Dec 3, 2020
In this interview with Terry Slavin, COP26 High-Level Climate Action Champion Nigel Topping explains how the US's re-engagement in the Paris Agreement will super-charge ambition and the need to manage unintended consequences in the energy transition
Topping talks about why the recently completed #Racetozero dialogues sought to hear from the broadest number of voices, including Sharan Burrow of the ITUC and young professional climate activists, who asked difficult questions.
"You can kid yourself if you are only speaking to fellow activists or fellow CEOs. It's easy to have a naive narrative and not recognise the complexity of what we are trying to do together," he said.
Challenging conversations will continue to be needed in UNFCC discussions about net zero pathways, such as the electrification of road transport. "We need to be honest about what the potential unintended consequences are because those are the things that will trip up the transformation. We have to be clear-eyed about that, and keep asking what could go wrong."
Topping also talked about why it is critical to set science-based targets for nature, and how companies in the UNFCCC’s #RaceToZero campaign are required to lift their game with credible, transparent and interim targets to get to #net zero.
The video begins as he answers Terry Slavin’s first question about UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s recently-released 10 point climate action plan, including a target to end the sale of combustion vehicles by 2035.