Clarissa Lins moderates debate with Patrick Pouyanné on energy transition and climate

April 2018

Total's global CEO participates in a discussion with experts in an event moderated by the founding partner of Catavento


The event “Energy transition and climate-related challenges” was held on April 5, 2018 by TotalEnergies, a global energy company, and by CEBRI – Brazilian Center for International Relations, within the scope of its Energy Working Group, led by Jorge Camargo and Clarissa Lins.

The debate included the participation of Patrick Pouyanné – Global CEO of TotalEnergies, David Zylbersztajn – Partner-Director of DZ Negócios com Energia – and Izabella Teixeira – senior fellow of CEBRI and former minister of the Environment. Clarissa Lins, founding partner of Catavento and senior fellow at CEBRI, in addition to moderating the debate, led the opening of the event, listing relevant challenges and opportunities to be addressed.

Patrick Pouyanné, as president of a global energy company, recognized the responsibility of the O&G sector in relation to greenhouse gas emissions and stressed that the sector should see this as an opportunity to be part of the solution, not just the problem. It also ensured that Total continually adapts its business strategy and long-term vision to global market trends and society’s expectations through: (i) divestment of coal assets, (ii) focus on natural gas, including for generation of electricity, and low-cost and highly competitive oil, such as the Brazilian pre-salt, and (iii) commitment to having 20% ​​of the portfolio in low-carbon energy by 2040.

David Zylbersztajn, on his turn, highlighted that energy transitions were part of human history, where the most profound took place in the 20th century, with the transition from coal to oil. Furthermore, he highlighted the role of cities as a locus for major transformations in the way energy is produced and consumed. On the other hand, Izabella Teixeira challenged the O&G sector to take the lead and seek, through cooperation, to increase Brazil’s ambition in the transition to a low-carbon economy.

The opening speech given by Clarissa Lins follows:

“The latest available data show that Brazilian emissions of greenhouse gases rose once again in 2016, due to the increase in deforestation and this undoubtedly represents one of the main challenges for Brazilian society. Emissions from land use account for 51% of our emissions (2016), with the share of deforestation alone accounting for 48%. On the other hand, emissions from energy use are led here in Brazil by our transport matrix (42%), which is still dependent on diesel to cover long distances.

If we look to the future and the projections used in the Paris negotiations, however, we will see that the energy sector will become the biggest source of emissions, assuming success in combating deforestation – something essential for thinking about progress.

In this context, the theme of energy transition enters the Brazilian agenda of the energy sector with a peculiar configuration. Our energy matrix already has 46% renewables in its mix, thanks to the historic role of biomass and hydroelectric generation, the latter which cannot be replicated in the future due to socio-environmental restrictions. Our challenge is, therefore, to reliably increase the primary energy supply needed to support economic growth, based on an increasingly diversified mix and with an emissions profile compatible with the commitments assumed at COP21.

What moves us, then, to discuss this topic?

There are several factors and I list just a few here, as we have more than special debaters to make this morning an unforgettable exchange of ideas and perceptions.

– How to ensure the growing supply of safe, clean and affordable energy, given that we still have around 10 million people living without access to modern energy services and that we expect to grow back consistently?

– What role should be played by our vast oil and gas reserves, which have already proven to be competitive – for those who had doubts, the success of the last auction was absolute and categorical – and which should represent around 43% of our energy needs primary 10 years from now?

– How to support the expressive development of intermittent renewable sources, such as wind and solar, whose inclusion in the electric mix is ​​already a reality?

– What is the role to be played by natural gas in this transition – confirming the intermittence of renewable and seasonal sources, for example?

– What will be the impact of new technologies on changes in energy consumption habits?

– How to conduct a healthy and fact-based debate with Brazilian society about the future of energy and its implications for the climate?

– What to expect from global companies installed and operating here?”

For the event’s consolidation report, click here. (Available in Brazilian Portuguese only)

(Image source: Total / Kiko Cabral)



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