Waiting for COP 21: Enel in Paris to Talk about Climate Change

Published on Thursday, 26 November 2015

The long-awaited Climate Change Conference known as COP21 will be held in Paris from November 30th to December 11th, 2015. The event marks a decisive stage in international negotiations to reduce CO2 emissions, and for the first time will see the participation of some of the leading players in the decarbonisation process. In preparation for the event, Enel participated in two important meetings in the French capital to discuss climate: “The Place of Wind Energy in COP 21” and “Innovation for a Clean, Secure Energy Future”.

“The Place of Wind Energy in COP21”, which is organised by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) and coordinated by the French Wind Energy Association (FEE), is one of the leading European conferences on issues related to the evolution of the continental and global energy market, as well as the industry’s most important European exhibition with hundreds of exhibitors from more than 60 countries. This year the conversation – which saw the participation of, among others, the European Commissioner for the Energy Union Maros Sefcovic, and the French Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy Ségolène Royal – focused on global climate change and in particular, on expectations for COP21.

Enel Green Power’s CEO Francesco Venturini took part in the panel discussion and expressed his hope that countries find an agreement to fight climate change at the Paris conference. ‘The rise in temperatures is one of the causes of poverty and wars. In light of the tragic events in Paris, it has become even more important to unite in an effort to reverse the trend of rising temperatures. In particular, renewable energy is an efficient and competitive tool to reduce CO2 emissions and it must continue to be at the centre of the global climate strategy.’

The second meeting, “Innovation for a Clean, Secure Energy Future”, was held on the first day of the biennial meeting and was attended by Energy ministers from member countries of the International Energy Agency (IEA). The summit focused on innovation as a means to ensure the future goals of energy security and sustainability, as well as the international cooperation measures to achieve it. In addition to the 29 ministers of the Agency’s member countries and its executive director, Fatih Birol, the leading global energy players also participated in the meeting.

Enel’s Head of European Affairs Simone Mori spoke during the plenary session of the Ministerial conference, explaining how the competitiveness achieved today with new energy technologies (energy production systems from renewable sources, storage systems, consumption and efficiency management devices), finally allows for strong investment plans. However, we must create a favourable environment for such investments to be carried out in stable and transparent conditions.

‘The process to reform the CO2 market is already underway in Europe. It is essential for the Emissions Trading System (ETS) to be connected and coordinated with other national and regional carbon markets in the future. Should they be absent, their institution must be made possible.’ Furthermore, Mori pointed out, governments must ensure clear and stable rules for market players. ‘In Europe and in other mature systems, such rules should be driven towards a reformed market design, conceived as a conventional energy model, whereas the development of renewables in emerging countries will be primarily driven by the commitment that they will agree to take on at the Paris Conference on climate change.’