Nyamko Sabuni, VP Sustainability went to Paris for COP21, we asked her a couple of questions when she got back.
What did you and ÅF do at COP21?
During two weeks, there were discussions and negotiations in Paris for a new global climate deal to keep the global warming below 2 degrees. To make this possible, the world’s largest emitters must reduce their emissions by up to 80 percent by 2050. More than 45 000 people, many of which are heads of states and CEOs, attended. Therefore it is important for ÅF, as an international player, to be there. Along with my colleague Lena Ander at Strategic sustainability services, I attended conferences to learn more about what is on the political agenda and how it may effect the ÅF Group's customers and the markets ÅF operates in.
Why was it important for ÅF to be there?
Our customers demand service providers who understands their business environment and the challenges they face. We want to be present where the important issues are discussed so that our customers can feel confident that we are on top of things. We got the opportunity to listen and learn from business leaders as the expressed their climate ambitions for the coming years. Robert Dudley, CEO of BP, John Woolard, Vice President for Energy Google, Jan Rabe, Director of Sustainability, Siemens, Eldar Saetre, Statoil's CEO, Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever and others. All these companies' have “climate investment plans” as a way to help reduce emissions but also necessary step to take to avoid the high costs of a future carbon tax. Not least, the investors that were gave the clear message that they intend to sell their ownership of fossil fuels in favour of renewable energy.
What was the most interesting thing you heard at the conference?
That the climate issue is so strongly associated with the energy issue. The world will use 50 percent more energy by the mid-century than today, which requires the development of renewable energy and the ability to increase energy efficiency is crucial. Did you know that with energy efficiency, we can reach 50 percent of the carbon reductions necessary by 2030? This creates great opportunities for companies that ÅF.
What did you learn?
That we at a fast pace are moving into a new industrial revolution, with increased digitization and renewable technology solutions. The first one created the emissions, and the new one must abolish them. The solution lies with the engineers and companies ÅF.
From November 30 to December 11 the world countries gathered in Paris for COP21, the twenty-first Meeting of Parties under the UNFCCC. COP stands for Conference of Parties, and it is a conference by the UNFCCC, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The meeting is particularly important as countries should agree on a new global climate agreement that will apply from 2020.