As the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic persist, the urgency and magnitude of the decarbonisation challenge cannot be overlooked. Within the context of the 'Great Realignment, the 2020s must be the pivotal decade for climate action. While the global response to the pandemic has brought an abrupt decrease in global emissions in 2020, the data are showing a fast rebound in emissions as economies and societies begin to open up. Across the G20 economies, progress on decarbonisation is not fast enough. Even the countries with the highest rate of change in 2019 need to accelerate their efforts to 2x current decarbonisation rates, and those with the lowest rate of change may need up to a 10x improvement. The upcoming COP26, the first since the Paris Agreement came into force, is a chance for global leaders to move quickly from ambition to action on net zero. This session will explore the systemic transformation needed if we are to rise to the climate challenge and the implications for business. 2021 needs to be an inflexion point. Tackling climate change will require wholescale transformation, unprecedented innovation, and committed leadership. So what are the key actions needed by businesses to underpin the transition to net zero? With countries, cities and states representing almost 70% of global GDP looking to set net zero targets, and further announcements expected in the lead up to COP26, governments across the globe will rapidly need to turn their net zero aspirations and targets into clear roadmaps that are underpinned by supportive enabling environments. In this rapidly moving environment businesses will need to react quickly, transforming their strategies, operations and supply chains to a net zero trajectory. Many have begun. Many more will need to follow. In turn, investors will need to embed net zero into their risk management and portfolio allocation. The speed at which we are able to move at the start of this decade will determine if this is the pivotal decade of action that marks the turning point on the road to net zero.
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