BusinessGreen announces launch of the world's first Net Zero Festival

James S Murray
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BusinessGreen announces launch of the world's first Net Zero Festival

Save the Date: Inaugural Net Zero Festival to take place in London on September 30th 2020

BusinessGreen has today announced it is to deliver the world's first Net Zero Festival, unveiling plans to bring together hundreds of businesses from right across the economy to jointly explore how to accelerate the next phase of the net zero transition.

The inaugural event will take place next autumn on Wednesday September 30th at The Brewery in central London. Coming just ahead of the COP26 UN Climate Summit in Glasgow, where leaders from around the world are expected to unveil a raft of more ambitious climate goals and strategies, the Festival will unite politicians, academics, campaigners, and business leaders to explore how to drive and optimise the UK net zero transition so as to provide a template for other countries to follow.

As such, the Festival will provide a unique platform for leading companies to both showcase the exciting innovations that are enabling the development of net zero business models and gain invaluable insights into how to develop new and enhanced net zero plans.

"The transition to a net zero economy is the biggest and most important economic shift in human history," said BusinessGreen editor-in-chief James Murray. "And yet many companies are still unclear on how best to respond. Our aim is to provide a unique platform to properly celebrate and spotlight the economic opportunities a net zero economy offers, while demonstrating how the green industrial revolution can be accelerated."

The Festival will incorporate a series of streams that will highlight the huge breadth of the net zero transition, taking in crucial issues such as leadership and policy, innovation and technology, culture and engagement, and best practice for mobilising corporate action in support of an accelerate net zero transition.

The day-long Festival will also be complemented by a series of fringe events throughout the week of September 28th as BusinessGreen works with third parties to explore some of the many different facets of the net zero transition.

James Diggle, head of energy and climate change at the CBI welcomed the announcement of the new festival. "Business is fully behind the net zero target and the UK's hosting of the UN COP26 climate conference next year is a unique opportunity to accelerate progress," he said. "We need a year of action in 2020 and the Net Zero Festival will help build the partnerships between business, society and government that are needed to make the transition to net zero a success."

His comments were echoed by Eliot Whittington, director of policy at the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, who underlined the importance of organisations working together right across the economy to drive a new phase of decarbonisation.

"Net zero represents a dramatic transformation of our society - and that means we should look to every aspect to understand and investigate what it means for individuals, businesses and the wider country," he said. "It also can represent a far better future - which we should be celebrating. The world's first Net Zero Festival offers an opportunity to open up the essential cross-cutting collaborations and conversations we need, and also find the space to unpack the most inspiring and interesting parts of this transition. With next year being the start of what must be a decade of transformative climate action, this unique event couldn't be coming at a better time."

Meanwhile Nick Molho, executive director of the Aldersgate Group, said the Festival will be a "key initiative" for driving success at  COP26. "The voice of progressive businesses across the economy and around the world will be key to get countries to increase their emission reduction pledges under the Paris Agreement and to make COP26 a success," he said. "The Business Green Net Zero Festival is a key initiative to help make the voice of progressives heard loud and clear and to put forward concrete solutions that can help businesses and countries move to net zero emissions. Aldersgate Group looks forward to supporting it."

More details on tickets and the full line up for the Net Zero Festival and accompanying Net Zero Fringe will be announced in the New Year. In the meantime, you can register your interest as a delegate, sponsor, or prospective partner through the event's website.

"2020 promises to be an epic year for the green economy both globally and here in the UK," said Murray. "It is essential the momentum in favour of bolder climate action that has emerged over the past two years continues to build and the vision of a net zero economy rapidly becomes a reality. That is why we are calling on businesses from all sectors to come together and discuss what this inevitable transition means for them. As our strapline for the Net Zero Festival declares, we can go 'Faster, Together'."

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