Race to Zero Dialogues on Energy

16 November 2020 |Webinar

 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, in close collaboration with the Marrakech Partnership, as part of the ‘Race to Zero’ campaign. The Dialogues will take place virtually on 9-19 November. 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 – Dec 4, 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 leading the Energy Dialogue, taking place on 16 November. The Energy Dialogue will include two sessions organised by IRENA, namely on the role of clean energy in COVID recovery and green hydrogen, and two sessions organised by others, namely Climate Action 100+ on the Net Zero Sector Strategies for the Power and Oil & Gas Sectors and RE100 on the market-driven renewable electricity transition.

The Race to Zero Dialogue on Energy will convene leaders from the energy transition, including policy-makers, transformational business leaders, energy sector leaders, investors, and civil society. The speakers will showcase 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

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 and Scene-setter

10:20 11:20 CET

Panel Discussion

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.

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 – 12:10 CET


12:10 – 12:50 CET

Green Hydrogen Strategies: what are policy-makers doing?

Green hydrogen is increasingly playing a key role in the energy transition, contributing to the spread of renewables and the decarbonization of hard to abate industries. Additionally, a rapidly growing number of countries striving for climate-neutrality are placing large bets on hydrogen made with renewable electricity to be at the forefront of the “Green Recovery” from COVID-19. This unprecedented momentum will need to be coupled with careful policy and infrastructure changes to maximise its positive environmental, social and economic benefits. Is there a moment to be seized for a green hydrogen revolution?

12:50 – 13:30 CET

A road to a green hydrogen economy?

The cost reductions needed to make hydrogen competitive with fossil fuels remain contingent upon rapid and significant scale-up of its production. Leading international organizations and key players from the private sector will discuss latest developments and the actions needed from the public and private sphere to scale-up the production and use of green hydrogen. This segment will provide a platform to exchange views on the different technologies, investment and deployment that are putting us on the path towards a green hydrogen economy.

13:30 14:30 CET


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

Hear from leaders in the energy sector discuss the actions needed to accelerate progress to net zero emission business strategies. This event will consist of a series of announcements from companies joining the Race to Zero and Business Ambition for 1.5 degrees; presentations profiling the business case for the transition to net-zero emissions and keynote discussions from C-Level representatives of companies that are re-inventing their business model to net-zero emissions. This event is organised by Climate Action 100+ initiative’s network partners IIGCC, Ceres, AIGCC, IGCC & PRI with CDP and WMB.

14:30 – 14:40 CET

Session overview and introduction to sector strategies

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.

14:40 – 14:45 CET

Who is committing?

A series of 30 second videos with commitment declarations from approx. 10-15 C-level leaders from both investors and companies).

14:45 – 14:50 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

14:50 – 15:20 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.

15:20 15:50 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.

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.

16:00 – 16:05 CET


Session 4: The Market Driven Renewable Electricity Transition (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

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.

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.

Followed by Q&A

17:55 18:00 CET

Closing remarks

Concluding remarks and call to action from the COP Champions