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Iberdrola

Ignacio S. GalánIberdrola

Achieving net zero emissions by 2050 is a viable target for the overall EU economy and a source of opportunities for value and job creation. The electricity sector can play a key role in fulfilling this target, and Iberdrola is fully committed to contributing to it. Companies, policy makers and the whole society need to work together, looking for stable and long-term policy frameworks to comply with Paris Accord commitments.

Ignacio S. Galán

Chairman and CEO

Commitments we have signed up to

·       Science Based Targets initiative

·       Other / additional company commitment

Nearly two decades ago, Iberdrola understood that climate change is a real challenge that requires urgent action, but we were also aware of the key contribution the electricity sector can play in providing solutions. Iberdrola is now helping to lead the energy transition towards a sustainable future, having two thirds of its installed capacity emission-free and its emissions 38% lower than the average of the European electricity sector, Iberdrola are committed to setting a science-based target.

 

We are committed to:

·      reduce CO2 intensity emissions by 30% by 2020 compared to a 2007 base year;

·      lower those emissions to less than 150g per kWh by 2030 (a 50% decrease);

·      and to be carbon neutral by 2050.

 

Iberdrola is also a member of the Low Carbon Technology Partnerships initiative, led by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. This has committed to responsible corporate engagement in climate policy and to implement the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. Iberdrola is also a member of the Powering Past Coal Alliance. Iberdrola is supporting ambitious approaches to tackle long-term emission reduction strategies (i.e. Position statement: aiming for Zero: Long - term Certainty for Economic Prosperity: www.corporateleadersgroup.com/netzero )

 

Initiatives we are part of

Beyond the business strategy, Iberdrola plays an active role in the Global Climate Agenda, advocating for climate ambition either directly or through the different organizations with which we are partners such as:

·      World Business Council for Sustainable Development,

·      United Nations Global Compact (Patron of the Action Platform on Pathways to Low-Carbon and Resilient Development),

·      Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition,

·      The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group,

·      Powering Past Coal Alliance,

·      World Economic Forum (WEF) CEO Climate Leaders.

 

Our Chairman and CEO, Ignacio S. Galán, personally supports the climate agenda through his participation in high level events such as the United Nations Private Sector Forum (UN General Assembly) and the High-Level Events celebrated under the Marrakech Partnership Global Climate Action Agenda at COPs.

 

CASE STUDY: A business strategy committed to climate action

A business strategy committed to climate action has enabled Iberdrola to make its specific emissions 32% lower than the average for the European electricity sector and have two thirds of its installed capacity emission free.

To be consistent with this strategy, Iberdrola has closed fifteen coal and fuel oil plants since 2001 all over the world, totalling approximately 7,500 MW, and the company intends to continue this process in an orderly fashion over the coming years. Iberdrola is currently taking the necessary steps for the closure of its two remaining coal plants in Spain (jointly 874 MW).

Elsewhere, we’re investing in the technology to support our renewable energy infrastructure. An example, for our East Anglia One offshore wind farm in the UK – a €3 billion ($3.5 billion) investment and the biggest renewable project in the world to be developed by a Spanish company– we’ve just taken delivery of the biggest alternating current (AC) offshore substation ever built. Iberdrola will continue developing a business strategyfully aligned with climate goals with more than €32 billion investments from 2018 to 2022, focusing on renewable energies (37%) and networks (50%).

Our activity is implemented in France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland,Portugal, Romania, Spain, United Kingdom and in non-EU countries

 

STORY: A better world for all

Iberdrola has held a remarkable leadership both in the technical and high level phase of the Talanoa Dialogue at global level with an optimistic message on the opportunities derived from a business strategy aligned with an ambitious approach on climate action. Iberdrola has led the energy transition towards a sustainable model through investments in renewable energy, smart grids, large-scale energy storage and digital transformation, offering the most advanced products and services to its customers.

With a workforce of 34,000 people, assets worth €110 billion and renewable generation capacity of nearly 30,000 megawatts (MW), the company is fully committed to contributing to a sustainable and competitiveenergy model. From the energy sector perspective, Iberdrola’s case could sum upin three ideas.

They are simple and sound:

First: The energy sector is at the root of both the problem and the solution. Climate change is mainly caused by the current energy model based on fossil fuels. So, to tackle climate change, we need to decarbonize our energy model through energy efficiency and renewable energies. The good news is that decarbonizing the world energy sector by 2050 is possible both technologically and economically. Thanks to the recent revolution of clean energies (RES, batteries, digitalisation...), these scenarios, which only a few years ago were complex and costly, are now viable. The recent IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C shows that limiting global warming to 1.5°C is still possible; however, it will require rapid, deep and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society. All 1.5°C pathways involve 45% reduction on 2010 levels by 2030 and reaching net zero around 2050; but also an increase ofadaptation and mitigation investments. Transformation should go hand in hand with ensuring sustainable development and eradication of poverty, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Low-carbon solutions are not only viable, but they are also desirable. A change to a clean energy model will make it possible to combat climate change, and will also improve the air quality of our cities and the health of our citizens. This will lead to more affordable and secure energy in the medium term while creating multiple economic and job opportunities in the fast-growing green industry all over the world.

Second: Technologies are ready to play their role on the road to a deep decarbonization pathway but policy frameworks are lagging far behind. Technologies to change energy models are available, companies are ready to invest, banks ready to finance. Ambitious short, medium and long-term targets are needed, to remove existing barriers and strong policies to achieve those targets. Targets for 2030 and 2050 are required for capital-intensive and long-term investments to take place. Some say that 2050 is too far away but setting the path is important to make sure that 2030 strategies are consistent with the end point in 2050, so there are neither lock-in investments nor stranded assets on the way. Of the various policies needed, it is worth highlighting one which is considered essential: environmental tax reform, based on the “polluter pays” principle, by putting a price on CO2 and other pollutants,to eliminate current distortions and send the price signal to investors and consumers. Environmental fiscal reform is not the silver bullet but it is absolutely a necessary piece of the solution.

Third: All of us should be “on board” to face this huge systemic challenge. The fight against climate change requires alliances that bring in all the agents involved. A transformation of the whole economic system is needed, and in particular the way in which energy is produced and used. The challenge is such that neither companies, nor governments, or civil society can move forward alone. Not only public-private collaboration is important, it is the only way to advance in a sustainable manner.

Fortunately, we are already making progress, and partnerships between the administration, NGOs and companies in the field of climate change are becoming a reality. We all should congratulate ourselves for it; but we all must commit to continue working hand in hand, and with greater urgency, in the conviction that it is the only way forward. And in this respect, it is important to stress the need to pay attention to the most vulnerable groups, communities and sectors. A clean and efficient energy model will create a better world for all, but in the energy transition, there will be those who do not benefit and we have to find ways to ensure that no one is left behind in the process.

We need all on board, because everyone has a role to play. Finally, it is important to stress that the current situation is very different from the one we had five years ago. The revolution of clean technologies and the evolution of markets will allow us a breakthrough change in the energy model and we should take this opportunity! The decisions we make today, and those we do not make, will shape the energy model of the next 50 years and to a large extent the possibilities of tackling climate change successfully.

Technologies are available, the companies are willing to invest and policies are needed -that clearly indicate the roadmap tofollow- and alliances bringing in all the agents involved.