Global Electricity Initiative: 94% of utilities already affected by extreme weather events

8th December 2015

Press ReleaseGlobalInnovationPolicyQuality Access

COP21, Paris, France, 8 December 2015 – A new survey by the Global Electricity Initiative (GEI) of electric power utilities reveals that their CEOs consider a global agreement on GHG emissions vital to their businesses’ sustainable success.

GEI initiative - final
The GEI, led by the World Energy Council and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, aims to enhance electrical utilities’ efforts to ensure reliable electricity supply, improve access and mitigate or adapt the impacts of climate change. The utilities participating in the GEI are from countries that together account for more than 80% of global installed generation capacity and those CEOs having completed the survey come from five continents.


Altogether 94% of CEOs participating in the survey confirmed that their companies are already being affected by extreme weather events. All of them responded that they are regularly consulting and working with governments on the development of energy policies, strategies and regulations.
The survey presented to key stakeholders during the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) by GEI Executive Chair Philippe Joubert found that:
  • 89% of utility CEOs consider a global agreement on GHG emissions vital to their business sustainable success
  • 94% of CEOs say that their companies have recently been affected by extreme weather events.
  • 40% of utility CEOs need a price over US$100 per tonne CO2 emissions to make them change their business model.
  • Nearly two thirds of utility CEOs agree that the CO2 emissions price should be determined globally and by the market, whereas the other third would prefer a price introduced by mandatory fiscal measures on a national level
  • 72% of utility companies have already introduced voluntary measures to limit GHG emissions
  • Access and security of supply rank among the highest business priorities.
  • 63% of utility CEOs say they are planning to participate in COP21, whether directly or indirectly through a representative.
Philippe Joubert, Executive Chair of the Global Electricity Initiative, said: “Utilities consider the introduction of a meaningful agreement on GHG emissions reduction a priority. For them the real price of CO2 is a fundamental to trigger a shift in utilities’ business models. What will be decided at COP21 in Paris will thus be fundamental to the future direction utilities choose.”

The great importance electricity utilities attribute to COP21 is also reflected in the preview results of the World Energy Issues Monitor 2016 Report: A global climate framework is one of the most critical uncertainties for the participating utilities, in terms of uncertainty and impact, to an even greater extent than for energy leaders at the global level.

Joubert referred to almost three quarters of companies having already introduced voluntary measures to limit GHG emissions. As nearly all utilities indicated they were already being affected by extreme weather, he also highlighted the willingness of utilities to improve infrastructure resilience in implementing adaptation measures and collaborate with governments and the finance sector.

See here for more information on GEI.  

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