Event recordingSession I – Out with the old, in with the bold: there's an opportunity in the climate crisis
Event recordingSession II – Energy justice and the industry competitiveness: a mutually beneficial partnership
Event recordingSession III – Achieving bold EU national energy and climate plans through inclusiveness and sustainable finance
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
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?
Chair of the Research Council at Carbon Tracker
Secretary of State at the Polish Ministry of the Environment, and President of COP24
European Commission Director-General for Climate Action
Professor of Environmental Psychology in the Faculty of Behavioural Sciences at the University of Groningen
Head of Public Affairs, Regulation and Antitrust for Europe and Euro-Mediterranean Affairs at Enel
Director of Insights at Friends of Europe
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?
Deputy Strategy Director at ENGIE; Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Tractebel
Executive Director at Change.org, Italy
Executive Vice-President of the Réseau de Transport d'Électricité (RTE)
Brand Chief of Energy, Climate and Technology in the Economy Division at UN Environment
Maria Spyraki MEP
Member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy at the European Parliament
Director of Insights at Friends of Europe
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 National Energy and Climate Plans, 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?
Carine de Boissezon
Chief Sustainability Officer at EDF
Head of Climate at the Ecologic Institute
Director of International Relations at the German Regulatory Authority for Electricity, Gas, Telecommunications, Post and Railway (BNetzA); President of the Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER)
Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB)
Director-General at the Ministry of Environment of Finland
Director of Insights at Friends of Europe
Carine de Boissezon has extensive experience at EDF, having worked there for since 2010. She now heads the organisation’s sustainable development. She previously served as Chief Financial Officer of its international division. Putting responsible financing at the core of EDF’s investment decision, she notably promoted the launch of off-grid home solar solutions in Africa with an ambition to reach 3mn customers by 2020. Prior to this position, Boissezon was EDF’s Head of Investors & Markets, and convinced internal stakeholders to launch the company’s first Green Bond. It became the standard in the market and attracted strong recognition and won numerous prizes, including GlobalCapital Best Green Bond Issuer in 2014. EDF has since issued three additional Green Bonds, with a combined issuance of more than €4bn.
Stephanie Brancaforte currently leads the world’s largest petition and activism platform, Change.org, and runs Fund Our Future, which focuses on stopping financial flows to climate-destructive projects and constructing highly consultative ‘green new deal’ initiatives.
Previously, she led Greenpeace International’s climate and energy program, overseeing the organisation’s efforts to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. She has supported negotiations, humanitarian efforts and activist movements in the Middle East for Avaaz, the Assistance Coordination Unit of the Syrian Opposition, and at CIVICUS.
She also served as a United States diplomat based in Berlin for several years, a researcher at Amnesty International in the Great Lakes region, an investigator for the International Criminal Court, an international law adviser for the Iraqi High Tribunal in Baghdad, and taught graduate school courses at George Washington University.
Matthias Duwe heads the Climate division at the Ecologic Institute, an independent think tank for environmental research and policy analysis. His main role involves the coordination of the institute’s climate change related work strands. He focuses primarily on the EU’s energy and climate policies, including their connections to national policy and the international regime. Duwe has actively followed international climate negotiations since 1999. He has extensive knowledge of climate policy and has interacted with stakeholders in a range of high-level dialogues, making him an accomplished speaker and facilitator. He recently led the analysis of the report “Planning for Net Zero – Assessing the Draft National Energy and Climate Plans”.
Mark Fulton has decades of experience in financial markets. As a recognised economist and market strategist at leading financial institutions, he has researched international economies, currencies, fixed income and equity markets. Previously, Fulton headed research at DB Climate Change Advisors at Deutsche Bank where he produced papers for investors on climate, cleaner energy and sustainability. He later became Co-Chair of the UN Environment’s Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Climate Change Working Group and part of the technical committee of the UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All.
Fulton currently holds multiple roles, chairing the Research Council at the Carbon Tracker Initiative, acting a Senior Fellow at CERES and providing his expertise as Special Advisor to Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) and the Carbon Disclosure Project. He is also a member of the Capital Markets Climate Initiative, the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change and the Climate Bond Initiative.
Olivier Grabette has worked with RTE, the electricity transmission system operator of France, for the past decade. He began his career in the engineering department of Électricité de France (EDF), the world’s largest producer of electricity. He now serves as Executive Vice-President of RTE and Member of the Board in charge of Economy, Research and Development, Expertise and IT. He previously managed the company’s West Maintenance Direction and then worked for the top-management of its National Centre for Grid Expertise. In 2012, he created the Research and Development Department of RTE and has been responsible since 2014 for Economy and R&D. In April 2018, he was elected as President of the ThinkSmartGrids association.
Annegret Groebel is a German public servant with over two decades of experience at the Federal Network Agency for Electricity, Gas, Telecommunications, Post and Railway (BNetzA). She is also heavily involved with the Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER), a non-profit organisation for Europe’s national energy regulators, having served as its President since January 2019 and as co-chair of its Market Integration and Transparency (MIT) Working Group since 2013. In addition to her work at BNetzA and CEER, she is as a member of the Board of Regulators of the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER). Groebel’s extensive professional experience has provided her with an excellent knowledge of the European regulatory framework for electronic communications as well as the regulatory framework for the internal energy market.
Prior to joining Friends of Europe, Dharmendra Kanani was director of policy at the European Foundation Centre (EFC). He was the England director at the Big Lottery Fund, the largest independent funder in the UK and fourth largest in the world. Dharmendra has held senior positions in the public and voluntary sector and advisor to numerous ministerial policy initiatives across the UK.
Michał Kurtyka is a Polish physicist, engineer, economist, and civil servant. He has been the Secretary of State at the Polish Ministry of the Environment since 2016 and served as president of COP24. Previously Kurtyka was the Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Energy, where he was responsible for the technological development and introduction of innovations to the energy sector, implementation of climate and energy policy in the fuel and gas sector, conducting international relations with states and international organisations. He was part of the negotiations on the provisions of the Winter Package, as well as legal acts regulating the electricity market in Europe. He represents Poland in the International Energy Agency.
Andrew McDowell is one of the eight Vice Presidents of the EIB who, together with President Werner Hoyer, form the Management Committee that runs the bank on a day-to-day basis. In that capacity, Vice President McDowell has oversight of the Bank’s treasury, economics and evaluation functions, as well as lending operations in energy and the bioeconomy. He is also responsible for institutional relations with 10 European and 14 Asian countries. Prior to joining the EIB in 2016, Andrew was Chief Economic Adviser to Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny from 2011, co-ordinating the policies that supported Ireland’s recovery from the economic crisis and sovereign bail-out. He took undergraduate and post-graduate studies in business, economics, finance and international relations from University College Dublin and John Hopkins University.
Mauro Petriccione was appointed as European Commission Director-General for Climate Action in 2018. Previously, as Director of DG Trade, he was in charge of bilateral trade relations with the Americas (both North America and Latin America), Asia, Australia and New Zealand, and trade in services and investment. From 2014 to early 2018, he was Deputy Director-General of DG Trade and was responsible for trade relations concerning services and investment, intellectual property, public procurement, agri-food and fisheries; trade relations with Asia, Latin America and countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific in addition to the areas of trade and sustainable development. He also served as Chief Negotiator for the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement and the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement.
Mark Radka has held numerous roles at UNEP for the past 25 years. He now heads the day-to-day management and general coordination of UNEP’s energy and climate change mitigation efforts. He keeps watch over staffing and programme budgets, maintains relations with donors and supporting institutions, and oversees communication and climate change mitigation ‘messages’, including within the UN system. Radka is an engineer by training and is particularly interested in technology transfer and the technology needs of developing countries. He was also a coordinating lead author of the IPCC Special Report on Methodological and Technical Issues in Technology Transfer.
Maria Spyraki is an award-winning Greek journalist and politician now serving her second mandate in the European Parliament. She actively works in numerous committees, including Industry, Research, and Energy (ITRE), Regional Development (REGI) and the Environment (ENVI). Prior to her public service, she worked for 22 years as a journalist in Greece. She drew on this experience during her time in the Athens Press Office of the European Parliament and the office of Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas. Spyraki is a firm believer in the transformative power of research and innovation to tackle climate change. She also strives to take citizens on board to harness the digital revolution.
Passionate about environmental behaviour, Linda Steg is currently a researcher and professor at the University of Groningen. She studies factors influencing sustainable behaviour, the effects and acceptability of strategies aimed at promoting sustainable behaviour, and public perceptions of technology and system changes. She is member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences (KNAW), and lead author of the IPCC special report on 1.5°C and AR6. She coordinates the PERSON platform that aims to integrate international top Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) research on energy and to regularly deliver an interdisciplinary research agenda on SSH and energy. She participates in varies interdisciplinary and international research programmes, and collaborates with practitioners working in industry, governments and NGOs.
Leena Ylä-Mononen is in charge of environmental protection at the Finnish Ministry of Environment. Her department deals with policy issues related to climate change, air pollution abatement and sustainable consumption and production. Ylä-Mononen is closely involved in the discussions on EU carbon neutrality targets, as well as the implementation of Finland’s ambitious domestic climate policy agenda. Before joining the Ministry, Leena worked for 11 years in the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in Helsinki and in the European Commission, DG Environment, in Brussels for over 5 years on policy files related to multilateral environmental agreements.
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