Isabelle Kocher, CEO of ENGIE, spoke at the World Climate Summit in New York on September 23rd, 2019 as part of the session, People Centered Action Now.
Mister Secretary General,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I believe we all feel and say the same: we live historical times. We urgently need to reset our system. As climate change reveals, our system has definitely reached its limits. And that goes beyond the climate challenge.
Everybody here knows that we consume twice the natural resources that we should be consuming every year. We are not reducing poverty fast enough. More and more of our fellow people across the world feel excluded. And evidence of this can be seen in our weakened democracies.
No country, no company, no non-governmental organization will be able to address these challenges on its own. We need to act together.
I believe that climate change should serve as a catalyst, driving us to reinvent the system. It puts us in the position of having to address two issues: we need to invest globally, but without adding to the burdens which already weigh on consumers.
We have two essential tasks: take care of the planet AND take care of people. Supply a decarbonized and inclusive form of energy. Concern ourselves with the end of the world AND the end of the month. The challenge is less about technology and more about being economical.
We need to put forward an affordable energy transition. Affordable for everyone.
We won't be able to solve this equation quickly enough without massively reducing energy consumption in the world's developed countries, where collectively, we must start adopting a more energy-efficient behavior.
At ENGIE, the world leader in the energy sector, we have decided to take up this challenge: an affordable zero-carbon energy transition. We have radically changed our strategy, literally turning our business model on its head. We have gone from being fundamentally an energy producer to operating such that our core business now involves helping our customers consume less energy.
And that’s business, here I represent business, but this is a business that contributes to heal. And my dream is for us to reach another form of business, to reduce the imbalances and the inequalities, and to invent growth that repairs, a repairing, healing growth.
I want to pay tribute to the Just Transition and Decent Jobs Pledge that has been taken by nine major companies. They show the future.