He also spoke in favour of consistent regulations to roll-out a real low carbon economy: to make the carbon price a central tool for national politics and refocus budgets to tackle the climate challenge. He therefore recommends the focus be on major innovations: “a low carbon economy will be innovation-driven, or it simply won’t happen”.
Act on methane, 40% of greenhouse gas emissions
Antoine Frérot underlined the need for greater awareness of methane which heavily contributes to global warming. As he believes “the world has overdrawn its ecological credit line, but there are remedies for its ills,” he presented solutions to significantly reduce emissions. These include: Energy saving, energy efficiency, replacing fossil fuels by renewable energy, a limitation to a minimum of the impacts of dirty energy. Veolia has joined forces with the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) founded in 2012 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). This coalition focuses on the impact and reduction of short lived climate pollutants (from a few days to fifty years) including methane.
Reconcile the environment, growth and employment by the management of municipal solid waste
Veolia is the only private company in the CCAC to be part of the Municipal Solid Waste Initiative.
23% of methane emitted worldwide comes from storage facilities for waste and sludge. Veolia has a wide variety of circular economy solutions to help reduce polluting emissions. For example by transforming waste to produce electricity and steam to heat cities, making biofuel from waste oil or producing electricity and compost through the anaerobic digestion of agricultural waste. Veolia has thus made waste a resource.
These innovations can only happen if we invest in new technologies in the long-term.
Antoine Frérot repeated his belief: “fighting climate change actually creates jobs. That protecting the environment is not the enemy of growth.”