17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were defined in 2015 to succeed to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) adopted in 2000 and which ended in 2015. A High-level debate on how to achieve the SDGs by 2030 is held on April 21 at the United Nations. The objective: to increase international awareness and momentum. It is also a unique opportunity to highlight the synergy between the outcomes of the COP21 and the 2030 Agenda.
« While [the Paris Agreement is] clearly calling for a strong reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions, almost 20% of the global population still lack access to electricity. And in 2015, clean and affordable energy for all has been defined as one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, » Gérard Mestrallet, CEO of ENGIE.
The "Sustainable Development Goals" (MDGs) were defined in September 2015 by the United Nations for the period 2015-2030, to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The objective of the fight against poverty in its many forms still holds the biggest place, but the environmental dimension is now much more present.
Since 2008, ENGIE has been developing its policy of gender diversity and implementing practical initiatives to help women progress in their careers within the Group: the introduction of quantified targets, coordination of the Women in Networking network, the mentoring program or the Women in Leadership training program.
By working closely with local partners, Tractebel Energia has launched a "Good Water" program in the region surrounding its Salto Santiago hydroelectric plant (Brazil). The objective is to develop a conservation program that preserves 300 water springs located on rural properties upstream of the hydroelectric dam. The purpose of the program is to protect the abundance and quality of local water resources, to generate and share environmental knowledge with stakeholders and to contribute to the development of rural housing.
One of today’s biggest challenge consists in finding new ways to provide more power to more people while reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. ENGIE committed to provide access to sustainable energy to 20 million people worldwide by 2020. In order to achieve such an objective, it is already taking concrete actions: the Terrawatt initiative launched during the COP21 and ENGIE’s investment Fund “ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies”.
In response to evolving world challenges, ENGIE is a local partner for sustainable and vibrant cities and regions and envisions solutions for the city of tomorrow. Besides, trough Terr’innove, partnerships with local communities to elaborate a sustainable energy strategy in the territories are defined. The expertise of ENGIE is mobilized to find the most-suited and efficient solutions based on the local needs.
ENGIE Tractebel develops Energy Performance Contract. As a financing solution combined with technical expertise, the energy performance contract allows commissioning customers to ensure that they achieve the results they want.
Moreover, ENGIE is working actively on the development of the biomethane energy, drawing on synergies with the natural gas industry. In France, the Group is the only player involved in every stage of the biomethane chain.
In order to tackle the major challenges of energy transition to a lower carbon economy, ENGIE puts responsible growth at the center of its business (electricity, natural gas and energy services). To fight climate change, ENGIE is focusing on the development of renewable energies, doubling the renewable capacities of its production plants between 2009 and 2015. The Group has also decided not to launch any new development projects involving coal.
ENGIE has integrated biodiversity preservation into the management decision process for its industrial operations. The Group has adopted a voluntary objective of setting a Biodiversity protection action plan by 2015 in Europe for 100% of its priority industrial sites, in partnership with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Examples of action plans on industrial sites are: introduction of nesting boxes and wildlife refuges, limiting the use of herbicides by using sheep to control vegetation, anchorless drilling methods to protect corals or the introduction of ultrasound techniques to prevent fish being caught in the cooling water inlet filters of conventional power generating plants.
ENGIE defends through the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition the generalization of carbon pricing signals. Such signals are absolutely necessary to redirect investment towards low-carbon technologies. In addition, during the COP21, the Group launched the Terrawatt initiative, a platform that gathers all stakeholders to define and elaborate the most efficient market framework to unleash solar energy potential. With the Business Dialogues, ENGIE also launched a high level dialogue between public and private investors on climate issues.
The signing of Paris Agreement
The official signing ceremony of the Paris Climate Agreement is held on April 22 at the United Nations. As many as 155 states are expected to sign the Agreement in New York on Earth Day. It is the largest UN history signing ceremony at which business sector's participation is limited to 50 places (as observers). The agreement will be open for signature until April 17th 2017 and states will then proceed to the ratification of the agreement in their national legal systems. The Paris Agreement will enter into force once adopted by at least 55 countries representing 55% of global emissions.