The price and promise of a clean energy future

17 October 2017 - 09:00 - 13:30
Luca Cosentino, Patrick Graichen, Siobhan Hall, Dharmendra Kanani, Patrick Labat, Gérard Mestrallet, Dominique Ristori, Yvon Slingenberg

Following the recent announcement by the United States of America that it will withdraw from the Paris Agreement, leaders around the world have reiterated their commitment to filling the void left by the USA, giving new life to the discussion on the transition to sustainable energy. This year’s edition of our flagship summit on Climate and Energy provides the perfect opportunity to re-examine the importance of strengthened European leadership, global cooperation and international governance to reinvigorate the shift to a green and resilient economy.

Further adaptation of European energy landscapes to facilitate the development of a market fit for fully-integrated and cost-effective renewables will require stronger incentives from both European governance and the private sector, in order to ensure effective consensus on appropriate policy mechanisms, such as reinforced emissions performance standards and an aligned price on carbon.


After 20 years of negotiations, 195 countries signed the Paris agreement to limit global warming. The focus now moves to implementation, and success will depend on the support and contribution of all – including industry, citizens, regions and cities.

We look at the role of regulation, competition, innovation, and the impact of consumption and production in sectors such as agriculture and transport (especially aviation and maritime transport). We debate the merits of different low-carbon economic models (including beyond growth and the circular economy).

08.30 – 09.00

Welcome and registration of participants

09.00 - 10.15


The United States has pulled out of the Paris agreement, and the rest of the world is eager to fill the void. It’s time for the energy transition to step up a gear to strengthen European leadership, global cooperation and international governance and move to a green and resilient economy.

Progress is being made. China, which accounts for about 30% of global emissions, is pledging to invest $360bn in renewables over the next three years. In 2014 more than half of all Latin America’s electricity came from renewables, more than double the world average. We will look at the importance of reinforced international public and private commitments to spur the clean energy revolution and provide high-level political will for ambitious, real-world policies and actions.

  • In the run up to the Paris rulebook in 2018, how can we ensure countries turn objectives into ambitious policies and long-term decarbonisation plans?
  • What extra economic and technological cooperation is needed between Europe and China to achieve climate and energy targets faster and more efficiently?
  • Can new alliances strengthen the international community by helping national leaders meet common and individual climate targets?
  • Can more be done with existing climate cooperation tools, such as the EU Energy Initiative Partnership Dialogue Facility?
  • How can we improve the structure international discussions to engage the private sector in the global fight against climate change?
10.15 – 10.45

Coffee break

10.45 - 12.00


Despite Europe’s efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of the electricity sector, and the substantial growth of renewables, coal – the most carbon-intensive fuel – still accounts for nearly 80% of the EU power sector’s emissions and its share in the mix is virtually unaltered.

Europe’s role as a climate leader and the growth of intermittent renewables ask for an evolution of its energy mix towards greater flexibility and lower carbon emissions. The European Commission’s Clean Energy Package represents a historical turning opportunity to make the EU’s energy market ready for the future.

  • How do EU leaders translate European objectives into ambitious national policy? And how do they reshape a market still primarily designed for fossil fuels?
  • What policies are more effective in supporting the switch towards cleaner energy technologies?
  • What is needed to support stable long-term investment in renewables beyond 2020?
  • What will be the future for high-priority dispatch for renewables – and how can we ensure a level playing field for all energy sources while continuing to reduce emissions?
12.00 – 12.30

Coffee break


Average carbon prices in 2020 are likely to be almost nine per cent lower than forecasted in 2016. This makes it less attractive for stakeholders in the EU carbon market to invest in the technology needed to hit emissions targets.

At EU level, talks on the fourth phase of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) continue, but with little consensus: effective change towards a European economy-wide carbon price requires more time. But in the run-up to major elections in Europe, the national level is stepping up: the recently-elected French President Emmanuel Macron put forward climate policies to raise the carbon price to €100 per tonne by 2030 – twenty times the current level.

  • Can the EU ETS remain the main driver of decarbonisation of the EU economy?
  • How can disruptive national leadership and a clear political vision reinforce European incentives on a strong carbon price signal? Can the French government’s actions inspire others towards change?
  • What will the next phase of the ETS look like – and can a more coherent climate policy be implemented?
  • How can EU leaders effectively agree on an aligned European pricing strategy on carbon while avoiding a massive phase-out of production means in the short term?

End of debate

Luca Cosentino
Vice President for New Energy Solutions at Eni
Patrick Graichen
Executive Director at Agora Energiewende, Germany
Siobhan Hall
Senior Editor for EU Energy Policy at S&P Global
Dharmendra Kanani
Director of Strategy at Friends of Europe
Patrick Labat
Senior Executive Vice President Northern Europe Zone at Veolia
Gérard Mestrallet
Chairman of the Board of Directors at ENGIE and Co Author of the ‘Aligning Carbon Pricing with the Paris Agreement’ report
Dominique Ristori
European Commission Director General for Energy
Yvon Slingenberg
Director for Climate Negotiations and Mainstreaming at the European Commission Directorate General for Climate Action

In association with


With the support of

EDF Veolia


Sarah Bentz, Programme Manager
Tel.: +32 2 893 98 23

This event is exclusively for Friends of Europe’s members, EU institution representatives and media.

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