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Veolia is committed to Climate

The climate is changing…

As IPCC[1] scientists have shown, warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s many of the changes observed have been unprecedented over the last few decades or even millennia. The atmosphere and oceans have warmed, snow and ice cover has decreased, sea levels have risen and greenhouse gas concentrations have increased.
Humankind’s influence on climate disruption is no longer in any doubt. Human responsibility is significant: we emit too much greenhouse gas! Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) have increased by 40% since pre-industrial times.
This disruption, the effects of which we are already beginning to feel (more frequent and more violent storms, heat waves, changes in precipitation, etc.), will have serious social, economic and environmental consequences. Fortunately, there is still time to react. We can reduce the global risks of climate change by limiting its pace and scale. Limiting this change means keeping it to below 2 °C [2]. And to do that greenhouse gas emissions in 2050 will have to be 40 to 70% lower than in 2010.
So what solutions are there?

With the circular economy model, we use resources in a more sober and efficient way
To contain global warming to below 2 °C, global greenhouse gas emissions will have to be 70% lower by 2050

Veolia helps fight climate change.

Our proposals to reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions: 3 priority actions


1.     Change the resource use model: expand the circular economy

Climate disruption is essentially the result of a development model based on a linear "take-use-throw" model and ever-greater consumption of the planet’s resources - in particular fossil fuels which release massive amounts of greenhouse gases. The first challenge today is therefore to develop a new more sober and efficient resource use model based on circular economy principles. Every day, everywhere in the world Veolia, a committed enterprise and environment expert, brings concrete solutions for a more circular economy. We now recover water, waste, and energy. What is rejected by some becomes a resource for others. Thanks to technology, eco-design and new modes of consumption, all materials can have several uses. Through our activities, we contribute to "resourcing the world" by developing access to essential resources and by preserving and renewing them.




2.     Tax pollution: introduce the polluter pays principle

Veolia is positioned in favor of measures to promote the large-scale development of a resilient low-carbon economy; in particular through the polluter pays principle, and vice versa for CO2 – i.e. setting and applying a robust and predictable carbon price of 30 to 40 euros per metric ton.
A robust and predictable carbon price is the precondition for directing investments towards energy efficiency, renewable energy and more generally for encouraging the circular use of resources as alternatives to fossil fuels.
These positions were illustrated in September 2014 when the Group signed two international statements on the price of carbon - that of the World Bank, and the Carbon Price press release.



3.     Tackle short-lived GHGs with high warming potential: capture and recover methane

Veolia has decided to tackle short-lived greenhouse gases with high warming potential - in particular methane. Calculated over a century, its contribution to GHG emissions is 14%, but when related to the last 20 years, it reaches 40%! If we want to achieve quick results in reducing GHG emissions, we also have to tackle this other air pollutant. Decreasing methane emissions would have a significant impact in the short term and the same means and ambition should be brought to bear as for the issue of CO2.
The Group expressed its determination in this regard through the personal intervention of Antoine Frérot, CEO and Chairman of Veolia, during the climate summit in New York in September 2014.

[1] Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

[2] Decision taken in 2009 during the Copenhagen Summit

Our commitments to sustainable development - Corporate Social Responsibility