined the parish council to advocate for local climate action.
Topping said that the experiences of those who participated highlighted how perspectives could change as a result of a little education and informed conversations.
“It is really simple on one level but also complicated. We have to challenge everyone and make them wonder, how much change does that mean for me? “
Businesses, he said, must be held accountable as they commit to reducing emissions and transitioning to a net zero future.
The Race to Zero campaign it is trying to build momentum around the net zero change. “All companies that are in the race to zero commit to not only go to zero in the future in the time of five CEOs, but to play their role to achieve a 50% reduction by 2030, have clear intermediate goals and publish and enact their plans, “he said.
“And they need to be held accountable by the government, the public and investors to make sure they are doing enough in the next two years to be on the right track.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism