In 2019, the climate breakdown is front and centre. Citizens are increasingly taking to the streets, demanding an inclusive and fair energy transition. Achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development requires governments and industries worldwide to also step up their game. It is time to close the policy book and start implementing inclusive measures that maintain the competitiveness of European industries. Governments will need to become increasingly ambitious when crafting their National Climate and Energy Plans. Furthermore, aligning the financial sector’s objectives with the needs of the climate will be instrumental in achieving a bold transformation at this time of EU leadership change.
This high-level annual summit will bring together an exciting mix of high-level speakers and a few hundred participants, including policymakers, academics, business leaders, civil society representatives and members of the international press from Europe and beyond.
Cover image credits: bigstockphoto.com
OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE BOLD
THERE’S AN OPPORTUNITY IN THE CLIMATE CRISIS
The urgency of the climate crisis is impossible to brush off. Even if we wanted to ignore the extreme weather events that have plagued the planet recently, Greta Thunberg, along with hundreds of thousands of students from across Europe, have been making sure that we don’t. While the momentum for action is increasing across the board, civil society is clearly leading the charge, showing more enthusiasm than governments and industries combined. To effectively fulfil the goals of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, everyone must however be on board and give it their all. Nevertheless, too few EU countries are considering revising their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to comply with science-based targets.
- When will the leaders of our world stop acting ‘like children’ and take the radical decisions needed to avoid environmental collapse?
- How can we further mobilise political and economic actors to comply with the Paris Agreement and 2030 SDGs?
- Will the private sector pay heed to voices from civil society asking for more transparency and actions to avert the climate crisis?
ENERGY JUSTICE AND INDUSTRY COMPETITIVENESS
A MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL PARTNERSHIP
Previous years have seen tremendous advancements in the rollout of new socially-driven technologies aimed at empowering citizens to become prosumers. As the ‘yellow vests’ movement highlights, citizens are asking for more social justice and argue that industry remains the privileged player. At the same time, some EU industries protest that current energy and climate policies may hinder their competitiveness and investment attractiveness. Europe’s Energy Union has left a legacy for the next mandate – a legacy which has the potential to allow for Europe’s full decarbonisation. For this to happen, it is time to close the policy book and start implementing measures that are socially just and inclusive while maintaining the competitiveness of Europe’s industry sector.
- What can be done to ensure that industry remains competitive while avoiding a social backlash?
- Are current policies effective in supporting the integration of citizens within energy systems or do we have to move in another direction?
- How can we ensure a level playing field so that all actors – companies and citizens – can benefit from the transition to a low-carbon economy?
ACHIEVING BOLD EU NATIONAL ENERGY AND CLIMATE PLANS
THROUGH INCLUSIVENESS AND SUSTAINABLE FINANCE
As required by the EU Governance Regulation, every EU country must submit its final plans for achieving the 2030 targets on energy efficiency, renewables and greenhouse gas emissions. The plans – which cover the period of 2021-2030 – must be bold, comprehensive and inclusive, while considering Europe’s global competitiveness and trade interests. Not only will countries have to revise their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), they also have to propose alternative pathways that are in line with the EU 2050 long-term climate strategy. The financial sector will have to play a central role if we are to achieve bold transformation. Putting the financial sector at the service of the climate must become a priority, and standards of investment must be developed and implemented across all sectors. The private sector needs these incentives to make the right investments and support member states and the EU to achieve a net zero emissions economy.
- How can member states and industries better cooperate to develop the most ambitious National Energy and Climate Plans?
- What sort of disruptive industry leadership is required for Europe to go beyond its objectives?
- What role will the financial sector play in unlocking public and private capital to support a prosperous, secure and sustainable Europe?
- Europe's World
- By Eleanor Doorley
- Europe's World
- By Guy Standing
- Frankly Speaking
- By Giles Merritt
- Europe's World
- By Carina Autengruber
- Area of Expertise
- Climate & Energy