Bringing Europe's Leaders Together

Club of Three Webinar
Backing tomorrow’s winners? How to make a success of the energy transition – 24 November

This webinar was the third in a series of online events held in Autumn 2020. It involved some 40 senior figures from business, the policy field and academia in France, Germany and the UK.

Despite the very difficult economic climate, there have been strong signals in Europe that now is the time to accelerate the energy transition and invest in areas of future growth.

Climate Commissioner Frans Timmermans stressed that the Covid-19 crisis would not delay European action on carbon reduction and that it had in fact strengthened the EU’s resolve to decarbonise. If Europe is heading towards carbon neutrality by 2050, how will this be achieved and what will be the key enabling technologies? Will carbon pricing be a crucial element in the energy transition? What more can be done to incentivise green investment?

In France, the government announced a big push for hydrogen production as part of its economic recovery plan while Germany plans to increase the share of renewables to 65% by 2030 in a new law currently under consideration. As far as post-Brexit Britain is concerned, Prime Minister Johnson has spoken of the UK as the Saudi Arabia of wind. Are we on the same page?

The three main speakers were:

*Edmond Alphandéry, Chairman of the Task Force on Carbon Pricing in Europe; Former French Economy Minister and Board Member, EDF and Engie

*Duncan Burt, Director for COP26 and formerly Chief Operations Officer, National Grid  

*Carl Arntzen, CEO, Worcester Bosch

This discussion was chaired by Club of Three Chairman Michael Maclay.

Participants included: Tom Burke (Co-founding Director and Chairman, E3G); Sir John Grant (Vice-President, International Government Relation, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation); Sir Mike Rake (Board Adviser; Chairman of BT Group, 2007-17); Pauline Heinrichs (Desk Officer Climate and Environment, German Embassy London); Armand Laferrère (Vice-President, Strategy and Development, Orano); Mike McWilliams (Head of Energy, Center for Economics and Business Research; Board Member, SN Power Norway); John Roberts (Member of the Group of Experts on Gas with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe); Victoire Newman (Managing Director, Gragus Ltd).