“We are focusing all our resources on the technologies that will forge the energy world of tomorrow.”

ENGIE CEO Isabelle Kocher at the Global Business Summit in New York on September 20.

Isabelle Kocher

Interview with BFM Business on September 20, 2017 (extracts)


Hedwige Chevrillon : We heard little said yesterday about this Global Compact for the Environment, but a lot about North Korea. Isn’t it true that what Donald Trump had to say rather overshadowed the announcement of this important Compact for the Environment?

Isabelle Kocher : From what I’ve seen, Climate Week NYC is a pretty impressive event; really vibrant and dynamic. Before I answer your question though, I’d like to talk about just how struck I have been by one particular thing. At the very moment when Donald Trump has taken a decision - a very important decision - to withdraw the USA from the Paris climate agreement, what I feel here is a commitment...a kind of rude awakening. By that I mean that the world of business in the US, and society in general, is more committed than ever to combating global warming. The Global Compact for the Environment is a further step suggested by the President of France; a step that is ultimately something of a follow-up to the Paris agreement. It's also an important step which will now open the door to multilateral discussions. […]

What can the private sector do, especially in the US, where the reluctance of President Donald Trump is well known?

Private investors have a major role to play. The bottom line is that what will work is an alliance of different stakeholders. To be more precise, what I’m talking about is a form of multilateralism which goes beyond nation states simply working together to involve business, non-profits and all stakeholders. Business has a major role to play [in combating the issue of global warming that everyone is now convinced is a reality].[…]

ENGIE has taken some very strong and definitive decisions in this area. We’ve decided to be pioneers on this issue, and therefore to focus all our resources on those technologies that will forge the energy world of tomorrow; a world that will be decarbonized and broadly decentralized with a new generation of energy infrastructures. Why are we doing this? Well, it’s not only because we’re convinced personally as good citizens that it’s the right thing to do. We’re also doing it because it is essentially the only way of creating value in the long term. This energy world will lead to a better world, and I’m absolutely convinced of that. So we want to be one of those who are building that world. It also makes good business sense.[…]