The Race to Zero Coalition: From COVID-19 to COP26

Tuesday, 10 November, 2020

C40 Cities presents The Race to Zero Coalition: From COVID-19 to COP26, a high-level virtual event hosted in partnership with the UNFCCC and the High-Level Climate Champions for Global Climate Action on the opening day of the Race to Zero Dialogues.

This virtual event was held on November 9th from 16:00-17:30 GMT and featured exciting keynote addresses and panels featuring mayors from around the world, climate experts, business leaders, activists and scientists. The event was made up of two panels that showcased how delivering a Global Green New Deal is integral to achieving climate, social and economic justice around the world.

Please note: this event was held in English.


  • Master of Ceremony: Connie Hedegaard, Chair of the KR Foundation, former European Commissioner for Climate Action, and Minister for the Environment and Minister for Climate and Energy for Denmark​
  • OPENING KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Eric Garcetti, C40 Chair, Mayor of Los Angeles
  • KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Achim Steiner, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme

PANEL 1 – Co-Convened with the International Trade Union Confederation: A Habitable Earth: Why our collective future rests on a green & just recovery from COVID-19

  • Moderator: David Miller, Director of International Diplomacy, C40
  • Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation
  • Juvencio Maeztu, CFO, and Deputy CEO, Ingka Group (IKEA)
  • Hilda Nakabuye, Founder, Fridays for Future, Uganda
  • Giuseppe Sala, Mayor of Milan, Chair of the C40 Global Mayors COVID-19 Recovery Task Force
  • KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Dr. Maria Neira, Director, Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health, World Health Organization
  • KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Michael R. Bloomberg, C40 Board President, Founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies, 108th Mayor of New York City

PANEL 2 – "IN-CONVERSATION", Co-Convened with America's Pledge and Climate Mayors: The US Presidential Election and the Future of the Paris Agreement

  • Moderator: Leah Stokes, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Gina McCarthy, Former EPA Administrator, President of NRDC
  • Sylvester Turner, Mayor of Houston
  • YOUNG ARTIST CONTRIBUTION (POETRY): Rakaya Fetuga, Poet & Youth Advocate
  • CLOSING REMARKS: Nigel Topping, COP26 High-Level Climate Action Champion


About the Race to Zero and the Race to Zero Dialogues

Race to Zero is a global campaign from the UNFCCC 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 mobilizes a coalition of actors, representing 452 cities, 22 regions, 1,101 businesses, 45 investors, and 549 universities.

Collectively, the group represents nearly 25% of global CO2 emissions and over 50% of global GDP. The objective of Race to Zero is to build momentum around the shift to a decarbonized economy ahead of COP26, where governments must strengthen their contributions to the Paris Agreement.

The Race to Zero Dialogues is a series of virtual dialogues that will cover climate-related topics, aiming to keep the momentum going on climate change work despite the global COVID-19 pandemic.