Since we need removals to get to net zero, how can we do them right?


No matter how fast we go on reducing emissions, science tells us that we will need to remove carbon on a gigatonne scale to stay within 1.5°C. It’s a polarizing topic, but we urgently have to agree on how to tackle this challenge.

In the lead up to New York Climate Week and COP26, South Pole and Valence Solutions have united to convene a panel addressing the vital question: since we need removals to get to net zero, how can we do them right?

This 75-minute virtual session will bring together four fascinating speakers to look this issue squarely in the eye. They will consider:

  • How do we ensure removals accelerate a just transition – not more inequality?
  • What practical steps can prevent removals from slowing down action on mitigation
  • Can planting trees achieve the scale needed to get to net zero and do they last long enough?
  • What will it take to scale removal technologies quickly and affordably?

Time: 5.15pm CET – 4.15pm GMT – 11.15am EST – 8.15am PDT

More Information

Moderator: Dr Gabrielle Walker, Director, Valence Solutions & Founder, Rethinking Removals

Gabrielle is an expert strategist, speaker and moderator focused on unleashing capitalism on climate change. She works with global companies at boardroom-level, analysing emerging trends, challenging conventional thinking and driving meaningful action. Gabrielle gives keynote addresses to corporate audiences around the world and is an accomplished moderator of high-level debates. She has presented many BBC TV and radio programmes, was Climate Change Editor at Nature and Features Editor at New Scientist, has written extensively for many international newspapers and magazines including the FT, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, and has authored four books. She earned her PhD at Cambridge University and has taught at both Cambridge and Princeton.

Fireside chat: Nigel Topping, UN High-Level Climate Action Champion for the UK

Nigel is the UN’s High-Level Climate Action Champion, appointed by the UK Prime Minister in January 2020. Nigel works alongside the Chilean High-Level Climate Action Champion, Gonzalo Muñoz. The role of the high-level champions is to strengthen collaboration and drive action from businesses, investors, organisations, cities and regions on climate change, and coordinate this work with governments and parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Nigel was most recently CEO of We Mean Business, a coalition of businesses working to accelerate the transition to a zero carbon economy. Prior to that he was Executive Director of the Carbon Disclosure Project, following an 18-year career in the private sector, having worked across the world in emerging markets and manufacturing.


Ugbaad Kosar, Deputy Director of Policy, Carbon180

Ugbaad heads up Carbon180’s federal policy work, as deputy director, leading the organization’s environmental justice initiative and forestry efforts. With over eight years of interdisciplinary experience in environmental science research, policy development, advocacy, and data analysis, Ugbaad’s work focuses on promoting intersectional and equitable climate policy. Previously, she worked for the City of Ottawa, informing municipal and provincial environmental legislation on the ground, and developed policy for both a grassroots organization and the City of Edmonton. Ugbaad holds a dual Master’s of Science in forest sciences and renewable resource management. She has been published in Electricity Journal.

Eli Mitchell-Larson, Carbon Removal Advocacy Europe; Associate, Oxford Net Zero

Eli leads a team launching a new independent and philanthropically funded carbon removal advocacy NGO in Europe. At Oxford Net Zero, he develops policies and frameworks to deliver enduring net zero emissions. Recent work includes the Oxford Offsetting Principles and advising Fortune 500 companies on carbon removal procurement at Carbon Direct. Previously, he worked as an impact investor (New Island Capital) and off-grid solar entrepreneur (SunFarmer).

Patrick Buergi, Co-founder and Innovation Director, South Pole

Patrick is a sustainability entrepreneur and expert with over eighteen years of experience in carbon markets, climate policy, corporate sustainability and impact investing. He is a co-founder of both the myclimate Foundation in 2002 and South Pole in 2006. Patrick oversees a portfolio of innovation and R&D initiatives within South Pole, including net zero strategies and carbon removals, digital growth opportunities, plastic stewardship and regenerative agriculture. Patrick holds a M.Sc. in mechanical engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.

This webinar is jointly organised by South Pole and Valence Solutions. It is part of a one-year research project, backed by European Climate Foundation, exploring the potential of carbon removals as a climate tool.

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