Solutions for adaptation and climate resilience: LCAW’s top speakers

The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed how vulnerable our existing systems are. It also shines a sharp light on the preparation and solutions needed for adaption and climate resilience; a key area that will be discussed by industry experts in London Climate Action Week 2020 (LCAW).   

With 60+ events hosted by world-leading climate experts and policymakers, we asked some of the top speakers about LCAW 2020, climate action and how they’re focusing on a fair and green transition to scale climate solutions globally.  

NIGEL TOPPING, HIGH LEVEL CHAMPION FOR CLIMATE ACTION AT COP26 

Why is London Climate Action Week significant, especially this year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic?  

London Climate Action Week is particularly significant this year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic because we need to start the conversation about what it really means to build back better. And there’s nowhere better to convene that conversation and to act as a role model for reviving our economy than London. And we mean reviving the economy not only in a way that is profoundly more sustainable, so a net-zero economy, but one that is profoundly fairer and more inclusive.  

We’ve seen the fragility that’s driven by inequality in stark contrast as a result of the pandemic. But we also need to recognize that this is a transition with better jobs and better health outcomes that result in Londoners and city dwellers all over the world breathing clean air and having better jobs, so we can manage this transition as quickly as possible.  

So, I think the real opportunity for London Climate Action Week is to take a real step forward in that conversation about how we can level up society and build on with better jobs and invest in industries with a future to put society on a cleaner, healthier, more resilient path. 

What do you want to happen on climate action, what change are you dream of/like to see? 

What I’d like to see on climate action is, every business, every investor, every city, every country to commit to get to net-zero carbon as soon as possible and for them to lay out practical steps they’re going to take in the next five years to put them on track for that goal. 

What action will you take to make this happen?   

The action that I’m taking to make this happen is that recently we launched the Race to Zero campaign with my colleague Gonzalo Muñoz and secretary of state Alok Sharma from the UK.  

This is a campaign to massively increase the number of businesses, cities, investors, and regions committed to getting to the zero-carbon economy by 2050. And our aim is to make sure that that number is at least 10 times what is was last year by the time we get to Glasgow in November 2021. 

ANDREW NORTON, DIRECTOR OF THE INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT (IIED) 

Why is London Climate Action Week significant, especially this year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic?  

London Climate Action Week in 2020 is really important and I’m going to pick out two reasons. One is that we have COP26 happening in the UK, in Scotland, towards the end of 2021. We need to keep up the energy, keep up the momentum and (from the UK) keep up our global engagement with the networks we’ll need to make that a success.  

And the other thing we can do with London Climate Action Week which could really matter is demonstrate how, in the context of the pandemic, you can do this in a low carbon way and still have effective action, effective activism, and effective convening.  

What do you want to happen on climate action, what change are you dream of/like to see? 

There are some lessons coming out of the pandemic that it’s really important that we take on board for climate action. The first is that really radical change in social norms, in policy, in all kinds of action, is possible. If we see the need, we can do it. And that’s really important for climate action.  

The second one is the importance of acting early and going hard. Urgency is so important in relation to climate action and if we look at the countries that did well in the pandemic, they were the countries that took that onboard, that listened to the credible science, and acted on it as early as possible.  

What action will you take to make this happen?   

As IIED we’re going to be working really hard with all our key partner groups – whether it’s social movements, the least developed countries, or municipalities – to take urgent action with them to build the resilience for the poorest communities in the world and build momentum at a global level to make the changes we need to get this issue under control.  

EMMA HOWARD BOYD, CHAIR OF THE ENVIRONMENT AGENCY 

Why is London Climate Action Week significant, especially this year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic?  

London Climate Action Week comes at an incredibly important time. Over recent weeks we’ve seen governments, businesses, cities, and citizens act at pace. We need the same pace to deal with the climate emergency.  

What do you want to happen on climate action, what change are you dream of/like to see? 

I want to see a huge emphasis placed on preparing for climate shocks like droughts and floods and restoring nature at the same time.  

What action will you take to make this happen?   

The Environment Agency is committed to reaching net-zero by 2030, and we’ll do this by working closely with our partners. Additionally, through our flood work, we’re working towards making this country climate resilient. 

ALLISON ROBERTSHAW, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, BULB FOUNDATION 

Why is London Climate Action Week significant, especially this year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic?  

I think London Climate Action Week is really important this year because even though COVID has meant most of us are staying home and we’re not meeting up with people, the climate crisis is still as urgent as it was before and this is a real opportunity for us to check in and understand what work is being done and where things stand.  

What do you want to happen on climate action, what change are you dream of/like to see? 

What I’d really like to see the climate movement do is start taking on systems and making systemic change the real focus of our work.  

What action will you take to make this happen?   

At our Foundation, we’re focussing our grantmaking on changing the systems that are stopping climate action. Join me at London Climate Action Week 2020.  

Solutions for adaptation and climate resilience: LCAW highlights.  

The Greenhouse team is working to support more than 60 stakeholders involved in delivering London Climate Action Week, helping to share news and drive impact. 

Some of the highlights of London Climate Action Week will include:  

  • Build Back Better: How Climate Action Can Accelerate COVID-19 Recovery – hosted by World Resources Institute. See the event page here.  
  • Citizens’ Climate Jury: How to make 1 billion people safer from disasters? – hosted by Risk-informed Early Action Partnership. See the event page here.  
  • From recovery to COP26: the contribution of sustainable cooling– hosted by E3G. See the event page here. 
  • Inequality in the face of COVID-19; how grassroots communities are taking action – hosted by IIED. See the event page here
  • Enter your business into the Blue Patch Sustainable Business Awards 2020– see the award entry page here.  

To find out more and see the full schedule of events, visit www.londonclimateactionweek.org, or join the debate by searching #LCAW2020 and #LDNClimateAction on Twitter and LinkedIn.  

Further reading:

  1. Green investment for economic recovery: LCAW’s top speakers
  2. International collaboration to address the climate crisis: LCAW’s top speakers
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