German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for “fundamentally rethinking” to protect the environment at the 2021 CDP Europe Awards.
In her opening speech, Merkel praised the The European Commission’s commitment to the Green Deal make Europe climate neutral by 2050, but said states must also act to create change.
We need “the right incentives … to drive transformation towards climate neutrality,” she said. The German leader added that CDP’s environmental impact disclosure system allows companies and municipalities to gain a “competitive advantage”.
How cities see the road to 2030
mayor of paris Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Athens Kostas Bakoyannis, and the mayor of Turku Minna arve also participated in the online event, each contributing their perspective on how urban spaces are expected to develop by 2030.
The leader of the French capital emphasized cycling in her discussion with the host of the event, Chris Burns of Euronews. “In 15 years, we have reduced greenhouse gases by a third. Bicycles symbolize this success, thanks to the 1,000 km of cycle paths available to us,” she said.
“Our goal is to make Paris a 100% cycling city, that is to say that you can cycle anywhere in complete safety,” Hidalgo told Euronews.
Minna Arve, who runs the 800-year-old Finnish city of Turku, said efforts to involve citizens in the sustainability choices that are made are critical to success. “At the end of the day, it’s about the everyday choices of everyone in the city, so we also need to encourage our citizens and our businesses,” she said.
The mayor of Athens, Bakoyannis, spoke of efforts to “green” public spaces in the Greek capital. “It’s up to us to build bottom-up solutions,” he said. “This will free up ‘quality’ public space, adopt a new model of sustainable mobility and ensure that we change while keeping our soul. “
Companies are betting on the deployment of the Green Deal
The CDP event brought together executives from some of the association’s top-ranked companies and organizations, all of whom are betting on the success of the European Green Agreement, the effort to link the European Commission’s pandemic stimulus fund programs to sustainable, low-carbon growth.
One of the companies that has already reshuffled its operations is the Danish electricity company Ørsted. Its CFO, Marianne Wiinholt, told Euronews that change is now much easier to achieve: “We have the solutions for green energy, because now we can build green energy for less than we can build. fossil fuels in most parts of the world. But we also have to mature. technologies to decarbonize sectors that are difficult to reduce. “
Chief Financial Officer of an Italian oil and gas company, Eni, Francesco Gattei, said his company is investing in renewable energy and biofuels. He set out his vision of how to achieve carbon neutrality goals. “We have to be pragmatic. We have to be economical, efficient and we have to be innovative in the way of playing, not ideological,” he said.
Cement production is one of the most difficult sectors to decarbonize because the production process emits CO2. However, the CEO of the Franco-Swiss building materials company LafargeHolcim, Jan Jenisch, said his company has a strong focus on reducing emissions by introducing higher percentages of recycled building materials into their products. “Honestly, as a company we are delighted that from society to politics to the consumer they all want this to happen,” Jenisch told the panelists.
More loans for airport expansion, says EIB
Ambroise Fayolle, from the European Investment Bank, which now presents itself as the “European climate bank”, participated in another panel on the efforts made at European level for climate neutrality. He said that by 2025, half of his business should be in climate action. Fayolle cited projects to boost solar power and offshore wind as the types of initiatives most likely to attract funding.
The EIB vice-president also said that projects with the potential to generate more CO2 emissions would not be offered financial support. “This means that there are things that we used to fund that we won’t do anymore. One example is that we used to fund airport extensions. We won’t do that anymore,” he said.
Through the Green Deal, the EU aims to chart the course to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The question is how to get companies to commit to achieving it? European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, Mairead McGuinness, told Euronews that at least now “we know the destination”.
“We need companies to understand their impact on the environment, and even the impact of climate and environmental degradation on their accounts. That’s key. And investors need quality information. “, she underlined.
You can watch our highlights from the event in the video player above.
CDP is a global, non-profit organization that manages the global environmental disclosure system for businesses, cities, states and regions. Founded in 2000 and working with more than 590 investors with $ 110 trillion in assets, CDP has pioneered the use of capital markets and corporate purchasing to motivate companies to disclose their environmental impacts, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, preserve water resources and protect forests. More than 10,000 organizations around the world disclosed data through the CDP in 2020, including more than 9,600 companies representing more than 50% of the global market capitalization, and more than 940 cities, states and regions, representing a combined population of over 2.6 billion. Fully aligned with the TCFD, the CDP holds the world’s largest environmental database, and CDP scores are widely used to guide investment and procurement decisions towards a zero carbon, sustainable and resilient economy. The CDP is a founding member of the Science-Based Targets Initiative, We Mean Business Coalition, Investor agenda and the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative. Visit cdp.net or follow us @CDP and on LinkedIn to know more.