Race to Zero Dialogues on Energy

 Race to Zero Dialogues Energy

To amplify the climate action that is being undertaken in 2020 and build momentum around the shift to a decarbonized economy ahead of COP26, the High-Level Champions for Global Climate Action are convening the Race to Zero Dialogues from 9 – 19 November, in close collaboration with the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action, as part of the ‘Race to Zero’ campaign. Under the leadership of the High-Level Climate Champions, the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action supports implementation of the Paris Agreement by enabling collaboration between governments and the cities, regions, businesses and investors that must act on climate change. The mission of the Partnership is to strengthen collaboration between governments and key stakeholders to immediately lower emissions and increase resilience against climate impacts.

2020 has been a challenging year for everyone; these Dialogues will chart how entire sectors are already rapidly transitioning to a zero-carbon future, as defined in the Climate Action Pathways, and facilitate further progress in low carbon transformation of key sectors. The Race to Zero Dialogues will serve as critical input to the UNFCCC Climate Dialogues from 23 Nov – 4 Dec, which are advancing work governing the rules of the Paris Agreement. Together, both Dialogues will set the stage for the Anniversary of the Paris Agreement on 12 December as the world embarks on the ‘Race to Zero’ towards COP26 in 2021.

Each day of the Dialogues is dedicated to a separate theme, including human settlements; industry; land use; oceans and coastal zones; transport; water; finance; energy; and resilience. IRENA is hosting the Energy Dialogue, taking place on 16 November. The Dialogues on Energy will include two sessions organised by IRENA, namely on the role of clean energy in COVID recovery and green hydrogen, one session organised by The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC)/Climate Action 100+ (CA100+) on Implementing a Net Zero Energy Sector Strategy and one session organised by RE100 on the market-driven renewable electricity transition.

The Race to Zero Dialogues on Energy convened leaders from the energy transition, including policy-makers, transformational business leaders, energy sector leaders, investors, and civil society. The speakers showcased energy transition solutions and how they can be scaled up and replicated to meet global climate goals.


Dialogues on Energy

16 November 2020, 10:00 – 18:00 CET

Session 1: Recovering Better: How Sustainable Energy Can Light the Way

Support: SEforAll

COVID-19 recovery measures can either trigger a decisive shift toward resilient and sustainable energy systems or ensure an enduring lock-in of unsustainable practices. A holistic policy approach – rooted in climate-safe energy development, yet also focused on short-term imperatives – would reap multiple benefits and help set the stage for a just transition.

This event will focus on the role of energy transitions in countries’ recovery efforts following COVID-19. Speakers will discuss how to align short-term responses with long-term objectives to realise respective energy transitions with full economic and social benefits, for the future that is just, inclusive, and climate-safe.

10:00 – 10:20 CET


Opening: Gonzalo Munoz, COP25 High-level Climate Champion and Nigel Topping, COP26 High-level Climate Champion

Keynote: Francesco La Camera, Director-General, IRENA

10:20 11:20 CET

Moderated Discussion

Moderator: Mr. John Murton, UK COP26 Envoy

Linking the short-term recovery to medium and long-term strategies is paramount to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Urgent action to create these linkages in the energy sector must be taken now to ensure we are on track for a 1.5°C future by 2040. A holistic policy approach rooted in the climate-safe energy development would reap multiple benefits, and help set the stage for a just transition and closing of the energy access gaps.


  • H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma, Chair, H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma Foundation
  • Ms. Juliet Davenport, Founder and CEO, Good Energy Group
  • Mr. Harish Hande, Co-Founder and Chairman, SELCO Foundation
  • Dr. Maria Neira, Director of Environment, Climate Change and Health Department, World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Mr. Carlos Salle, Vice President for Energy Policies and Climate Change, Ibedrola Group
  • Ms. Mechthild Wörsdörfer, Director of Sustainability, Technology and Outlooks, International Energy Agency
  • Dr. Sun-Jin Yun, Chairperson, Korea Energy Information Culture Agency (KEIA)

11:20 – 11:30 CET

Q&A with audience

11:30 – 12:00 CET


Session 2: Green hydrogen for a renewable powered future (IRENA)


Green hydrogen has emerged as one of the pillars of the energy transition. Falling costs for hydrogen produced with renewable electricity, combined with the urgency of cutting greenhouse-gas emissions and jumpstarting a resilient economic recovery, has given green hydrogen unprecedented political and business momentum. Once scaled-up and made widely competitive, green hydrogen can become fundamental in decarbonising a wider range of end-use sectors, complementing direct electrification. So the challenge is clear: how do we accelerate efforts to achieve scale and cost reduction, thus ensuring a significant contribution of green hydrogen in the energy system in the coming decades – and resilient economic recovery in the next few years?

12:00 – 12:20 CET

Opening: Francesco La Camera, Director-General, IRENA


  • Lord Callanan, Minister for Climate Change and Corporate Responsibility, United Kingdom
  • H.E. Juan Carlos Jobet, Energy Minster, Chile
  • Ms. Ditte Juul-Jorgensen, Director-General of DG Energy, European Commission

12:20 – 13:20 CET

Moderated Discussion

Moderator and Scene-Setter: Mr. Dolf Gielen, Director, IRENA Innovation and Technology Centre

Speakers (in alphabetical order):

  • Ms. Rana Adib, Executive Director, REN21
  • Mr. Roberto Bocca, Head of Shaping the Future of Energy and Materials, World Economic Forum
  • Ms. Belén Linares, R&D and Innovation Director, Acciona
  • Dr. Andrea Lovato, Vice President & Head of Renewable Development & Green Hydrogen, ACWA Power
  • Mr. François-Xavier Olivieri, Executive Vice President, Engie Hydrogen - representing the Hydrogen Council

13:20 – 13:30 CET

Q & A


Mr. Gonzalo Munoz, COP25 High-level Champion

13:30 – 14:30 CET


Session 3: Implementing a Net Zero Energy Sector Strategy (CA100+)

Lead: IIGCC/CA100+

Climate Action 100+ network partners IIGCC, Ceres, AIGCC, IGCC & PRI are in the process of developing Net Zero Sector Strategies for the Power and Oil & Gas sectors comprised of two elements; net zero standards for company level action, a sector level (multi-actor) action plan. CA100+ companies have been asked to commit to work on sector strategies by 20 October. CDP and WMB are key leaders of the Business Ambition for 1.5C campaign, the key commitment companies can use to declare intent to align with net zero by 2050.

It is proposed that the session on 16 November is used as a launching point for work on these strategies and to profile the views of leaders in the sector (signed onto the Business Ambition for 1.5C campaign) regarding what needs to be done and profile wider level of commitment of CA100+ signatures in these sectors that will contribute to net zero sector strategies.

14:30 – 14:40 CET

Session overview and introduction to sector strategies

Session Moderator: Karl Zammit-Maempel, Energy Lead, COP26 Climate Action Champions

A summary of what has happened in the build up to the session and the sessions goals highlighting the key messages. A run through of the sectoral action plans and key messages for policymakers.


  • Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO of IIGCC
  • Carlota Garcia-Manas, Senior Responsible Investment Analyst, Royal London Asset Management

14:40 – 14:45 CET

Who is committing?

A series of 30 second videos with commitment declarations from C-level leaders from both investors and companies.

14:45 – 14:55 CET

S-curves – the compelling case for accelerating action now

Profiling the business case for transition / how the pace of change will not be linear

Speaker: Professor Michael Grubb, University College London

14:55 – 15:25 CET

Why are we re-imaging the energy business – a ‘keynote’ discussion on sector wide transformation

Building on key messages of previous segment, a discussion between one/two energy companies that have reinvented their business model and a C-level investor with major shareholdings. The focus of this discussion will be the investment case and key action that need to be taken at industry level to drive progress in the next 10 years.

Moderator: Nicolette Bartlett, Global Director, Climate Change, CDP


  • Jakob Askou Bøss, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Stakeholder Relations, Ørsted
  • Ulrika Wising, Global VP Customer Solutions, New Energy, Royal Dutch Shell

15:25  15:55 CET

Ensuring global progress – taking action around the world

Building on the previous session, this discussion will focus on regional implementation of action plans to accelerate progress.

Moderator: The Rev Kirsten Snow Spalding, Senior Programme Director, Ceres


  • Duncan Burt, Director of COP26, National Grid
  • Roberto Fernández Albendea, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, Iberdrola
  • Debby Blakely, CEO, Hesta Super
  • Mark Lewis, Chief Sustainability Strategist, BNP Paribas Asset Management
  • Seiji Kawazoe, Senior Stewardship Officer, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management

15:50 – 15:55 CET


Questions from the public to the speakers of sessions

15:55 – 16:00 CET

Closing Remarks

Concluding contributions outlining/identifying potential interactions between the energy sector and other dialogues and/or making additional requests of key actors.

Speaker: Gonzalo Munoz, COP25 High-level Champion

16:00 – 16:30 CET


Session 4: The Market Driven Renewable Electricity Transition (RE100)

Lead: RE100

Voluntary sourcing of renewable electricity by some of the world’s most influential companies is a rapidly growing global movement. Representing billions of dollars of potential investment in renewable electricity infrastructure, corporate energy users are challenging governments to increase their renewable energy ambition to meet demand.

An important driver for this movement is the RE100 initiative, which brings together over 250 companies committed to sourcing 100% of their global electricity demand from renewable sources. With combined electricity demand greater than that of Australia or Taiwan, these companies are leading a market-driven electricity transition.

This 90-minute session brings together thought-leaders and leading companies, policy makers and utilities, to discuss the $98bn win-win opportunity for the environment, business, governments and taxpayers.

16:30 – 16:35 CET

Welcome - Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100, the Climate Group

Speaker: Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100, The Climate Group

16:35 – 17:15 CET

High Level Panel

What is the potential of the corporate sourcing movement to drive change at global scale? How renewables are now making business sense as well as environmental sense.

Moderator: Nathaniel Bullard, Chief Content Officer, BloombergNEF


  • Paula Abreu Marques, Head of Unit, Renewables and CCS policy, DG Energy, European Commission
  • Virginia Covo Naranjo, Global Director, Supply Chain Sustainability, Anheuser-Busch InBev
  • Lord Adair Turner, Chair, Energy Transitions Commission

17:15 – 17:55 CET


Leading companies, governments and utilities discuss the strategies that are enabling them to take advantage of this multi-billion investment opportunity, the importance of corporate renewables in achieving corporate and government carbon reduction goals, and the role of policymakers in unlocking investment opportunities for their domestic industries.

Moderator: Bruce Douglas, Director, Business & Communications, Eurelectric


  • Ainhoa Anda, Senior Lead, Energy Strategy, Google
  • Hiromitsu Hatano, Manager, Sustainability Management Division, Ricoh Company, Ltd.
  • Bose Varghese, Head – Green Initiatives, Infosys Limited
  • Cristina Bernardini, Head of Commercial Office Asia and Oceania, ENEL Green Power

Followed by Q&A

17:55 – 18:00 CET

Closing remarks

Concluding remarks and call to action from the COP Champions

Speakers: Gonzalo Munoz, COP25 High-level Champion and Nigel Topping, COP26 High-level Champion

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