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UN Global Compact

EDP joins Google in pact for 24/7 Carbon-free Energy Compact

Friday 24, September 2021
Renewable energy

The 24/7 Pact launched by Google brings together some of the world's leading energy leaders, including EDP. Announcement was made at the close of the UN Global Compact, promoted by the United Nations, in a week in which EDP was the only Portuguese company in the spotlight.

Leading energy buyers, suppliers, solutions providers and governments announced today the formal launch of the 24/7 Carbon-free Energy Compact in partnership with Sustainable Energy for All and the UN Energy. The Compact represents a new global effort to accelerate the transition to a carbon-free electricity sector to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change. SEforALL and Google made the announcement today during the United Nations High level Dialogue on Energy in New York. In addition to Google and EDP, founding signatories of the Compact include AES, Orsted, the city of Des Moines, Iowa, the government of Iceland, and others.   

A carbon-free electricity sector is the foundation for creating a net-zero emissions global economy. Electricity generates 25% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and is key to decarbonizing other sectors of the economy, including buildings, transport, and industry. Meeting this challenge will require a rapid acceleration in the pace of clean energy deployment, the development of advanced carbon-free energy technologies, and significant policy changes.

“EDP is thrilled to join the Global Compact for 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy. We are proud to be at the forefront of the development of new technologies to accelerate the decarbonization of electricity systems and promote the globalization of access to clean energy,” said Miguel Stilwell Andrade, CEO of EDP.

SEforALL and Google are calling on companies, governments, and other stakeholders to join the Compact in the lead up to November’s COP26 Conference in Glasgow and commit to advancing policies, procurement practices, tools, and data that are critical to fully decarbonizing the world’s electricity systems. The Compact lays out a set of principles and actions that actors can take to adopt, enable, and advance 24/7 Carbon-free Energy, focusing on hourly decarbonization of local and regional electricity grids.

“The world is at a crossroads. We can either continue with business as usual or embrace change that leads to a more sustainable and equitable future. This starts with making the important link between energy and climate. The Energy Compacts that have been put forward as part of this historic UN High-Level Dialogue on Energy have resulted in ambitious commitments and actions that will help address energy poverty while working towards decarbonization. The 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy Compact represents a critical partnership across business, countries, cities and others that will propel us closer to our 2030 Global Energy Goals.” said SEforALL CEO & Special Representative to the UN Secretary-General Damilola Ogunbiyi

Tackling climate change requires government and business to work together with urgency and focus. The Compact is the first collective action group to bring together companies, national and local governments, and other stakeholders to drive innovation and investment in 24/7 carbon-free electricity grids, and we are hopeful that it will facilitate significant progress. Time is not on our side-- we need to act now-- and we look forward to others joining with Google in our efforts." said Google CFO Ruth Porat.

Besides EDP, founding signatories of the Compact include: 8 Rivers Capital, The AES Corporation, ClearTrace, the city of Des Moines, Iowa, EDP, Energy Tag, Fervo Energy, FlexiDAO, Google, the government of Iceland, Iron Mountain, the city of Ithaca, New York, LevelTen Energy, M-RETS, Orsted, Power Ledger, Tomorrow, and X. Signatories of the Compact commit to advance the procurement practices, market mechanisms, policies, technologies, and energy data transparency needed to enable the rapid and cost-effective achievement of 24/7 carbon-free energy for all.

EDP highlighted with clean energy investments

Joining this pact launched by Google and SEforALL was one of the initiatives in which EDP was involved in the UN Global Compact during the week that the United Nations dedicated to energy. EDP, the only Portuguese company present, participated in two more relevant moments of this global conference promoted by the UN that brought together heads of state, business leaders, experts and representatives of the United Nations to discuss the climate emergency, social inequalities and the need to rebuild a more just and equitable world based on international cooperation.

Through the CFO Task Force, a committee of financial administrators set up to boost the Sustainable Development Goals of which EDP is a member, a commitment to jointly invest more than €400 billion was undertaken to help achieve the goals set by the United Nations (UN) on the first day of September. EDP, represented by Rui Teixeira, is the only Portuguese company at this level in the group, which started with a campaign at the UN Global Compact last week to gather more and more voices in favor of sustainable financial policies.

In the context of this UN Global Compact, the task force will launch a coordinated campaign to mobilize hundreds of companies for the adoption of the same type of strategies in the coming years. Only in this way will it be possible to create a financial support that ensures compliance with the SDDs.

"With the intervention in the UN Global Compact CFO Task Force for the SDGs, EDP reaffirms its unequivocal and clear commitment to sustainability and, in particular, decarbonization. The group has pioneered the focus on renewable energy and continues to build a path to a more sustainable future for all, in which the UN-defined SDDs play a crucial role. It is in this context that our financial policy is also increasingly aligned with the ambitious energy transition goals we have assumed," said Rui Teixeira, CFO of EDP.

In addition to the intervention in the CFO Task Force, EDP was also featured in the presentation of its own compact – 'All Green by 2030' – on the 22nd, where it highlighted two important sustainability commitments.

On the one hand, it announced a significant increase in investment in energy access projects in developing countries, pledging to allocate a total of 22.5 million euros over the next five years to this area. This amount represents an important increase over the seven million invested by EDP in the Access 2 Energy (A2E) area between 2018 and 2020. At least 20 million euros of this total are intended for investment in companies, already installed and promising, with solutions for access to energy in emerging markets, aiming at the promotion of sustainable energy for all. EDP thus follows a strategy initiated in 2018 and which has so far culminated in the acquisition of three companies operating in Mozambique, Malawi, Nigeria and Bangladesh.

The remaining 2.5 million euros will be allocated to the A2E Fund, also set up in 2018 to support projects that, through clean energy, contribute to the social, economic and environmental development of communities in developing countries. The amount announced in the UN Global Compact compared to the one million eurso global support granted so far. The A2E Fund, which is in its third edition, focuses on five areas (education, health, water and agriculture, business and community) and has so far supported 13 projects in five African countries (Mozambique, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania and Nigeria), which have directly impacted more than 65,000 people and more than one million indirectly.

In the same presentation made by the group's executive chairman, Miguel Stilwell d'Andrade, also reaffirmed the commitment to invest in projects that allow it to have 100% renewable production capacity, be carbon neutral by 2030 and free on coal by 2025. Commitments that are thus officially recognised by the UN as well.

"This Energy Compact is a commitment that represents our effort to contribute to the advancement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), namely Objective 7, coupled with renewable and affordable energies. These commitments reinforce our vision as a global energy company to lead the energy transition, protect the planet and support the development of communities around the world," said Miguel Stilwell d'Andrade.

For more on the UN Global Compact, go to the website.