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Global Covenant of Mayors – Race to Zero and Race for Resilience

As part of GCoM Virtual Open House, Global Covenant of Mayors for Energy and Climate (GCoM) Secretariat organized the Webinar of “Race to Zero and Race for Resilience” on 09 December 2020. This session provided an overview of both the Race to Zero and the Race for Resilience and explained the next steps to design an engagement campaign working with each regional covenant.

Agathe Cavicchioli of Climate Champions Team provided the overview of Race to Zero, which was a global campaign to rally leadership and support from businesses, cities, regions, investors for a healthy, resilient, zero-carbon recovery that prevents future threats, creates decent jobs and unlocks inclusive, sustainable growth. It has mobilized a coalition of leading net zero initiatives, representing 452 cities, 22 regions, 1,101 businesses, 45 of the biggest investors, and 549 universities. The objective of the campaign was to build momentum around the shift to a decarbonized economy ahead of COP26, where governments must strengthen their contributions to the Paris Agreement. All commitments in the Race to Zero Campaign were channeled through networks and initiatives that require their participants to meet the following procedural criteria:1) : Pledge to reach (net)-zero in the 2040s or sooner, or by midcentury at the latest; 2) Set an interim target to achieve in the next decade, which reflects a fair share of the 50% global reduction in CO2 by 2030; 3) Take immediate action toward achieving net-zero, consistent with delivering interim targets specified; 4) Commit to report progress.Amanda Eichel, Exec. Dir. of the GCoM Secretariat focussed on GCoM’s role in the Cities Race to Zero and Race for Resilience, empashizing to build on the existing activities and figure out how to align with the GCoM particualrly the commitment and reporting. She also recommended the region can contribute to this campaign with the specific approach and prioritation, whether mitigation or resilience or both.

Mr Jean Pierre Mbassi of UCLG Africa higlihted the importance of Race to Zero in Africa. He encouraged the local accossiations to participate, which would send governments a resounding signal that no-party stakeholders were united in meeting the Paris goals and creating a more inclusive and resilient economy.

Nazmul Huq of ICLEI set the scene with the topic of Connecting to existing resilience efforts. This campaign brought together net zero commitments from a range of leading networks and initiatives across the climate action community, including ICLEI, C40 and GCoM.

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