agenda for the 29th of March 2022

DISCLAIMER: Time slots are not definite and may be subject to changes

10:10 – 10:15

opening words

Arnaud Thysen 
Director General, European Business Summits

10:15 – 10:30

INTERVIEW: Switching gears for Net Zero - Modernising Europe's electricity grids

The EU’s net zero target will require a dramatic growth in renewable power generation. Power grids need to be expanded and modernised with urgency to overcome bottlenecks that hamper the accommodation of these renewables. It is therefore a priority for the EU and its member states to overcome hurdles and accelerate investments in our grids. At the same time, power equipment often has life spans of over 40 years and will be in operation well beyond the 2050 hallmark. It is therefore a priority to ensure that the grid technologies we roll out today comply with the wider Green Deal targets and will not harm the climate, the environment, or human health.

  • Which steps are needed to accelerate investments and project implementation?
  • How can innovation make our grids future-proof?
  • How can we ensure that power grids themselves do not harm the climate, environment, or human health?

Benedikt Herges
Head of European Government Affairs, Siemens Energy

Anca Gurzu 
Cipher Correspondent

10:30 – 11:30

Decarbonising Road Transport: Can Sustainable Fuels be the Solution?

Decarbonising road transport is a priority of the European Union as expressed in the European Green Deal. Today, it still carries more goods and more passengers than all other modes of transport combined. While a lot of emphasis has been put on developing Europe’s electric fleet, there are a lot of different solutions to put on the table, such as biofuels. Moreover, it is essential to develop a consumer-centric approach, that ensures affordability and convenience.

Dominique Riquet 
Member of the European Parliament

Barbara Thaler
Member of the European Parliament

Sigrid de Vries 
Secretary General, CLEPA

Alessandro Bartelloni
Director, FuelsEurope

Dave Keating 
France 24 Correspondent

11:30 – 11:45

Interview with Commissioner Sinkevičius

Virginijus Sinkevičius
EU Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries

Sean Klein
EU Reporter

11:45 – 12:45

How to scale up the European Circular Economy?

Global consumption of materials such as biomass, fossil fuels and metals is expected to double over the next forty years, while annual waste generation projected to increase by 70 % by 2050. To counteract this, the Circular economy Action Plan aims at making sustainable products the norm in the EU.

  • How can the energy sector contribute to building a circular economy?
  • What are the main challenges and opportunities?
  • What can the EU do to support the transition to a circular energy model?

Emmanuelle Maire
Head of Unit, Circular Economy, Sustainable Production and Consumption, DG ENV

Annika Hedberg
Senior Policy Analyst & Head of Sustainable Prosperity for Europe Programme, EPC

Adrian Da Costa
Global Business Development Director, Advanced recycling and Circular polymers, ExxonMobil

Minna Aila
Senior Vice President, Sustainability and Corporate Affairs, Neste

Sean Klein
EU Reporter

12:45 – 12:55

An interview with the Prime Minister of Belgium, Alexander de Croo

Alexander De Croo
Prime Minister, Belgium

Dan Michaels 
Wall Street Journal Correspondent

kick-off by a presentation of the ‘From Demo to Scale’ research study published by Material Economics

Per Klevnas
Partner, Material Economics

Dan Michaels 
Wall Street Journal Correspondent

13:10 – 14:00

From Demo to Industrial Scale: Can Europe Overcome the Scale-Up Challenge in Clean Tech?

Kick-off by a presentation of the ‘From Demo to Scale’ research study published by Material Economics, a Stockholm-based boutique consultancy.

Europe routinely operates at the frontier of clean tech research and development. Increasingly, European companies are also planning demonstration projects in breakthrough technology areas. However, there is a significant risk that many of these projects either do not materialise or are pushed into the future, as technology risks are high and markets are not ready, also due to a lack of adequate regulatory frameworks.

  • What can Europe do to create its leadership in low-GHG solutions?
  • How can mere announcements be turned into sizeable, demand-driven ventures?
  • How can policy facilitate conductive action and impactful incentives not only in the early stages of the innovation cycle but particularly in the market scaling phase?

Alexander De Croo
Prime Minister, Belgium

Jean-Christophe Laloux
Director General of Operations, EIB

Danijel Višević
Founding Partner, World Fund

Henrik Henriksson
CEO, H2 Green Steel 

Tim Böltken 
Co-Founder & CEO, INERATEC

Lena Thiede 
Co-Founder & Partner, Planet A Ventures

Per Klevnas
Partner, Material Economics

Dan Michaels 
Wall Street Journal Correspondent

14:00 – 14:15

Interview with Commissioner Vălean

Adina Vălean
EU Commissioner for Transport

Jack Parrock
EU Reporter

14:15 – 15:00

Reinventing Mobility: What Future for European transport?

Greening planes, ships and trains is a high priority on the EU agenda, for passenger mobility but also when it comes to shipping and goods.

  • What investments and infrastructures are needed for a carbon-neutral mobility?
  • How to modernise transport systems?
  • What role for sustainable fuels and hydrogen?

Walter Goetz
Head of Cabinet of EU Commissioner Adina Vălean

Jens Gieseke 
Member of the European Parliament

Dr. Monika Griefahn
Speaker of the Governing Board, eFuel Alliance

Michele Ziosi
Senior Vice President Institutional Relations & Sustainability, Iveco Group

Jack Parrock
EU Reporter

15:00 – 16:00

Hydrogen - The Solution to Decarbonise the Gas Market?

While renewable energy sources are the priority of the EU, decarbonising the gas market is a main objective of the European Union. Likely to be deemed a sustainable source of energy for the duration of the transition, gas is detrimental to the metal sector and heating for instance. Hydrogen will also take centre stage as a low carbon energy source. However, it still heavily relies on fossil fuels.

  • What role should gas have in the energy transition?
  • What importance should be given to blue and gray hydrogen?
  • How to boost the production of green hydrogen?

Stefano Grassi
Head of Cabinet of EU Commissioner Kadri Simson

Jens Geier
Member of the European Parliament

Maria Joao Duarte
EMEA Representative to EU Institutions, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

christopher jones

Christopher Jones
Professor, Florence School of Regulation

Jorgo Chatzimarkakis
CEO, Hydrogen Europe

16:00 – 17:15

Europe’s ambitious shift towards Renewables

In order to reach its Green Deal targets, the EU is proposing to increase the targets for wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources, while the carbon price keeps rising. The Renewable Energy Directive, currently under revision, now aims to increase the percentage of energy coming from renewables from 32% to 40% by 2030.

  • How can companies better cope with the new realities of energy markets, dominated by renewable energy production?
  • Which overall energy mix and which taxonomy should the member states adopt to reach those objectives while remaining competitive?
  • What challenges in terms of supply, storage and prices does the shift towards renewables pose?
  • How to improve permit-granting procedures for renewables projects?

Kadri Simson
EU Commissioner for Energy

Jytte Guteland
Member of the European Parliament

Alexandre Perra
Senior EVP for Innovation, Corporate Responsibility and Strategy, EDF

Jens Wolf
Vice President Commercial, General Manager Europe, Enviva

Walburga Hemetsberger
CEO, Solar Power Europe

David Bryson
COO, Uniper

Beatriz Rios
elEconomista Correspondent



This is a critical time for the global economy and the energy markets. The war in Ukraine has a structural impact and Europe’s efforts to reduce dependence on Russian gas could accelerate the clean energy transition, but it could also have a negative impact if not handled correctly.

  • What role can sustainable finance and private companies play?
  • What role can the OECD have to help enforce the transition?

Mathias Cormann
OECD Secretary General