At COP28, currently being held in Dubai (UAE), Estelle Brachlianoff reaffirmed her commitment to invest more than €1.6 billion by 2030 to get Europe off coal. At the opening of COP28, the CEO of Veolia also called for a common goal of "Net Zero Water", in order to accelerate the implementation of existing solutions for ecological transformation.
By the end of 2023, Veolia will have invested €500 million as part of this initiative, and the Group reiterates its commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.
Getting out of coal: a major challenge to meet the challenges of ecological transformation
In 2022, global coal demand reached a record 8.3 billion tonnes, with more than 500 GW of new coal capacity planned or under construction. Forecasts by the IPCC, the UN and the IEA underline the need to accelerate efforts to phase out coal from the global energy mix in order to keep the warming limit at 1.5°C, in line with the Paris Agreement.
In response to these challenges, Estelle Brachlianoff was alongside French President Emmanuel Macron to respond to the launch of a new initiative to support the acceleration of the coal transition alongside heads of state and NGOs. A champion of ecological transformation, Veolia is continuing its ambitious project begun in 2019 to convert coal-fired power generation assets to more environmentally friendly sources, with a particular focus on local, decarbonised and low-carbon energy.
"At COP28, French President Emmanuel Macron called on the G7 countries to move away from coal by 2030 and lead the way. A bold and necessary declaration to which Veolia is fully contributing". Estelle Brachlianoff
“Greening” existing polluting sites with major investments
At the conference, Estelle Brachlianoff stressed the importance of "greening" polluting sites through the deployment of ecological solutions. The Group CEO also stressed that transforming and decarbonising carbon-emitting activities would be more beneficial for the planet than selling them off as they are. We have three choices when it comes to coal-fired power stations: to close them down completely with no alternative, even though they provide essential services; to get rid of them by selling them to another company; or to finance the transition to another source of low-carbon energy.
Veolia has chosen the last option with an investment of €1.6 billion by 2030 to phase out coal in Europe linked to the district heating operated by the Group. Through targeted investments, such as those in Braunschweig in Germany, Přerov in the Czech Republic, and soon Poznan in Poland, Veolia is working in particular to eliminate the use of coal in district heating, making Veolia one of the most decarbonising companies in the world.
14 million tonnes of CO2:
that's how much Veolia's customers' carbon emissions have been erased in 2022.