UN Climate Champion Nigel Topping on moving from 'Pledge' to 'Plan' on net-zero at COP26
EXCLUSIVE: The UN's High-Level Champion for Climate Action and leader of the Race to Zero campaign has told edie that businesses must begin publishing credible five-year plans to progress towards net-zero targets off the back of the COP26 climate summit.
Speaking to edie's content director Luke Nicholls in the COP6 Action Zone this morning (6 November), Topping said firms should start moving through the four 'P's of the Race to Zero (Pledge, Plan, Proceed and Publish).
"We've heard all of the net-zero pledges, now we need to see all the plans," Topping said. "Show us what you are actually going to do in the next five years, and then commit your business plan to being in line with that and publish it, so that there can be no doubt about the credibility of your commitments."
Reflecting on a highly eventful first week of COP26, Topping said he was particularly pleased by the implementation-focused discussions being had around energy, finance and deforestation, along with "evidence of a very quick acceleration of investment in green hydrogen".
And looking ahead to next week, Topping said he hopes there will be a strong focus placed on resilience – which he said is "at the heart of a lot of the tensions" – along with Transport Day (10 November), which could put "another nail in the coffin of the internal combustion engine, hopefully".
"I hope that we keep seeing this combination of civil society pressure, private sector movement and public sector policy all converging in the same direction," Topping added.
edie at COP26
Want more exclusive content from inside COP26? Hosted in association with our headline COP26 content partner O2, edie is running a daily podcast show, featuring exclusive interviews with some of sustainability’s leading lights. Check out the COP26 Covered podcast here.
We're also providing regular, live updates of all the major announcements. From rousing speeches to official climate plans, our COP26 Live Blog gives you everything you need to know about each day at the Summit.
View all of edie's COP26 content here.
edie's Race to Zero partnership
edie is an official Accelerator of the UN-backed Race to Zero campaign as part of a concerted effort to build momentum for the global race to net-zero emissions off the back of the COP26 climate talks.
Led by the High-Level Champions for Climate Action, Topping and Gonzalo Muñoz, the Race to Zero campaign has so far mobilised 4,475 businesses, 799 cities, 35 regions, 250 financial institutions and 731 education bodies around a healthy, resilient, net-zero carbon recovery.
As an Accelerator of the campaign, edie has committed to amplify Race to Zero membership by supporting readers, event attendees and club members in their decarbonisation efforts and by spreading awareness of the Campaign through ongoing content and events. View all Race to Zero partner organisations here.