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The Tortoise Climate Summit: How can we accelerate net zero?


About this ThinkIn

  • About
  • Sessions
  • People
  • Notes

We aren’t moving fast enough.

Only 13 countries in the world have laws requiring them to reach net zero by the middle of the century. That’s 13 out of 193. They account for one tonne of CO2 emissions in fifteen. Even if every country had a binding 2050 target, that would still only limit global warming to 2 degrees if we were lucky. And there’s all the difference in the world between that and 1.5, which is what the UN aimed for six years ago in Paris. At 2 degrees of warming, fisheries would shrink twice as fast as they would at 1.5. Crop yields would fall even faster. The rate of species loss would double. More than twice as many people would face extreme heat events and the amount of Arctic ice loss would be ten times worse.

Which is why 2050 isn’t good enough. And why we need to accelerate net zero.

The Tortoise summit on Accelerating Net Zero will examine the why, the how and the who of getting there faster. It will draw on the expertise of great minds and the galvanising impulse of COP26 to identify who’s on the hook for the most daunting assignment in the history of the biosphere. How much falls to government and business? How much to consumers and technology? What will the revolutions required in energy, transport, industry, agriculture and finance actually look like? And what happens if we can’t be bothered?

We’ll hold vital discussions on green power, green infrastructure, decarbonising commerce and the role of business and investment. In each one we’ll keep a carbon counter ticking down – or up – to show in concrete terms whether we’re being ambitious enough or just dodging the big questions.

Join us to start writing a global to-do list before the world gathers in Glasgow to work out how to save itself.

Got an access code?

Head here and enter it to claim your free ticket.


How it works

Your ticket will give you access to all of the sessions, but just like an in-person conference you can dip in and out. Recordings will be available in our members’ app the next day.


media partners


With thanks to our Accelerating Net Zero Coalition


connecting partners

Interested in supporting this summit or joining the Accelerating Net Zero Coalition?

Keynote
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UK High Level Climate Action Champion, COP26


invited experts
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CEO, New Economics Foundation

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CCO, Land Life Company

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Co-founder, Global Optimism; co-author of The Future We Choose

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CEO, Octopus Energy Generation


Our team
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Co-founder and Editor

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Editor and Partner

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Members’ Editor and Partner

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Director of Tortoise Intelligence

08.30-09.00 BST

Keynote session with Nigel Topping

All eyes will be on world leaders in November for the most influential climate meeting of the year – COP26. Over 200 countries, businesses and NGO’s will gather in Glasgow to discuss their roles in accelerating Net Zero. But what promises can we expect to hear at the conference? How can companies and countries really create purposeful, global action on climate? Will COP26 actually make a difference to Net Zero targets?

As the UK High Level Climate Action Champion, Nigel Topping will be at the heart of COP26 trying to bridge the gap between governments and business action on climate in the race to Net Zero.

Previously, Nigel was CEO of We Mean Business, a coalition of businesses working to accelerate the transition to a zero carbon economy and Executive Director of the Carbon Disclosure Project, a system for investors, companies, cities, states and regions to manage their environmental impacts. He is also an advisory board member for the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change & the Environment

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UK High Level Climate Action Champion, COP26


09.00-09.50 BST

Presenting the Tortoise Climate 100 Index

An exclusive look at the data of the Tortoise Responsibility 100 Index, which measures the gap between the words and actions of some of the world’s biggest and most carbon-intensive companies.

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Director, Tortoise Intelligence

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Investigations Editor, Tortoise

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Data Reporter, Tortoise


10.00-10.50 BST

Can companies change faster than the climate?

Covid and the climate crisis have delivered a seismic shock to the energy system that powered the planet for a century. Oil prices may never return to pre-pandemic levels. Governments are bringing forward deadlines for phasing out petrol and diesel, and the oil majors are racing to adapt. Most have announced net zero targets; many need support from governments and investors to make the energy transition. What’s the right model for that support? Do governments need to go beyond carbon pricing and underwrite a wholesale switch to renewables? Have “greening” companies grasped the scale of their own responsibilities? What are the obstacles to moving faster – and what’s at stake for those that don’t?

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Editor and Co-founder, Tortoise


11.00-11.50 BST

Is pure clean power a fantasy?

Without clean energy, we face accelerating global warming. 100 per cent clean energy is possible because sources of wind and solar power are all but infinite and unit costs keep coming down. Against that, demand will soar as EVs and electric heating become the norm and green hydrogen is called upon to even out supply. At the same time the inertia of petrostates and legacy oil and gas firms will be a drag on change. So is there a role for nuclear in getting to net zero? What mix of technology and policy will it take to reach escape velocity and leave fossil fuels behind?

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Sensemaker Editor, Tortoise


12.00-12.50 BST

Build back greener: how can we create a truly sustainable global economy?

The climate crisis is a reason to rewire and replumb the global economy. The pandemic is a reason to do it now. That’s why the build back better mantra has caught on: it makes good sense. What it doesn’t do is set out what the infrastructure of the future looks like. What needs to be built? Is this the time to rebuild old roads and bridges, or pivot to free hyperfast broadband, and hyperloops for when we really have to travel? Are smart grids and cities more important than smart motorways? Why not ground humanity and focus on decarbonising freight? It’s hard to see the future in HD, but can we agree on the big picture?

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Members’ Editor, Tortoise

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CEO, Octopus Energy Generation

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CEO, New Economics Foundation


13.00-13.50 BST

Trees for Zero: can reforestation help us meet our climate goals?

To get to a world of net zero carbon emissions, we have to both cut emissions and sequester the carbon that remains. While the focus is largely on cutting emissions, more and more attention is being paid to sequestration. Reforestation is its most popular means: trees can sequester carbon both above- and below-ground, and can retain more carbon than crops. But reforestation presents compromises with agriculture, urban planning, and biodiversity. How much land can we reforest when the global demand for food is growing? How extensively can we reforest without disturbing existing wildlife? What would it mean for the way we build our cities?

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Sensemaker Editor, Tortoise

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Co-founder, Global Optimism; co-author of The Future We Choose

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CCO, Land Life Company

Timings and sessions subject to change.