He also highlighted the need for all economic sectors to work together to curb climate change
Ignacio Galán speaks at the UN to highlight the employment and welfare opportunities brought about by a low carbon economy
- The Chairman of Iberdrola took part in a forum sponsored by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, during the General Assembly in New York
The Chairman of Iberdrola, Ignacio Galán, attended a high-level meeting hosted by the UN Secretary-General, as part of the opening of the UN General Assembly in New York and the celebration of Climate Week in the city.
In his speech, Galan stressed the key role the electricity sector can play in achieving a low-carbon economy, even though it only represents 25% of global emissions. The company's Chairman believes that "electricity provides a great opportunity to achieve quick and effective decarbonisation, leading to an electrification of the economy that could spur employment and prosperity."
At the forum, which was attended by the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, and which was entitled Financing the 2030 Agenda: Unlocking Prosperity, Ignacio Galán explained that "the fight against climate change is a shared responsibility that must involve every sector of the economy. Together we can make a significant contribution by taking advantage of the opportunities provided by a clean economy and by developing regulatory frameworks that will attract investment and create value for everyone."
The Chairman of Iberdrola also asserted that "electricity offers a great opportunity for a fast and cost-efficient way to reduce emissions." "Investment in clean generation, such as wind and hydroelectric power, as well as in smart grids, entails a social dividend through the creation of employment and well-being," he explained.
Iberdrola has invested $100 billion in this area since 2000 and has managed to reduce its specific emissions in Europe by 75%. As a result of this strategy, the company's emissions are currently 70% lower than its competitors.
Within the framework of the United Nations 2030 Agenda, Galán also took the opportunity to emphasise the importance of partnerships, as reflected in Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 17: "There is a clear need for public-private collaboration."
Iberdrola at New York Climate Week
Ignacio Galán's appearance at the United Nations Assembly is part of Iberdrola's participation in Climate Week NYC, where the company is playing a very prominent role.
Iberdrola has signed an agreement to work alongside Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), a United Nations platform promoting access to sustainable energy, with the aim of ensuring universal and affordable access to safe, modern energy, in line with the UN SDG 7.
With this agreement, signed by Ignacio Galán and the platform's CEO, Rachel Kyte, Iberdrola will support SEforALL's call to accelerate the provision of electricity to ensure universal access to sustainable energy services through different collaboration projects.
The company is also the main private supporter of a conference on the Global Pact for the Environment being organised by Columbia University this week. In addition, Iberdrola is actively involved in a number of other initiatives including: the Sustainable Development Impact Summit, organised by the World Economic Forum; the committee of the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition, an initiative promoted by the World Bank and the UN Global Compact platform Pathways to Low Carbon and Resilient Development.
Iberdrola, committed to the SDGs
Iberdrola has incorporated the United Nations 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into its business strategy and Sustainability Policy.
In line with its activities, Iberdrola focuses its efforts on the provision of affordable and clean energy (Goal 7) and climate action (Goal 13).
The company also contributes to the rest of the SDGs. Iberdrola's contribution to the social and economic development of the communities in which it operates and to environmental protection is rendered through a sustainable energy business model.
In fact, its commitment to sustainability has made Iberdrola a benchmark in indices such as FTSE4Good and the Climate Disclosure Leadership Index. Its sustainability, efficiency and competitiveness are factors that have led Iberdrola to become the only European power company present in all 18 editions of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.
Furthermore, the Group contributes directly to ensuring clean water and sanitation (Goal 6); it has raised its investment in R&D&I to 211 million euros in 2016 (Goal 9); it promotes respect for terrestrial ecosystems (Goal 15); and works to build alliances to meet the established goals (Goal 17).
In relation to this last point, Iberdrola's participation in the Shire Alliance deserves special mention. This is the first public-private partnership in humanitarian action created in Spain, and its objective is to guarantee access to energy for refugees and displaced populations.