HIGHLIGHTS

Clean Energy Summit 2021 Edition

23 March 2021

OPENING WORDS

“We have created a new platform: A Summit entirely dedicated to the Clean Energy Transition. This new format focuses on the biggest challenge of the 21st Century, fighting climate change and finding innovative solutions to address this challenge.”

 
Arnaud Thysen
EBS Director General

OPENING CONVERSATION WITH EVP FRANS TIMMERMANS

Frans Timmermans “Since we are the first generation to feel the consequences of climate change, we need to recognise that we are also the last generation that can do something about it.” 

“The US sees that we have a head start. The fact we are now all heading in the same direction is really a game-changer”

“It is important that we get this climate law agreed as soon as possible, setting the targets for 2030 and the targets for 2050, as well as the trajectory leading there”

“Redistribution in the age of the climate crisis is crucial. Is the poorest people that pay the highest price. A just transition is essential to make it last”

Ignacio Galán “My first message is of optimism, the second is the need for action. We need to be fast, the time is now”

“We have to be really ambitious. Ex: hydrogen is a must / we can produce 100% clean fertilisers with 0 emissions. We need to put the necessary resources to make it happen now, not in 30 years. We can do it” 

Jean-Bernard Lévy “The leadership of the EU in carbon neutrality is a historic opportunity. There is strong support from European citizens as cement for greater innovation”

“We have to fight against coal, but also against gas. We have been fighting for years for the Carbon border mechanism. There is a lot that can be done in the short term, but we are aligned with the objectives for the long term.”

“What’s the right way to implement a green transition? Importance given to Innovation and jobs: flexibility in taxation is needed in order to have a better consistency between taxation policies and unemployment difficulties”

Ann Mettler “Too often in Europe innovation cannot scale, which is a problem for the goal of climate neutrality and for Europe’s competitiveness. ”

“Let’s focus on the demand. Let’s talk about carbon contracts for making clean products much more affordable. It’s neither the public or the private sector alone that will bring the biggest transformation”

“Average innovation in #cleantech takes 25 years. The decisions we take today are already crucial for 2050. We need to focus on speed, scale and investments”

“Since we are the first generation to feel the consequences of climate change, we need to recognise that we are also the last generation that can do something about it.” 

 
Frans Timmermans
EVP for the European Green Deal

PANEL DISCUSSION: WHICH ENERGY MIX FOR A SUSTAINABLE EUROPE?

Kadri Simson “The pandemic stopped us. We paused and reflected. Now we can reignite our economies. The #GreenDeal is at the heart of our #RecoveryPlan, bringing back certainty and increasing green investments” / “Energy taxation and Carbon border adjustment mechanism are two priorities for the @EU_Commission” 

Thomas Ostros ” “We need accelerating investment and keep timelines in clear sight. The @EIB will be fully supportive of the #GreenTransition. In 2025 50% of our investment will be green”

James Watson «At @Eurogas_Eu we fully support the @EU_Commission objectives & the direction being chosen. Gas and hydrogen are key to help us reach our goal of carbon neutrality.” 

Manolis Kefalogiannis ” “We need significant investment in the EU energy sector and support from the member states.” / “We are engaged in broadening the social aspects of transition. A just #GreenTransition is key, being a source of inspiration and keeping in mind the #ParisAgreement “

Ralf Diemer ” “We need to focus on how to achieve our goals. Electrification will play a key role in removing fossil fuels. We need other sources. #Efuels are climate neutral, versatile, userfriendly and quick to deploy” / “We need a holistic approach to decarbonisation. #Efuels can decarbonise cars. The issue is not about the last combustion car, it’s about the last carbonised combustion car”

“The pandemic stopped us. We paused and reflected. Now we can reignite our economies. The #GreenDeal is at the heart of our #RecoveryPlan, bringing back certainty and increasing green investments”

 
Kadri Simson
European Commissioner for Energy

PANEL DISCUSSION: HOW TO COUPLE FINANCE AND SUSTAINABILITY?

Alberto De Paoli “We think we need a holistic approach. One door is not enough. We need a comprehensive plan to push sustainable finance” / “We have to find ways in which the #GreenRevolution has an economical sense. That’s what we do with our Sustainability linked bonds. Pushing decarbonisation and electrification opens incredibly great markets” / “We don’t have to overburden businesses. Regulation should create the level playing field in which the business can make their choices”

Mairead McGuinness “With the pandemic we now realise how interconnected we are in health. I hope we will realise it also about climate. If we don’t get global action, our action at EU level won’t be sufficient”

Carine de Boissezon “The link between finance and sustainability has also to be done within the governance of companies. At EDF we make sure that our employees understand that ESGs allow better access to finance” / “Decarbonised electricity is the backbone of energy transition – the only way to achieve the Paris Agreement. We invest 15 billion for decarbonisation and want to ensure that it is profitable while protecting the European industry.” / “Our employees can invest in decarbonized projects. It is important to create a link between assets and retailers so that people can make sense of it”

Laurent Babikian “We need the right tools to reflect the economic situation. We need to have a price on externalities. The financial world will then be able to correctly price the market”

Paul Tang “There is a concrete opportunity for a surge in public investment that will trigger private investment. I hope that the EU #RecoveryPlan will trigger this change”

“With the pandemic we now realise how interconnected we are in health. I hope we will realise it also about climate. If we don’t get global action, our action at EU level won’t be sufficient.”

 
Mairead McGuinness
Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and the Capital Markets Union

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH EU AMBASSADOR AT LARGE FOR CLIMATE DIPLOMACY MARC VANHEUKELEN

Marc Vanheukelen “There has been a radical change in the awareness in the corporate sector. It used to be tough for them, now they see the economic opportunity. The cost of inaction would be much higher”

“Covid made it possible for us to better pursue the #GreenDeal objectives: 1 We know we need recovery packages, we need to build them better. 2 There is no vaccine for climate change”

“Now enough consensus to set for big targets. Need to assist countries that face the biggest challenges. With the US also joining the #GreenTransition process I hope there will be concrete results”

“Winners and losers in this adjustment process. Some are talking about the end of the world, others about the end of the month. Without a just transition, this transition just won’t happen”

“There has been a radical change in the awareness in the corporate sector. It used to be tough for them, now they see the economic opportunity. The cost of inaction would be much higher”

 
Marc Vanheukelen
EEAS Hors Classe Adviser and Ambassador at Large for Climate Diplomacy

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH THOMAS VEYRENC AND VINCENT RIOUS FROM RTE

Thomas Veyrenc “France’s power sources: 1. nuclear 70% 2. renewables 20-25% 3. Fossil 7% Big debate-why need more renewables if our electricity is already low carbon? Because it’s clear we will need more electricity & thus more wind & solar PV”

“How to ensure system stability & avoid blackouts? We need to ensure additional flexibility & new technical means, increase operational research, strengthen power & a better storage for the electricity generated”

Vincent Rious “What’s the cost of replacing nuclear power plants? The question is not only about comparing the price of nuclear and renewables. We also need to take into account the need for flexibility”

“How to ensure system stability & avoid blackouts? We need to ensure additional flexibility & new technical means, increase operational research, strengthen power & a better storage for the electricity generated”

 
Thomas Veyrenc
Executive Director for Strategy, Planning and Evaluation at RTE

PANEL DISCUSSION: LEADING THE RENEWABLES SURGE IN EUROPE

David Bryson “We fully support the EU’s efforts for #GreenTransition. We are strengthening partnerships to address energy challenges. There are now real opportunities to empower the energy revolution”

“We need to achieve a difficult balance between public perception and the need to manage innovation. We need certainty for the transformation we are trying to accomplish, and the #GreenDeal is going in that direction”

“A mechanism for attracting investment is taxonomy. Hydrogen will not start the day after we stop using gas. It is vital that we ensure that investments for transition technologies are supported”

Tinne van der Straeten “Achieving climate neutrality is not only a common challenge, it’s a common opportunity to build better our society.”

“There is a need for a common view and cooperation between countries. Alone you can go faster, but together you can go further”

Ditte Juul-Jorgensen “We need to scale the share of renewables in the overall energy mix. We are scaling up investments, #NextGenerationEU will provide 700bn of which 37% will be climate-related”

“Bioenergy represents 50% of renewable energy in Europe. We need to make sure we balance between ensuring sufficient amount of bioenergy, still respecting biodiversity and sustainability”

“One of our tasks is that the policies we design at the EU level make sure that every Member State can implement them. It is crucial that the energy transition is a just one”

Thomas Meth “In this industry there are many technologies that can contribute substantially to the EU goals. Bioenergy is essential within the EU Green Deal”

“the EU has to send a strong signal that the relations with other actors are key for addressing climate change”

 “We fully support the EU’s efforts for #GreenTransition. We are strengthening partnerships to address energy challenges. There are now real opportunities to empower the energy revolution”

 
David Bryson
COO of UNIPER

PANEL DISCUSSION: A SOCIALLY INCLUSIVE TRANSITION TO THE DECARBONISED EUROPEAN ECONOMY

Jens Gieseke “We need not a theoretical discussion on how to raise ambition, but pragmatic solutions to the increase of prices”

“Banning flying is not a proper solution. People should have a choice. With the #TransEuropeanTransportNetwork we are working for better solutions for consumers”

Walter Goetz “Essential to keep in mind the European Pillar of Social Rights in the decarbonisation way. Decarbonisation must be cost-efficient. We need to make sure that mobility remains affordable.”

“More elements to consider in the decarbonisation strategy: 1.People w/ reduced mobility 2.Improve public service obligations 3.Protect the passengers & upskill transportation workers 4.Equality mainstreaming”

“No one wants to go back to when traveling was only for rich people. It would be bad to reduce mobility as such. Citizens should have the choice, with incentives to choose the cleanest solutions”

John Cooper “Almost all transport moves today with liquid fuels. Focus on transforming to new vehicles could leave behind low-cost vehicles accessible to all”

“We need to focus on how we can #push (supporting manufacturers in the production) and #pull (encourage customers to choose sustainable products). For liquid fuels there are only #push measures”

Thomas Reynaert “Four pillars for Aviation: 1. Better aircraft 2. Sustainable aviation fuels 3. Single European Sky implementation 4. Optimize carbon pricing mechanism”

“Covid hasn’t changed aviation commitments. There is no way back. The transition from kerosene to other fuels hasn’t happened yet because of the lack of availability and affordability of other solutions”

“Essential to keep in mind the European Pillar of Social Rights in the decarbonisation way. Decarbonisation must be cost-efficient. We need to make sure that mobility remains affordable.”

 
Walter Goetz
Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Valean

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH HANS VAN DER LOO AND SIR DAVID KING

Sir David King “The situation is dramatic. Arctic ice has been melting far more quickly than any of the theoretical scientists predicted. Sea levels will rise by several meters and it’s going to be an enormous threat for cities & countries around the world.”

“South-East Asia is the region that will be the hardest hit by the rising sea. The ocean’s rising temperatures are causing a record of most intense hurricanes in that part of the world.”

“There are 3 stages of action to avoid the climate disaster 1. Deep and rapid emissions reduction 2.The development of technologies and methodologies to remove greenhouse gases 3.Melting ice: We need to focus on the areas where ice is being lost”

“The Center for Climate Repair in Cambridge investigates all possible methods to refreeze the Arctic region. best finding so far: creating a white cloud over the Arctic sea region during the Arctic summer to reflect the sunlight so the growth of ice covering the Arctic sea during the winter is retained”

“What we – humanity – do in the next four to five years will determine the future of humanity for the next few thousand years.”

“The situation is dramatic. Arctic ice has been melting far more quickly than any of the theoretical scientists predicted. Sea levels will rise by several meters and it’s going to be an enormous threat for cities & countries around the world.”

 
Sir David King
Founder and Chair of the Centre for Climate Repair, University of Cambridge

PANEL DISCUSSION: A CIRCULAR ECONOMY FOR CLIMATE NEUTRALITY

Philippe Ducom “We aim at switching from being waste-oriented to energy-oriented, meeting the needs of society. We support the #ParisAgreement and believe that the challenges of plastic waste need to be addressed”

“Plastics bring ++ value to society. e.g. in transport: plastic components for cars are lighter thus less fuel for transportation needed/Thanks to plastic packaging products last longer. Help needed: tech solutions for recycling.”

“In #CircularEconomy customers can become suppliers. There is a need to create trust among people. We want to encourage the use of certified recycled products”

Maria Spyraki “Circular economy is one of the most powerful instruments we possess to address climate change”

“We need to include innovative technologies in the plans for the recovery of EU Members State, also increasing the engagement of people in these issues”

Estelle Brachkianoff «@Veolia is developing solutions for an ecological transformation for its costumers & already has part of the solution to reduce a third of the extra emissions in the EU. Part of the solution already exists now, so what are we waiting for?”

“Recent years have seen a consistent pull from consumers and a push from the legislative side. The best solution is to benefit from a mix of innovative technologies. We already have much to do right now” 

“Companies are there to invest in innovation and to find new solutions. We are presently funding a pilot project to recycle car batteries”

Marius Vascega “Circular Economy Action Plan has a very wide scope. From the global food chain to textiles, there are plenty of issues that we are addressing in our agenda”

“We aim at switching from being waste-oriented to energy-oriented, meeting the needs of society. We support the #ParisAgreement and believe that the challenges of plastic waste need to be addressed”

 
Philippe Ducom
President of ExxonMobil Europe

PANEL DISCUSSION: THE ROLE OF HYDROGEN IN THE EUROPEAN LOW-CARBON TRANSITION

Andreas Schierenbeck “Society is demanding decarbonization. We are pushing for this transformation, in a green form and a blue form, in order to provide affordable hydrogen, also building the demand side”

“Burning Hydrogen is technically possible, along with transportation. There are a lot of opportunities and, as long as there are clear targets, the market forces will make this transition”

Stefano Grassi “Ultimate objective: save & support the decarbonisation of our economy by 2050. Hydrogen Alliance triggered unprecedented enthusiasm. 2020: breakthrough year but 2021 will be the defining year: do we have a lead in this area?”

Nils Aldag ”Hydrogen allows climate-neutral solutions. Hydrogen Alliance is bringing together the right stakeholders, leading the way to commercial reality”

“A regulatory framework that allows for the creation of business cases is missing. This requires #1 a stimulus, incentives to increase the hydrogen demand of the industrial users #2 regulation on the use of this equipment”

Jens Geier  ”We can start with bringing down the emission immediately if we use hydrogen. It helps the climate and brings the technology down the road”

”Hydrogen allows climate-neutral solutions. Hydrogen Alliance is bringing together the right stakeholders, leading the way to commercial reality

 
Nils Aldag
CEO of Sunfire

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH MEP PASCAL CANFIN

Pascal Canfin “We have 50 legislative proposals up to 2022, changing the rules of the game in many sectors. €250bl ready for #GreenEconomy. The direction is now very clear.”

“When you make an alliance between the progressive side of the political spectrum and the progressive side of the business community: you win! This is what we are doing with the #Greenrecovery Alliance”

“We need to protect companies from climate dumping, providing a level playing field, otherwise we take the risk of derailing”

“If there is a race to carbon neutrality, that’s the best thing we can see happening. If it happens, I will be happy, as it’s a race in the right direction”

 “We have 50 legislative proposals up to 2022, changing the rules of the game in many sectors. €250bl ready for #GreenEconomy. The direction is now very clear.”

 
Pascal Canfin 
Chair of the ENVI Committee of the European Parliament

A EUROPE “FIT FOR 55”: EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH JULES BESNAINOU

Jules Besnainou “CleanTech For Europe aims at helping the EU with #cleantech innovation, against the risk of missing its targets if it fails at scaling companies up. This is a true man on the moon moment”

“We are looking at how the EU can shape regulatory frameworks, from pilot to commerce. In particular: 1. Favoring #cleantech scaleup 2. Creating leading markets 3. Reducing green premium.” 

“CleanTech For Europe aims at helping the EU with #cleantech innovation, against the risk of missing its targets if it fails at scaling companies up. This is a true man on the moon moment.”

 
Jules Besnainou 
Director at Cleantech Europe