PROGRAMME

Interactive panels
& exclusive interviews

to be live-streamed and recorded for over 3000 participants.

To view the sessions’ highlights click on the “+”

09:10 – 09:15

OPENING WORDS

Arnaud Thysen
Director General of European Business Summits

09:15 – 10:00

OPENING CONVERSATION WITH EVP FRANS TIMMERMANS

Frans Timmermans
Executive Vice-President
for the European Green Deal
of the European Commission

Ignacio Galán
Executive Chairman of Iberdrola

Jean-Bernard Lévy
CEO of EDF

Ann Mettler
Vice President Europe of Breakthrough Energy

Daniel Michaels
Brussels Bureau Chief of The Wall Street Journal

The energy system will represent the backbone of the commitment to reach climate neutrality by 2050. Therefore, the clean and just energy transition is one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century.
The Green Deal and the European Recovery plan are exceptional opportunities for governments and the industry to rethink current energy and industry models to frame a more sustainable future by embracing the green transition as part of the rebuilding process. How can the public and the private sector work together to achieve those goals?

SESSION HIGHLIGHTS

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”

10:00 – 11:00

PANEL DISCUSSION: WHICH ENERGY MIX FOR A SUSTAINABLE EUROPE?

Kadri Simson
European Commissioner for Energy

Thomas Ostros
Vice-President of the European Investment Bank

James Watson
Secretary General of Eurogas

Manolis Kefalogiannis
Member of the European Parliament

Ralf Diemer
Managing Director of the eFuel Alliance

Mehreen Khan
Brussels Correspondent for the Financial Times

In order to achieve the European Green Deal’s ambitious targets and to support the clean energy transition, significant investment is needed in the energy sector. The decarbonisation of the energy sector needs to be financially, technically, politically and socially supported within the European Union, while preserving the market’s competitiveness, research and innovation. Since the production of energy varies from one Member State to another, a proper financing mechanism should be provided for the Member States most highly reliant on coal, oil, gas or nuclear energy so as to help them in this transition and not to leave them behind.

▪ Which energy mix shall be used for a sustainable Europe?
▪ How to address the technological challenges in the European energy sector?
▪ How can the energy sector be carbon-neutral by 2050?

#European Green Deal #Clean energy transition #Energy mix #Carbon-neutral #Sustainability #Competitiveness #Research and innovation

SESSION HIGHLIGHTS

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”

11:00 – 12:00

PANel discussion: HOW TO COUPLE FINANCE AND SUSTAINABILITY?

Mairead McGuinness
Commissioner for Financial stability, financial services and the Capital Markets Union

Paul Tang
Member of the European Parliament

Carine de Boissezon
Chief Sustainability Officer of EDF
Alberto De Paoli
Chief Financial Officer of Enel Group 

Laurent Babikian
Director of Capital Markets of CDP

Maria Tadeo
Reporter for Bloomberg Television

Reaching the Green Deal’s objectives requires additional investments. Investing into sustainable economic activities and projects will support the transition to a low-carbon, more resource-efficient and sustainable economy. The scale of the investment challenge is beyond the capacity of the public sector alone. The private sector has a key role in reaching those goals. To promote such investments, the European Union encourages the markets participants to issue and to invest in green bonds. Besides, the EU Taxonomy Regulation aiming to boost private investments in green and sustainable projects, will help investors to better assess whether investments are meeting robust environmental standards.

▪ How can the financial sector help the sustainable transition?
▪ How to ensure that current and future financial risks and opportunities from environmental factors are integrated into mainstream financial decision making?
▪ How to ensure that the taxonomy will keep a flexible approach?

#SustainableFinance #Taxonomy #GreenBonds #Public and Private Investments

SESSION HIGHLIGHTS 

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”

12:00 – 12:15

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

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

Maria Tadeo
Reporter for Bloomberg Television

Implementing the Green Deal, achieving our climate goals as well as the energy transition require worldwide cooperation between a variety of states and institutions with complex relationships. 

▪ How can we encourage the world-wide move away from fossil fuels?
▪ What are the geopolitical implications of the energy transition? 

SESSION HIGHLIGHTS 

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”

12:15 – 12:30

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH THOMAS VEYRENC AND VINCENT RIOUS FROM RTE

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

Vincent Rious
Head of economic study unit of RTE

Chris Burns
Independent Journalist

What future energy mix to power France’s economy as Europe drives toward climate neutrality by 2050 and an energy Union?
How much was last year’s acceleration toward renewables a result of the Covid effect or real change?
How to keep increasing the proortion of renewables in France’s electricity production?

SESSION HIGHLIGHTS 

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”

 

12:30 – 13:30

PANEL DISCUSSION: LEADING THE RENEWABLES SURGE IN EUROPE

David Bryson
COO of Uniper

Tinne van der Straeten
Belgian Federal Energy Minister

Ditte Juul-Jørgensen
Director General of the DG ENER of the European Commission

Thomas Meth
Co-founder and Executive Vice President of Enviva

Méabh McMahon
Euronews Brussels Correspondent

It is time to speed up the deployment of proven-zero carbon solutions and to encourage public and private investments in renewable energy. Boosting the uptake of renewable energy and accelerating the move away from fossil fuels, is an essential step in the clean energy transition. It entails numerous benefits, such as reducing emissions, boosting energy independency, creating jobs and growth, reducing pollution and maintaining the EU’s leadership position in the sector worldwide. To succeed, the shift towards a renewable future also requires the need to address the challenges posed by the intermittent nature of many renewable energy sources.

▪ How can companies better cope with the new realities of energy markets, dominated by renewable energy production?
▪ How to frontload and finance future-proof clean technologies?
▪ How to deal with intermittent energy sources?

#Clean Energy Transition #Renewable Energy Sources #Public and Private Investments #Renwable Energy Technologies

SESSION HIGHLIGHTS

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”

13:30 – 14:30

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

Jens Gieseke
Member of the European Parliament

Walter Goetz
Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Valean, Commissioner for Transport

John Cooper
Director General of FuelsEurope

Thomas Reynaert
Managing Director of Airlines for Europe

Dave Keating
Senior Writer, Energy Monitor and
Brussels correspondent for France 24

Addressing the social implications of the energy transition is also a priority of the European Commission. In order to be sustainable, the clean transition needs to be fair. While aiming to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, there is a need to reduce inequalities between social groups in their access to affordable energy, notably in regard to transport. Indeed, mobility costs represent the second biggest spending in Europeans’ households’ budgets. As fossil fuel-based vehicle bans and passenger departure tax at airports are gaining momentum in Europe, it is more necessary than ever to adopt a consumer-centric approach that ensures affordability and convenience for all.

▪ How to ensure a clean yet affordable transition in the transport sector?
▪ How to promote means of transport that are both socially inclusive and sustainable?
▪ What solutions do companies offer to improve access to these clean energies?

Keywords: #Clean energy transition #Socially inclusive #Fair transition #Clean mobility

SESSION HIGHLIGHTS

Jens Gieseke “We need not 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 #pushmeasures”

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”

14:30 – 14:45

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH HANS VAN DER LOO AND SIR DAVID KING

Hans van der Loo
Chairman of the Advisory Board of the
Institute for Integrated Economic Research
& EU STEM Ambassador

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

Mitigation & adaptation measures are needed to ‘not make things worse’. Measures to ‘tackle the root cause of global warming’ – the accumulated emissions of the past 200 years – are urgently needed to reduce the carbon in the atmosphere. However, this will be a process that takes decades, during which the effects of global warming notably in the Arctic will not stay in the Arctic but affect our coastal regions. Mitigation & adaptation cannot protect us from climate disaster events. Why must a new category of measures ‘to keep the Arctic in the Arctic’ be included during COP26

SESSION HIGHLIGHTS 

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.”

14:45 – 15:00

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH EU COMMISSIONER FOR ENVIRONMENT VIRGINIUS SINKEVICIUS

Virginijus Sinkevicius
European Commissioner for Environment,
Oceans and Fisheries

Megan Richards
Visiting Senior Fellow at the German Marshall Fund and Former Director of Energy Policy of the DG ENER of the European Commission

15:00 – 16:00

PANEL DISCUSSION: A CIRCULAR ECONOMY FOR CLIMATE NEUTRALITY

Philippe Ducom
President of ExxonMobil Europe

Maria Spyraki
Member of the European Parliament

Estelle Brachlianoff
COO of Veolia

Marius Vascega
Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Sinkevicius,
Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries

Megan Richards
Visiting Senior Fellow at the German Marshall Fund and Former Director of Energy Policy of the DG ENER of the European Commission

Moving beyond the “take-make-waste” model is a priority for all, including the energy sector. It includes accelerating the transition towards a circular and more integrated energy system, linking the energy carriers, the infrastructures and the consumption sectors. The circular energy system enables countries to benefit from technologies, different forms of energy, and mitigation opportunities according to resource availability, economics, and national circumstances.

▪ How will the EU support the energy sector to make such a move towards a circular energy system? What resources companies have at their disposal?
▪ What are the challenges and the opportunity for the companies active in Europe?

#Circular Economy #Circular Economy #Climate neutrality # Integrated energy system #Plastic Waste

SESSION HIGHLIGHTS

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”

16:00 – 17:00

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

Jorgo Chatzimarkakis
Secretary General of Hydrogen Europe

Andreas Schierenbeck
CEO of Uniper

Stefano Grassi
Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Simson

Nils Aldag
CEO of Sunfire

Jens Geier
Member of the European Parliament

Clean hydrogen has a key role in Europe’s transition to a sustainable energy future. The European Hydrogen Strategy aims at installing at least 40 Gigawatt of renewable hydrogen electrolysers by 2030 and the production of up to ten million tonnes of renewable hydrogen in the EU. Today, approximately 1 Gigawatt of electrolysers is installed in the EU. This ambitious objective requires the scaling up of the hydrogen value chain across Europe. Therefore, the European Commission has launched the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance in March 2020. In parallel, the launch of the work for an IPCEI Hydrogen will allow the participating Member States to subsidise large-scale innovation projects in all areas important for hydrogen. Besides, more and better targeted public and private financing is needed. It is also crucial to encourage R&D in clean hydrogen.

▪ How to stimulate private and public investments in the hydrogen sector?
▪ How to encourage substantial policy changes in favour of hydrogen take-up?
▪ What sectoral mix should be considered?

#Clean Hydrogen #Hydrogen Strategy #Clean Hydrogen Alliance #IPCEI Hydrogen #Innovation Projects #Public and Private Investments #Sectoral Mix

SESSION HIGHLIGHTS

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 a 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”

17:00 – 17:30

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH MEP PASCAL CANFIN

Pascal Canfin
Chair of the ENVI Committee of the European Parliament

Maria Tadeo
Reporter for Bloomberg Television

▪ What future for the green deal? 
▪ How to implement the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism? 
▪ How has the crisis affected the energy transition?
▪ How to ensure that the energy transition and Europe’s climate goals are part of the recovery plan? 
▪ With a new administration in place, what future for the transatlantic relationship? 

SESSION HIGHLIGHTS

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”

17:30 – 17:45

A Europe 'fit for 55": EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH Jules Besnainou

Jules Besnainou
Director at Cleantech Group

Méabh McMahon
Euronews Brussels Correspondent

Cleantech for Europe – the EU’s man on the moon moment?
In the race to meet the EU’s new climate targets, mature technologies such as wind and solar can only take us halfway. To achieve decarbonisation, we need to scale clean technologies that are still at the demonstration phase today.
A new initiative by Cleantech Group and supported by Breakthrough Energy – Cleantech for Europe – is releasing its inaugural report on the EU cleantech landscape, showing a strong innovation ecosystem but a severe scale-up gap.
In this session, we will discuss the EU’s strengths and challenges in cleantech, and the opportunities the forthcoming ‘Fit for 55’ package affords to accelerate the path towards net-zero.

SESSION HIGHLIGHTS 

Jules Besnainou 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” 

17:45 – 17:50

CLOSING WORDS

Arnaud Thysen
Director General of European Business Summits

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