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Climate Chance: Veolia advocates financing climate action

From 26 to 28 September in Nantes the first Climate Chance brought together 2,000 participants from around the world: local authorities, businesses, associations, unions, scientific and citizen organizations. After the Paris Agreement in December 2015 and six weeks prior to COP22 in Morocco, this international summit aims to pool experiences to fight climate change. Veolia is partnering the event. Its CEO Antoine Frérot spoke during the plenary session on "Financing climate action". A focus on the main points of his speech.


Putting a price on carbon 

If we want to fight climate change it must be more expensive to pollute than to clean it up. By charging for pollution, low-carbon solutions become economically viable, and the amounts collected will finance cleaning it up. It is estimated that a price of €30 or €40 per tonne of CO2 would massively reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 


 « Putting a robust and predictable price on carbon – in other words one that incorporates the cost of the climate externality - is the only way to make CO2 capture cheaper than releasing it into the atmosphere, cleaning up less costly than polluting. In the absence of a deterrent carbon price that would charge for using the atmosphere as a "greenhouse gas discharge », everyone is free to emit unlimited amounts of CO2," said Antoine Frérot.

The circular economy, a new model of resource use 

Climate change results in particular from a linear economic logic, of the type extract-manufacture-throw, which takes ever more natural resources and generates significant amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. Today it is about creating a circular economic model, in which the waste produced by some – heat from data centres, the calories in wastewater, biogas from landfills, inherent energy produced in factories, etc. - become resources for others.


Veolia’s commitments in figures  

In 2015, Veolia avoided 6 million tonnes of CO2 and reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 16 million tonnes - in total the equivalent of a European city with 2.7 million inhabitants. The 2020 target: to reduce, in total, 100 million tonnes of CO2 emissions in its own facilities and 50 million tonnes in those of its customers. Over the period 2015-2030, Veolia has set a progressive internal price of €31 per tonne of CO2 in relation to its investment projects.

More :

> The Veolia climate blog: “A low carbon economy is achievable” by Antoine Frérot 
> The Paris Agreement, a historical commitment 
> Veolia’s climate solutions 
> Veolia’s corporate social responsibility (CSR)