SSE response to the global climate change agreement at Paris

Over the weekend the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change 21st Conference of the Parties (UNFCCC COP21) concluded in Paris, with a landmark deal on reducing global greenhouse gas emissions being agreed.

The agreement seeks to reduce global emissions to mitigate the worst case impacts of climate change associated with business as usual scenarios, through confirming the national contributions put forward to the UNFCCC.  Importantly, the agreement also sets out a long-term objective to keep global average temperature changes to well below 2°C , and potentially below 1.5°C of pre-industrial levels by 2100, alongside a commitment for five-year reviews of these national contributions to increase ambition where possible towards 1.5°C. 

Comment from Alistair Phillips-Davies, Chief Executive of SSE and Eurelectric Vice-President:
“The outcomes of these talks will help efforts to deliver significant reductions in global carbon emissions. Importantly, the  agreed long term objective of reducing emissions to keep global average temperatures changes to well within 2°C and potentially towards 1.5°C, alongside the five-year review process should mean every country has to consider what they can do to increase their ambition.

“For SSE, the agreed outcomes give a clear indication on a direction of travel for decarbonisation. Business has a role to play to the low carbon transition and the outcome of the talks support the actions we have taken in recent years  to invest in low carbon energy and the infrastructure to support it.

Central to continued investment is the appropriate pricing of carbon at a UK and European level into the next decade and beyond.  To achieve this the UK’s Carbon Floor Price must be given a firm trajectory beyond 2020 and at the EU level, Member States must look at tightening the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS)  to increase their ambition to keep temperatures changes well below  2°C, and towards 1.5°C.

I welcome the outcome of the talks and congratulate the UK Government for their role at Paris. In my role in the Presidency team at the European trade association for the electricity industry – Eurelectric – I will work to help ensure that the European electricity industry can help deliver on these commitments, and look at  where we can do more to keep temperatures changes well below  2°C, and towards 1.5°C.