Energy industry agrees time is ripe for strong climate action and global deal: World Energy Council report

Clare Saxon Ghauri
Reading time: 4 minutes
27 May 2015

LONDON: A new report revealed today by the World Energy Council warns a global climate deal must be agreed in order to hit the US$48-53 trillion needed to deliver a strong economy based on a low carbon energy infrastructure.

This conclusion echoes sector calls made at Climate Week Paris last week - which is convened by The Climate Group - where influential energy industry leaders from around the world declared their support for a global climate deal as a metter of urgency.

The new World Energy Trilemma study ‘Priority actions on climate change and how to balance the energy trilemma’, released by the World Energy Council, uses global data from 2,5000 energy industry and policy leaders, and was presented to governments at the Clean Energy Ministerial event in Mexico today.

Results show resounding support for negotiators at global climate talks in Paris this December to agree a robust emissions reduction target and framework, which is ‘clearly defined and monitored’ as well as 'flexible' for different countries.

Failure to meet these requirements, authors write, will mean the energy industry and finance sector will not be equipped to unlock the investment needed to transition to a prosperous, low carbon future.

Action must also be urgent to accommodate a rapidly-changing global energy landscape which is being shaped by the surging energy-use of emerging countries such as Brazil, India, China and Southeast Asia.

Joan MacNaughton, Executive Chair, World Energy Trilemma, commented: “The energy industry believes the time is ripe for stronger action on climate change, and it is more than ready to play its full part, building on the examples of leadership which some businesses are already showing.

“Our findings show that there is a real thirst for vigorous implementation of strong commitments - the focus now needs to move from negotiation to action. Unless this happens, it will become increasingly difficult to deliver across the three trilemma goals of energy security, energy equity and environmental sustainability.

“As the energy industry is telling us, it is now time to get something done.”

Five policy enablers are identified by report authors as critical to boosting clean energy innovation and investment:

  • setting a carbon price
  • removing barriers to low carbon products and services
  • increasing energy efficiency
  • scaling up private capital
  • improving research and development.

The findings match the mood at Climate Week Paris last week, where influential energy policy and business leaders from around the world including the US and Saudi Arabia expressed their support for a clean energy future.

Saudi Arabia is aiming to be a global solar and wind energy leader and low carbon growth is a "personal priority" for the US, according to senior government representatives who spoke at the Business & Climate Summit event, sharing their readiness to shore finances toward a clean energy economy as well as their faith in a global climate deal.

Also during Climate Week Paris, The Climate Group announced that three new companies have joined its RE100 program, which encourages top businesses to go 100% renewable. Infosys, Unilever and Marks and Spencer join some of the world’s most influential companies such as IKEA, Swiss Re, BT, Formula E, H&M, KPN, Mars, Nestlé and Philips, which are taking clear steps to be part of and drive a global clean energy revolution.

Explore an infographic from the new World Energy Council report



 By Clare Saxon Ghauri

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