The low carbon commitment to stop climate change

2016 saw the international confirmation of the strategy to build and develop a low carbon economy: the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP 22), held in Marrakesh from 7 to 18 November 2016 opened in the wake of the optimism generated by the Paris Agreement which had just taken effect.

The 196 countries participating in COP 22 committed to intensifying their efforts with the “Marrakesh Proclamation”: a collective response to the global warming emergency. Solidarity with the communities most exposed to the effects of climate change, eradication of poverty, food security, greater ambition and more cooperation: these are the challenges.

First in Paris, then in Marrakesh, the countries definitely started on the path to a low carbon economy which requires a new vision and, especially, new production and consumption models.

Edison and its pursuit of a low carbon economy

In this context, Edison is in line with the international low carbon targets. Indeed, it has already begun a process to reduce carbon emissions, a process that EDF’s CAP 2030 strategy has consolidated even further.

Edison’s electricity production is essentially based on renewable sources and the use of natural gas. Natural gas powered combined cycle technology boasts lower specific carbon emissions than other thermoelectric power plants powered by fossil fuels and, at the same time, emits no fine particles (PM10 and PM2.5) or sulphur dioxide (SOx).

Renewable sources are another key component in the electricity production mix and an indispensable asset in meeting the low carbon targets. Alongside its historic commitment to developing hydroelectric solutions, Edison has taken significant steps in the wind power sector, forging partnerships that have given rise to a company named e2i energie speciali (referred to as e2i) whose mission is to make the most of investments for the construction of new plants or to develop pre-existing sites by completely rebuilding wind farms in order to make them more efficient, reduce the amount of land used for farms and decrease the impact of wind power infrastructure on the landscape and environment.

Edison recently began a major project to use liquefied natural gas (LNG) for both heavy road transport (mainly long-haul extra-urban routes) and shipping. Small scale LNG also makes it possible to supply natural gas to areas that are not yet connected to the natural gas grid (e.g., Sardinia).

LNG is making an increasingly important name for itself on the market as a fuel that meets the greenhouse gas emission containment targets. Sweeping changes are underway in the shipping sector in particular, in connection with technological developments and new environmental restrictions (specifically in the northern seas), requiring players to rethink how ships are fuelled. In road transport, LNG is replacing diesel for medium hauls given its advantages in terms of prices and lower carbon emissions.

As for the areas not yet served by the natural gas grid, positive repercussions can be seen in terms of the environment (replacement of pollutant fuels like diesel and low sulphur diesel) and socio-economic aspects, creating more space for competitive energies.

Energy efficiency is another key pillar on which Edison has decided to focus to combine development and the rational use of energy. The inclusion of Fenice in the consolidation scope reinforces Edison’s mission of strengthening energy services by offering customers in the industrial and service sectors integrated management and consumption solutions to achieve energy savings. Edison is also increasingly active in the residential business as well, with offers that bundle commodities with services.

Edison’s pursuit of a low carbon economy also entails creating and spreading skills and expertise to increase community awareness of climate change. Edison has made it a priority to implement programs to develop skills in the areas where it is active in order to introduce good practices at local level while making the most of the expertise already in place.

Documenting climate change with photography

A collection of 40 art photographs from seven countries: Italy, France, Germany, Great Britain, Belgium, Denmark and Turkey. #WeAreTheClimateGeneration is a collective photography show that opened during the Paris COP21 and toured the seven countries to continue spreading public awareness about climate change and its consequences.

Edison has supported this project since 2015 ad in 2016 it donated a few of the panels to the Democrito Science High School in Rome and will sponsor meetings at schools in 2017 to support and spread awareness on climate change. This project is sponsored by the Globe Italia association and documents a collective commitment through photographic reportage.