Climate change is essentially the result of a development model based on linear and forever increasing consumption of resources (“take – make – dispose”) in particular fossil energy sources, generating massive GHG emissions.
On the basis of our Group’s expertise, we see three actions that are crucial to reduce significantly greenhouse gas emissions :
1. Develop a new, circular model to use resourcesVeolia, an expert company committed to the environment, brings every day throughout the world concrete solutions for a more circular economy. The world needs resources for its development. Today we recover water, waste and energy. What is discarded by some becomes a resource for others. Thanks to technological innovations, eco-design and new consumption patterns, resources can be used several times. Through our activities we contribute to “Resourcing the World”, by developing access to essential resources, by preserving and replenishing them. The fight against climate change can be a source of value creation. Veolia designs and implements solutions enabling its clients to tackle environmental issues by supporting new economic and social dynamics that create jobs and that are more mindful of the men and women’s wellbeing.
2. Fostering the large scale development of a low-carbon and resilient economy through a two-fold principle that “the polluter pays” and and “whoever cleans up received help” and implement a predictable carbon priceA robust and predictable carbon price is the sine qua non condition to steer investment towards energy efficiency, renewable energies and on a broader scale to encourage using circular economy -as an alternative to fossil fuels.
This positioning was made tangible in September 2014 when signing two statements on Carbon pricing(one from the World Bank and one from the Carbon Price Communiqué), then in April 2015 with the Global Compact, the World Economic Forum, and the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition.
3. Combat Short Lived Climate Pollutants that have a strong heating power, especially methane
Calculated over a century, methane contribution to greenhouse gases is 14%, but calculated over 20 years, (which equates to its lifespan in the atmosphere), it is as high as 40%! In other words, if we want to achieve rapid results in reducing greenhouse gas emissions—and we know we have to act fast—we also have to combat this other source of air pollution. Bringing down levels of methane emissions would have a significant impact in the short term and must be tackled with as many resources and as much ambition as the sensitive issue of CO2.
Strong commitments to tackle climate change
Veolia has completed this three crucial actions with strong commitments, associated to objectives, that are based on solid and ancient basis. Thus the Group devotes the two first of its commitments to sustainable development to circular economy and climate:
- Sustainably manage natural resources by supporting circular economy: Achieve 3.8 billion euros revenue linked to circular economy in 2020.
- Contribute to combating climate change: achieve 100 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent of reduced emissions and achieve 50 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent of avoided emissions for the period spanning from 2015 to 2020; and capture over 60% of methane from the landfills we operate.
By adopting immediately the necessary measures to ensure the extensively deployment of already existing mitigation and adaptation solutions, the humankind could contain the increase in global temperature below 2°C, thus avoiding the human and economic consequences resulting from large scale climate disruption (floods, droughts, rise in temperature and sea level).