Camda Insights: Outcomes from Net Zero Network Sessions (Jun 10, 2020)

10 June, 2020

Camda Insights: Outcomes from Net Zero Network Sessions (Jun 10, 2020)
Camda Insights supports the coordinated communication of the impact of states, regions, cities, businesses, and investors in global climate action. If you have an announcement or update you would like to share with the Camda community through this newsletter, please contact Roisin Gorman at
This iteration contains:
– Notes from Camda stakeholder call – May 14
– FEATURE: findings from the Oxford University Net Zero Network sessions and the Race to Zero
– Climate Strategies publications
Notes from Camda Stakeholder Call – May 14
On May 14, the Camda co-chairs hosted a stakeholder call to share the updated Camda timeline and the plans for the Global Aggregation Report this year in light of the global Covid-19 pandemic. The call was also used to facilitate group discussions with stakeholders about the impact of the pandemic on work happening within the Camda community and about how to contextualise tracking and messaging of global climate action given the situation. Key points from the call are as follows:Stakeholder consultations for the progress metrics are planned to take place in July-August. The metrics are currently being tested.Camda aims to present some outputs of work on the metrics this year at the SB Intersessionals in October.Progress is underway for the global aggregation report with release planned for Q1 2021. There are four separate reports planned: analysis of potential GHG impact of commitments; report on progress to targets by non-state and subnational actors; report on analysis of net zero targets; report on finance sector commitments.There is an opportunity to communicate that climate action serves the goal of building back better.We must consider that reports this year will show emissions increasing due to the reporting time-lag where there will be the expectation of emissions decreasing due to the pandemic.For the full notes, please see here. Please find the slides presented on the Camda timeline updates here.
Oxford University Net Zero Network Sessions and the Race to Zero
The proliferation of net zero targets has created a heterogenous landscape of commitments. As more and more states, regions, cities, businesses, investors, and other actors set net zero targets, there is an urgent need to develop criteria by which such targets can be evaluated. In April and May this year the Oxford University Net Zero Network convened a series of online discussions to understand the current landscape of net zero commitments across these actors and discuss how to potentially align targets around common benchmarks and best practices. They began to outline the criteria those actors setting net zero targets are required to meet, with criteria tailored for different types of actor. Each session was attended by around 60-70 participants from the climate action community, including scientific experts and the actors and networks setting net zero targets at state, regional, city, business, and investor level.

Across the discussions, participants considered seven topics related to net zero targets: scope, referring to which GHGs are included and what activities are covered by a target; timing of net zero target year and interim targets; offsettingequityfuture uncertainties in behaviours and technologies, e.g. reliance of a target on carbon capture and storage; dependence on other actors; and governance i.e. how robust a commitment is, whether it is instated in law etc.
One of the principal findings of these discussions was that many organizations within the climate action community are currently working to refine approaches to net zero. However, given the variety of actors setting net zero targets, it was suggested that no single approach or standard would be appropriate or effective. Instead, the community should work to identify common principles around which to align the diversity of net zero targets. In line with this, points of general convergence and divergence related to the seven topics in approaches to net zero targets by states, regions, cities, businesses, and investors are summarized in the table below and a more detailed mapping is available here.
Table 1 Points of convergence and divergence across current net zero targets.
The areas of divergence noted above represent important areas for future work in the community of actors setting net zero targets. Key areas where further work toward future alignment could be especially helpful are:Defining net zero: while global net zero can be defined as a permanent balance between sources and sinks of greenhouse gasses, further discussion is needed around what it means for a specific entity to be “net zero,” and how this relates to related conceptualizations such as “climate neutrality,” “climate positive,” “net negative,” etc.Offsetting: going forward, actors can further align on a) how to determine what emissions can be offset, b) what form offsets should take, c) what standards and processes are required to make such offsets robust, including how all offsets will transition to permanent “like for like” equivalence once net zero is achievedFuture uncertainties: where actors are relying on future technologies to achieve net zero, how should they be expected to contribute to the development of such technologies? Moreover, how should they plan for uncertainties around, e.g., socio-economic and demographic trends?Dependence on other actors: where depend on others’ behaviour to achieve net zero targets (including national governments), how should net zero plans include collaboration and/or advocacy in relation to these other actors?
Race to Zero Campaign
Launched on June 5, the Race to Zero is an umbrella campaign driven by science and led by the High-level Climate Champions that aggregates net zero commitments made by states, regions, cities, businesses, investors, and other actors. The net zero discussion series convened by Oxford University has informed the criteria for those net zero commitments that will be included in the campaign. In particular, the discussions identified that net zero pledges to be included under the Race to Zero campaign should:Cover all emissions, including Scope 3 for businesses and investors where they are material to total emissions and where data availability allows them to be reliably measured, and all territorial emissions for cities, states, and regions.Alongside immediate abatement measures, potentially including external opportunities, transition to limiting offsets to neutralize “residual” emissions. Offsets portfolios should transition to permanent removals by the time net zero is achieved. Ensure that all offsets meet robust standards for additionality, permanence, accounting, etc.Commitments are collected by leading networks and initiatives listed on this page. Please refer to the websites of the individual networks and initiatives that make up the Race to Zero Campaign for full details regarding the criteria they apply to their participants.

In general, networks and initiatives putting forward commitments will explain their approach to the seven topics listed in Table 1. In addition, the High-level Climate Champions require that the commitments brought forward by networks and initiatives recognized in the Race to Zero campaign meet a minimum set of procedural Starting Line criteria on achieving a net zero pledge. All entities are part of the “Race to Zero” once they cross this “Starting Line”. The Champions will review these criteria in consultation with participants in the Race to Zero on at least an annual basis.

More details on the vetting process for inclusion in the Race to Zero Campaign are available on page 4 of this document.
Climate Strategies Publications
We would like to congratulate Climate Strategies on the recent release of two publications on just transition and carbon pricing, shared below.
Incorporating just transition strategies in developing country Nationally Determined Contributions
Climate Strategies’ reflection paper, Incorporating just transition strategies in developing country Nationally Determined Contributions, explains the concept of a just transition in the developing country context; provides guidance on the drafting of just transition language in NDCs; suggests a timeline for each stage of the process; and identifies the resources available to assist in implementation. By following this guidance, developing country governments can deliver on their commitments to the Paris Agreement and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Guidelines for a just transition towards environmentally sustainable economies and societies for all.
 Reflections in this paper are derived from:Background indicators drawn from a literature reviewInitiatives of various international bodiesA Climate Strategies Policy Roundtable of high-level representatives from a range of interested stakeholder groups held at COP25Case studies of four Latin American countries.
Distributional impacts of carbon pricing on households
Climate Strategies have also published a policy brief on the Distributional impacts of carbon pricing on households which explores the socio-economic impacts of carbon pricing instruments on different economic groups in society and suggests ways to mitigate the negative impacts through adapting related policy design. 
Thank you to all organizations involved, including:, America’s Pledge, Bloomberg Philanthropies, BSR, C40, California Air Resources Board, CDP, Ceres, CIFF, ClimateNexus, ClimateWorks Foundation, Climate Bonds Initiative, Climate Strategies, Data-Driven EnviroLab, German Development Institute, European Commission, Global Covenant of Mayors, Global Climate Action Summit, Global Strategic Communications Council, Grantham Research Institute, GreenFaith, ICLEI, IDDRI, The Mission 2020 Campaign, New Climate Economy, NewClimate Institute, Regions4, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, Principles for Responsible Investment, Rocky Mountain Institute, The Climate Group, The Stanley Foundation, UNEP DTU Partnership, UN Environment, United Nations Climate Change, University of Maryland, University of Oxford, We Mean Business, World Resources Institute, and WWF.
Have an announcement or update to share with the Camda community? Contact Roisín Gorman at to submit to the Camda Insights newsletter.
The Mission 2020 Campaign – The Climate Group – ClimateWorks – United Nations Climate Change
You are receiving this email because of your relationship with Camda members and the coordinating organisations listed above. Please only share this email with trusted partners and colleagues. The information and intelligence for this briefing was collected in confidence. If you would like someone to be added to this mailing list, please email requests to If you would not like to receive further Camda Insights, please email ‘Camda Insights Opt-out’ to This update is in part thanks to ClimateWorks Foundation and various organizations listed above who provided relevant information.