Tackling climate change

The centrality of renewable energy sources

Climate change is one of the most obvious global happenings of recent decades and is destined to worsen if no concrete action is taken to stop it.
The international scientifi c community has now determined that the change is in large part man-made and it is therefore crucial tat all countries in the world make a commitment to fi ght it and hopefully reverse its course.

The direct link between factors such as "greenhouse gas" emissions and global warming has impacted economic and energy policy choices of the most sensitive nations for some time, increasingly spreading a culture of sustainability.

In Italy, the current energy policy guidelines are defi ned by the "20-20-20 Climate and Energy Package" which is part of the strategy, "Europe 20-20-20".

In 2011, the European Commission published its "Roadmap 2050", a document drawn up specifi cally to address the issue of sustainability and the cross-border effects of phenomena that cannot be managed purely at a national level. The aim of these new guidelines is to achieve the almost total decarbonisation of our economy, with the ultimate goal of keeping global warming as a result of anthropogenic climate change below 2° C.

As an intermediate step of the process outlined, in October 2014 the European Council reached an agreement on the environmental and energy policy for 2030, defining:
  • a binding target to reduce national greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% compared to 1990 levels;
  • a binding target at EU level, but not for the individual Member states, for 27% of the final gross consumption of electricity to be produced from renewable energy sources; the Commission will set the national target under a new governance system that will have to be drawn up in the near future;
  • an indicative target of 27% increase in energy efficiency, which is not binding for the EU or the Member States.
On 12 December 2015, a full 195 States, plus the European Union, formally adopted the text of the Paris Agreement on climate change. Although the process is still strongly left to the voluntary commitment of each party, and lacking a real framework that includes control and sanction, the agreement:
  • commits each signatory country, setting overall objectives for all parties, in contrast to the provisions of the Kyoto Protocol;
  • institutionalises a five-year review process of data and of national targets;
  • recognises the need to keep the average increase in the Earth's temperature "well below" 2 °C, making all possible efforts to keep it under 1.5 °C;
  • anticipates the need to make further efforts to keep global warming within these values, recognizing that the national voluntary programs undertaken by the parties to the United Nations Conference is not enough.

Winter Package/Clean Energy Package

In November 2016, in line with the Energy Roadmap for 2050 and the commitments under the Paris Agreement, the European Commission presented the Clean Energy Package, which includes 11 legislative initiatives for the achievement of the European climate-energy goals for 2030.

This initiative encompasses both new provisions and the revisions of existing directives or regulations and will be finalised in 2018:
The key topics are:
• the rules to draft and check the national energy plans to achieve climate-energy goals for 2030;
• the structural revision of the ETS system for the management and limitation of greenhouse-gas emissions;
• the revision of directives to promote the use of renewable energies and their unlimited participation in electricity markets;
• the revision of electricity markets at a transnational level, in order to homogenise and favour the energy transition towards low - or zero-impact energy sources;
• a further development of energy efficiency in both the industrial and the civil sector.

Our role

Our process to change our business to electricity from renewable sources perfectly fits into the energy transition described above; we are at the forefront and our process shows our interest in seizing new business opportunities, while improving the environmental context we operate in.

In the second half of the 2000s, we changed our energy business and abandoned our role as oil operator to start producing fully sustainable and clean energy from wind, water and highyield co-generation fuelled with natural gas.

This metamorphosis led to the adoption of a business model, which is able to produce electric energy with significantly lower COemissions, thus improving all our corporate social responsibility indicators between 2008 and 2015. In particular, because of the gradual decrease in "oil" activities and the subsequent increase in the use of renewable sources, the CO2 emissions avoided in the period 2008-2015 increased 15-fold and reached over 1 million tonnes of CO2 avoided per year.

The acquisition of the hydroelectric plant in Terni and the new wind energy initiatives in Europe are the new steps of our business evolution, which will further improve our performance in terms of avoided CO2 emissions.

We strongly focus on both increasing the energy efficiency of ERG Power's plant and the implementation of the Best Available Techniques (BAT), so as to reduce the consumption of natural gas and the emission of greenhouse gases, while keeping constant the production of electric power.

Climate Change: a sustainable approach to development

Climate Change: a sustainable approach to development

At the event "Climate Change: a sustainable approach to development" that we organized at the headquarters of Civita in Rome on July 6, we presented the 2015 edition of our Sustainability Report. After ERG Group's Chairman, Edoardo Garrone, introduced the event, Mario Tozzi, a geologist and science writer, gave his keynote speech, dedicated precisely to the issues of climate change.

Columnist Enrico Cisnetto moderated  the round table discussion with Luca Bettonte, CEO of the ERG Group, Walter Ganapini, Director General of ARPA Umbria, Mario Molteni, Professor of Business Economics at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Milan and Scientific Director of CSR Manager Network Italy, Rossella Muroni, President of Legambiente and Edo Ronchi, President of the Foundation for Sustainable Development.

The conclusions were drawn by Ermete Realacci, President of the Commission for Environment, Land and Public Works of the Chamber of Deputies.

We followed the event with our live tweeting and a live Periscope broadcast on our @ergnow Twitter channel.