The Luxembourg Minister for Energy Claude Turmes captivated an audience of 150 delegates during LuxFLAG’s Breakfast Seminar at Spuerkeess on March 13th. In their introductions, Rudi Belli, Senior Vice President at Spuerkeess and Thomas Seale, Chairman of LuxFLAG, urged the need to act on climate change through finance. The speech by the Minister and discussion led by Nathalie Dogniez (Member of the LuxFLAG ESG Label Eligibility Committee and Partner at PwC), revealed key insights on Luxembourg’s national energy and climate plans as well as the role the financial sector has to play in the energy transition.
The Minister highlighted that innovation and collective action at several levels will help to move towards a carbon-neutral economy.
‘THE INNOVATION-RICH AND TECHNOLOGY-RICH WILL DOMINATE THE 21ST CENTURY, NO LONGER THE RESOURCE-RICH.’
With trillions flowing through the financial center, Luxembourg needs to remain frontrunner in green finance with the skills and expertise acquired over the past years. The Minister highlighted that transparency and high-quality labels will help the market progress. Instruments that de-risk green investments are key to advance the conversation. Upfront optimization remains the way to go, from the general product design to the granularities of the underlying assets, embracing a circular mindset.
‘WE NEED TO BE CIRCULAR, EVERY MATERIAL NEEDS TO HAVE A SECOND AND THIRD LIFE.’
The Minister urged that we are already 5 past 12, climate change being about everybody’s responsibility as a citizen. Change needs to come collectively, primarily through changes in our lifestyle. The Minister called upon the attendees to send their children to the climate strikes on Friday March 15th following the example of Greta Thunberg, a 16-year old climate activist from Sweden. Through a new University Chair on Sustainable Finance, Luxembourg will build on the developments of skills and university education.
‘MILLIONS OF YOUNG PEOPLE GO OUT ON THE STREETS WITH A CLIMATE FIRST MENTALITY, SETTING AN EXAMPLE’
Concrete action on different ends is needed from agriculture, forestry, transport to the building sector. The National Energy and Climate Plan (PNEC) foresees several measures in order to advance Luxembourg’s climate and energy strategy.
Luxembourg’s target is to get to 23-25% of renewable energy by 2030 and improve the CO2 footprint by 50% compared to 2005. This will be made possible amongst others through investments in electro-mobility, new wind turbines and solar PV.
Increasing taxation on diesel and gasoline in small steps and the introduction of subsidies for electric vehicles and cycles, as well as reforms on green finance taxation are some of the measures in the pipeline. In order to get the car industry on track, new innovation on the development of green batteries with 100% recyclable components and sustainable resource mining will soon improve current battery concerns of electric cars.
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