The Tortoise Climate Summit: How can we accelerate net zero?

  • About
  • Sessions
  • People
  • Sensemaker Guides

10.00-10.50 BST

Can companies become part of the solution?


11.00-11.50 BST

Is pure clean power a fantasy?

in partnership with

12.00-12.50 BST

Build back greener: how can we create a truly sustainable global economy?


13.00-13.50 BST

Trees for Zero: can reforestation help us meet our climate goals?

We aren’t moving fast enough.

Only 13 countries in the world have laws requiring them to reach net zero by the middle of the century. That’s 13 out of 193. They account for one tonne of CO2 emissions in fifteen. Even if every country had a binding 2050 target, that would still only limit global warming to 2 degrees if we were lucky. And there’s all the difference in the world between that and 1.5, which is what the UN aimed for six years ago in Paris. At 2 degrees of warming, fisheries would shrink twice as fast as they would at 1.5. Crop yields would fall even faster. The rate of species loss would double. More than twice as many people would face extreme heat events and the amount of Arctic ice loss would be ten times worse.

Which is why 2050 isn’t good enough. And why we need to accelerate net zero.

The Tortoise summit on Accelerating Net Zero will examine the why, the how and the who of getting there faster. It will draw on the expertise of great minds and the galvanising impulse of COP26 to identify who’s on the hook for the most daunting assignment in the history of the biosphere. How much falls to government and business? How much to consumers and technology? What will the revolutions required in energy, transport, industry, agriculture and finance actually look like? And what happens if we can’t be bothered?

We’ll hold vital discussions on green power, green infrastructure, decarbonising commerce and the role of business and investment.

Join us to start writing a global to-do list before the world gathers in Glasgow to work out how to save itself.

Got an access code?

Head here and enter it to claim your free ticket.


How it works

Your ticket will give you access to all of the sessions, but just like an in-person conference you can dip in and out. Recordings will be available in our members’ app the next day.


with thanks to our accelerating net zero coalition

media partners

connecting partners

Interested in supporting this summit or joining the Accelerating Net Zero Coalition?

Keynote
Author Image

UK High Level Climate Action Champion, COP26


invited experts
Author Image

UK’s Net Zero Business Champion

Author Image

Businessman, climate change expert and author

Author Image

Founder, Ecotricity and author of Manifesto

Author Image

Economist and author of How Boards Work: And How They Can Work Better in a Chaotic World

Author Image

UK Climate Delegate to the 2021 G7 Youth Summit

Author Image

Director, Reforesting Scotland

Author Image

CEO, New Economics Foundation

Author Image

Group Vice President – Energy & Utilities, Capgemini

Author Image

Director for Regulation and Economics, Octopus Energy

Author Image

CCO, Land Life Company

Author Image

Head of Environmental Policy and Strategy, Tata Steel Europe

Author Image

Co-founder, Global Optimism; co-author of The Future We Choose

Author Image

Campaigner, Pacific Island Students Fighting Climate Change


Our team
Author Image

Co-founder and Editor

Author Image

Editor and Partner

Author Image

Members’ Editor and Partner

Author Image

Director of Tortoise Intelligence

Author Image

Data Reporter, Tortoise

Author Image

Investigations Editor, Tortoise

08.30-09.00 BST

Keynote session with Nigel Topping

All eyes will be on world leaders in November for the most influential climate meeting of the year – COP26. Over 200 countries, businesses and NGO’s will gather in Glasgow to discuss their roles in accelerating Net Zero. But what promises can we expect to hear at the conference? How can companies and countries really create purposeful, global action on climate? Will COP26 actually make a difference to Net Zero targets?

As the UK High Level Climate Action Champion, Nigel Topping will be at the heart of COP26 trying to bridge the gap between governments and business action on climate in the race to Net Zero.

Previously, Nigel was CEO of We Mean Business, a coalition of businesses working to accelerate the transition to a zero carbon economy and Executive Director of the Carbon Disclosure Project, a system for investors, companies, cities, states and regions to manage their environmental impacts. He is also an advisory board member for the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change & the Environment

Author Image

Editor and Co-founder, Tortoise

Author Image

UK High Level Climate Action Champion, COP26


09.00-09.50 BST

Presenting the Tortoise Climate100 Index

in partnership with

An exclusive look at the data of the Tortoise Responsibility100 Index, which measures the gap between the words and actions of some of the world’s biggest and most carbon-intensive companies.

Author Image

Director, Tortoise Intelligence

Author Image

Investigations Editor, Tortoise

Author Image

Data Reporter, Tortoise


10.00-10.50 BST

Can companies become part of the solution?

Covid and the climate crisis have delivered a seismic shock to the energy system that powered the planet for a century. Oil prices may never return to pre-pandemic levels. Governments are bringing forward deadlines for phasing out petrol and diesel, and the oil majors are racing to adapt. Most have announced net zero targets; many want support from governments and investors to make the energy transition. Should they get it? Do governments need to go beyond carbon pricing and underwrite a wholesale switch to renewables, or have the big polluters – and the consumers and investors who support them – failed to grasp the scale of their own responsibilities? What are the obstacles to moving faster, and what’s at stake for those that don’t?

Author Image

Editor and Co-founder, Tortoise

Author Image

UK’s Net Zero Business Champion

Author Image

Businessman, climate change expert and author

Author Image

Economist and author of How Boards Work: And How They Can Work Better in a Chaotic World


11.00-11.50 BST

Is pure clean power a fantasy?

in partnership with

Without clean energy, we face accelerating global warming. 100 per cent clean energy is possible because sources of wind and solar power are all but infinite and unit costs keep coming down. Against that, demand will soar as EVs and electric heating become the norm and green hydrogen is called upon to even out supply. At the same time the inertia of petrostates and legacy oil and gas firms will be a drag on change. So is there a role for nuclear in getting to net zero? What mix of technology and policy will it take to reach escape velocity and leave fossil fuels behind?

Author Image

Sensemaker Editor, Tortoise

Author Image

Founder, Ecotricity and author of Manifesto

Author Image

Group Vice President – Energy & Utilities, Capgemini


12.00-12.50 BST

Build back greener: how can we create a truly sustainable global economy?

The climate crisis is a reason to rewire and replumb the global economy. The pandemic is a reason to do it now. That’s why the build back better mantra has caught on: it makes good sense. What it doesn’t do is set out what the infrastructure of the future looks like. What needs to be built? Is this the time to rebuild old roads and bridges, or pivot to free hyperfast broadband, and hyperloops for when we really have to travel? Are smart grids and cities more important than smart motorways? Why not ground humanity and focus on decarbonising freight? It’s hard to see the future in HD, but can we agree on the big picture?

Author Image

Members’ Editor, Tortoise

Author Image

CEO, New Economics Foundation

Author Image

Head of Environmental Policy and Strategy, Tata Steel Europe

Author Image

Director for Regulation and Economics, Octopus Energy


13.00-13.50 BST

Trees for Zero: can reforestation help us meet our climate goals?

To get to a world of net zero carbon emissions, we have to cut emissions and sequester the carbon that remains. While the focus is largely on emissions, more and more attention is being paid to sequestration. Reforestation is one the most popular approaches: trees can sequester carbon above- and below-ground. But in reality the world’s great forests are under critical threat. Mass reforestation would require compromises with agriculture, urban planning and biodiversity. How much land could be reforested when global demand for food is growing? Can reforestation co-exist with growing cities and vital wildlife habitats? And when it falls short, what are the alternatives?

Author Image

Sensemaker Editor, Tortoise

Author Image

Director, Reforesting Scotland

Author Image

CCO, Land Life Company

Author Image

Co-founder, Global Optimism; co-author of The Future We Choose


14.00-14.30 BST

What do young people need from their leaders now?

Over half of people around the world are under 30 years old, yet the average age of global leaders is over 60. It’s widely accepted that the real burden of climate change will fall on the next generation, but are their views being represented by those in power?

When it comes to climate however, young people aren’t just victims. From groups like Fridays for Future to powerful voices like Greta Thunberg, young people have been at the helm of campaigning for governments to pay attention and take action on the climate crisis for years.

So what do young campaigners want to see from world leaders at COP26? How do we make sure their concerns are taken seriously, and dealt with effectively?

For this special ThinkIn, we’re joined by young leaders from around the world to hear what they think our leaders must do to save the next generation from the climate crisis.

Author Image

ThinkIn Executive, Tortoise

Author Image

UK Climate Delegate to the 2021 G7 Youth Summit

Author Image

Campaigner, Pacific Island Students Fighting Climate Change


14.30-15.15 BST

Editorial Debrief

Join Tortoise editors as we reflect on the day’s conversations and discuss what to take forward in our journalism.

Author Image

Sensemaker Editor, Tortoise

Author Image

Members’ Editor, Tortoise

Timings and sessions subject to change.