Race to Zero: Bolstering whole of society engagement for climate neutrality and sustainable recovery

Scope and objectives

To mark the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the German Development Institute/Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) organise under the patronage of the German Presidency of the Council of the EU an online event bringing together the EU Institutions, the COP26 UK Presidency, the High-Level Climate Champions and key climate actors to discuss opportunities to strengthen engagement and climate action.

The event will:

  • Demonstrate the need for inclusive multi-stakeholder dialogues and participatory models at all levels towards the goals of the Paris Agreement;
  • Demonstrate how an effective European Climate Pact can recognize and support existing non-state and local climate action, as well as inspire new approaches and actions across Europe;
  • Showcase non-state and local climate action, and encourage the organizing partners and event attendees to integrate the role of non-state actors in their pledges towards COP26;
  • Address specific challenges and opportunities for multi stakeholder collaboration and inclusive multilateralism, for example relating to finance, technology, and knowledge;
  • Examine enabling factors for engaging and linking different actors (for instance, for meaningful youth engagement).

As the global climate emergency intensifies, the world is also hit by a health and economic crisis following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to these crises, the European commitment to a transformation towards a resource-efficient, resilient, climate-neutral, and sustainable economy must be reaffirmed.

Such transformation involves shifts in:

  • policies,
  • infrastructure,
  • culture,
  • behaviour, and
  • livelihoods. 

These transformations will impact on, but possibly also empower, citizens. In fact, realizing such transformations will require an unprecedented engagement of all citizens and non-state and local actors, such as business, workers, local governments, researchers, consumers, youth and other communities.

The European Climate Pact will attribute key roles for all parts of society in climate action, giving them a voice and a space to contribute with new climate actions, to enter in dialogue, and to share solutions.

Watch the live webstream here and on the EESC SDO Twitter account.
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