Zero emissions energy: an achievable challenge

by Nicola Lanzetta
Enel 2021 - 2023 Strategic Plan

The climate summit was hosted by Scotland, which is not just a gorgeous country but also the living proof of what we believe so strongly as a world leader in renewables: an advanced major economy can prosper in the context of an ecological transition, by focusing entirely on developing renewable energy sources, an ambitious spirit that has also been part of Enel’s DNA for quite some time.

The report published in August 2021 by the IPCC, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, contained the kind of somber scenarios that we have unfortunately become all too familiar with (in the same few days, the highest temperature ever recorded in Europe was clocked in Syracuse, Sicily – an unenviable achievement indeed). However, one spur remains: we can still do it.

A few months later, the International Energy Agency (IEA) published the World Energy Outlook report, which came to the same conclusions: we have veered off course but we still have time to correct it. We already have all the technology we need to make the decisive cuts promised for 2030. All we are lacking, and which we still have to find, is the courage to invest in hope and in our children.

Climate can and must become a ground for peace. And that is the big gamble. Nations and blocks of countries must find a way of cooperating on the most important theme of all: the future of life on Earth. Climate knows no borders, climate upheaval is affecting us all, indiscriminately, from Germany to China, Italy and the Pacific Islands.

It is therefore time to be courageous enough to move from what to how, from words to deeds. We need to find a way of reducing emissions more rapidly, particularly those from coal, putting in place efficient instruments to counter deforestation and improve support for the most vulnerable nations, the ones that didn’t cause the crisis but run the risk of being worst affected by its consequences. No one can save themselves alone in a climate crisis.

In the mid-20th century, what Kennedy promised seemed like an impossible dream: to have a human being set foot on the surface of the Moon by the end of the 1960s. And yet it happened. It seems equally impossible right now to cut emissions so sharply by the end of the 2020s and to get to Net Zero by 2040. Yet at Enel we are so convinced it can be done that we have set it as the target for our Strategic Plan between now and 2030. And we are ready to lead Italy on the energy transition and electrification of consumption journey so that we can grow by creating value for tomorrow’s generations.

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