Global Electricity Initiative: WEC, WBCSD, and GSEP combine strengths to advance energy access and climate goals

Three of the world’s largest energy and sustainability networks have joined forces within the Global Electricity Initiative (GEI) to support electrical utilities’ efforts to tackle climate change and improve energy access.

Published: 3 Dec 2012
Type: News

Doha, December 3, 2012 – The World Energy Council (WEC), the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), and the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership (GSEP) are uniting their strengths in a new partnership announced today on the sidelines of the COP-18 meeting in Doha. This marks the first time the three global organizations have teamed up.  

The alliance will be led by Philippe Joubert, Executive Chair of the Global Electricity Initiative.  It will build on the initiative spearheaded by the South African utility Eskom and launched at COP-17 at the end of 2011. 

The newly strengthened initiative will identify, collect and analyse the early action taken worldwide by electricity utilities to enhance climate change mitigation and adaptation.  Within the partnership Philippe Joubert will lead the efforts to create a dialogue and knowledge platform for utilities to exchange and promote understanding in achieving energy access and climate goals. Amongst its outputs, the GEI will document best practices and encourage their uptake in a report to be released in October 2013 during the World Energy Congress in Daegu, South Korea.

Philipe Joubert, Executive Chair of the Global Electricity Initiative and former President of Alstom Power and deputy CEO of the Alstom Group, says:

“By bringing in the combined strengths of the WBCSD, GSEP, and WEC, the Global Electricity Initiative has created for the first time a truly global platform for CEOs and corporate leaders at utilities to share their vision and advance their actions. We hope our combined efforts will form a baseline for sustainability performance to which all electricity utilities and policymakers will aspire and adhere.”

Christoph Frei, Secretary General of the World Energy Council, comments:

“Bringing secure, affordable, and clean energy for the world’s 7 billion people requires coordination on a global scale.  Of course it requires the action of policymakers, businesses, and consumers, but importantly it is the utilities who have the know-how and the financial capacity to make this happen.  The combined network of the GSEP, the WBCSD and the WEC is unique in its global reach deep into the utility sector, and it will provide a very powerful platform to push forward the objectives of the UN Secretary General’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative.”

Martine Provost, Executive Director of the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership, adds:

“Huge efforts are needed to reach the UN Secretary General’s goal of ensuring universal access to modern energy services, doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency, and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. The electricity sector is engaging in a radical revision of its traditional business models and generation mix in an effort to meet these objectives and this partnership can help coordinate, report and promote the best practices currently in use.”

Peter Bakker, President of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, says:

“This is a hugely important initiative that will form the platform from where business by working together can scale up, and speed up, its sustainability initiatives, in order to effect meaningful change. This is an important step for the sector to move forward on sustainability reporting, incorporating social and natural capital indicators  that will set a firm course to a sustainable world.”

Since its launch in 2011 the GEI has gathered information from 25 utilities representing 10% of the world’s power production. The project was documented in a report that included a Summary of Actions showcasing early actions taken by utilities on sustainability issues.

The GSEP, the WBCSD and the WEC have joined forces as they recognize the value of international and cross-sector cooperation in advancing sustainable practices amongst utilities.

The organizations have a combined reach into all regions of the world covering more than 3300 member businesses, including all leading electrical utilities covering 50% of the world’s electricity production. 

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