WEC, WBCSD and GSEP combine strengths to advance energy access and climate goals

Thursday, 06 December, 2012

Three of the world’s largest energy and sustainability networks have joined forces within the Global Electricity Initiative (GEI) to support electrical utilities’ efforts to tackle climate change and improve energy access.

The World Energy Council (WEC), the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership (GSEP) are uniting their strengths in a new partnership recently announced on the sidelines of the COP18 meeting in Doha. This marks the first time the three global organisations have teamed up.

The alliance will be led by Philippe Joubert, Executive Chair of the GEI. It will build on the initiative spearheaded by the South African utility Eskom, which was launched at COP17 at the end of 2011.

The newly strengthened initiative will identify, collect and analyse the early action taken worldwide by electricity utilities to enhance climate change mitigation and adaptation. Joubert will lead the efforts to create a dialogue and knowledge platform for utilities to exchange and promote understanding in achieving energy access and climate goals. Amongst its outputs, the GEI will document best practices and encourage their uptake in a report to be released in October 2013 during the World Energy Congress in Daegu, South Korea.

Joubert said, “By bringing in the combined strengths of the WBCSD, GSEP and WEC, the Global Electricity Initiative has created, for the first time, a truly global platform for CEOs and corporate leaders at utilities to share their vision and advance their actions. We hope our combined efforts will form a baseline for sustainability performance to which all electricity utilities and policymakers will aspire and adhere.”

Christoph Frei, Secretary General of the WEC, said the provision of clean energy to the world’s seven billion people “requires coordination on a global scale”, and that “it is the utilities who have the know-how and the financial capacity to make this happen.”

Martine Provost, Executive Director of the GSEP, added that the partnership can assist the electricity sector in its revision of traditional business models to meet renewable energy objectives, helping to “coordinate, report and promote the best practices currently in use”.

Peter Bakker, President of the WBCSD, said the initiative “will form the platform from where business, by working together, can scale up and speed up its sustainability initiatives in order to effect meaningful change. This is an important step for the sector to move forward on sustainability reporting, incorporating social and natural capital indicators that will set a firm course to a sustainable world.”

The organisations have a combined reach into all regions of the world, covering more than 3300 member businesses including all leading electrical utilities, covering 50% of the world’s electricity production.

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