Zero emissions energy: an achievable challenge

Zero emissions energy: an achievable challenge

We all remember the enthusiasm the Paris Climate Agreement generated. In December 2015, all of the leading nations on Earth made a commitment for the first time to keep the increase in temperatures to under 2°C. The images still feel incredibly vivid: the announcement by France’s then-Minister for the Environment Laurent Fabius, the USA’s Secretary of State John Kerry, who signed the agreement with his grand-daughter on his knee, and the idea that we could deliver a sustainable future to new generations. Unfortunately, what followed was a story of broken promises: the difficulties involved in effectively reducing CO2, the USA’s exit from the agreement (before it rejoined in 2021), the failure of the Madrid summit, and the trauma of the Covid pandemic which captured the attention of the entire world.

At the UN’s COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in November 2021, we had a one-time-only opportunity to get back on course, to return to the spirit of Paris and rebuild the idea of an ambitious and courageous world. This is why the work and outcome of the summit should be looked upon in the same spirit in which the generation before mine viewed man travelling to the Moon and the astronauts stepping out of their module for the first time on its surface: to see the unthinkable actually happen and redefine our idea of the future.

Unlike the generation that was inspired by President John F. Kennedy’s Moon Shot speech, our mission is not to conquer the Moon but to protect the Earth.

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.

Nicola Lanzetta
Director Italy

Nicola Lanzetta became the Enel Group’s Head of Country Italy in December 2021. Prior to that, from 2014 he served as Head of Market Italy and was a member of Team Innovation Italy and the International Market Team which was responsible for sharing best practices between all the countries where the Group is present.

He has also served as Chairman of the Board of various Enel Group companies, including: Enel Energia S.p.A., Enel Servizio Elettrico S.p.A., EnelSi S.p.A. and Enel Sole S.p.A.

Lanzetta, who was born in 1964, has a degree in Information Technology from the University of Pisa. He is married and has two children.

He began his professional career in 1992 at AT&T/NCR Italy S.p.A. as Manager of Large Client Sales.

From 1996 he continued his career in the telecommunications sector, working for large groups such as Telecom Italia S.p.A. and Infostrada S.p.A, where he served as Director of Trade Marketing and later Director of Retail Sales.

He joined the Enel Group in 2001, first working on company integration and then on training at Enel Gas S.p.A. and later on the launch of the Enel Energia commercial network during the first phase of retail market deregulation.

His arrival coincided with a period of significant transformation: between 2006 and 2007 he led the planning, implementation and management of all commercial operations, the definition and implementation of contracts with sales partners, the management of commissioning, commercial partnerships and sales of energy products and added value services through a network of direct agents, indirect agencies, call centers, stores and the web.

He also serves as Chairman of the Energia di Assolombarda Group and is a member of the board of Confimprese.

Furthermore, he is a keynote speaker at numerous conventions and conferences and a lecturer for various university and MBA courses.