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Reaction: Industry hopeful after COP21 -- updated 17 December

WORLDWIDE: Time will tell how effectively it will keep CO2 levels down, but the 'historic' and 'positive' approach of the Paris Agreement to carbon reduction is good news for renewables, according to the industry.

French foreign minister Laurent Fabius brings down the gavel as 195 representatives approve climate agreement
French foreign minister Laurent Fabius brings down the gavel as 195 representatives approve climate agreement

Turning point

Thomas Richterich, CEO Onshore, Siemens Wind Power and Renewables: "The Paris Agreement marks a historic turning point and represents a strong signal towards political support of a long-term path to decarbonization and confidence that governments will progressively raise their emissions reductions commitments.

"With our innovative approach to provide solutions and products for the full life cycle of wind power plants, as well as other energy efficiency solutions, Siemens is uniquely positioned to contribute to this important opportunity."


Positive effect for wind

Morten Dyrholm, vice president, head of public affairs, Vestas: "The Paris Agreement is a positive step in the right direction and will accelerate the momentum that wind energy and other renewables have built in recent years, and thus further strengthen the foundation for investments in renewable energy.

"On top of that, the agreement’s aspects around individual country climate plans, transparency and five-year contributions will help create the stability and trust necessary for achieving long-term progress.

"To this end, we believe the deal will in the long run positively affect Vestas, wind energy and other renewables, but also that the deal won’t have much short-term effect on our business."


Ambitious plan

John Childs, head of business development in EMEA, Envision Energy: With the agreement, there is an ambitious plan for investments in wind energy in the global effort to combat climate change. The agreement will result in an increased commitment throughout the world since we need to stand together if we are to solve the challenges related to global warming.

"We are extremely optimistic. There are no doubts that the cost of wind energy has become competitive with other energy sources, so wind power can both contribute and is efficient energy to support our global energy demand. 


Channelling investment

Statement from Gamesa: "We welcome this agreement as it marks a watershed in the global battle against climate change by setting a universal and legally-binding target of keeping global warming below 2ºC between now and the end of the century.

"Moreover, it establishes financing mechanisms for channelling investment towards consolidated carbon-light technologies, such as wind energy."

Critical role

Tulsi Tanti, chairman, Suzlon: "Renewable sources of energy will play a critical role in emission reduction and make a real impact on mitigating climate change risks.  I urge all countries to collaborate in order to a build a sustainable future."

Watershed for energy transition

Adnan Z Amin, director general International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA): "IRENA welcomes the Paris Agreement as a watershed for the global energy transition.

"But to meet the ambition set forth in the agreement, accelerating the deployment of renewable energy across all sectors must start now."

Industry is ready

Steve Sawyer, CEO, Global Wind Energy Council: "Although the actions pledged fall woefully short of what is required to achieve the goal of keeping global mean temperature rise ‘well below 2ºC above pre-industrial levels and to pursue effort to limit the temperature increase to 1.5ºC’, the agreement gives us the framework where we can continue to address this issue and ratchet up our ambition as we replace our fossil-fuel driven economy with one powered by the wind and the sun.

"The global wind industry is ready to play our part in the rapid transformation of our global energy system."



Peter Kelley, Vice President of Public Affairs for AWEA: "This is truly a historic agreement by the countries of the world to reduce carbon pollution. The US, like the rest of the world, is clearly in the market for climate solutions, and American wind power is the biggest, fastest, cheapest way to cut carbon pollution and cut costs for consumers at the same time."

Opportunities for expansion

Giles Dickson, Chief Executive Officer, EWEA: "This deal is good for the climate, it's good for the economy and it's good for business.

"It shows governments are seriously committed about decarbonising the energy sector and moving to renewables such as wind power.

"Europe's leadership in wind combined with the major new commitments on renewables from emerging economies gives us a golden opportunity to further expand our flourishing export industry.

"The European wind industry has a 40% share of wind markets outside Europe today. So the INDC commitments on wind could create major new jobs and growth in Europe.

"But to exploit these opportunities the European wind industry will need to keep its competitive edge - and that will require a vibrant home market for wind."

No action, just promises

James Hansen, climate change scientist: "It’s a fraud really, a fake.

"There is no action, just promises. As long as fossil fuels appear to be the cheapest fuels out there, they will continue to be burned."

Innovative era

Ernest Moniz, US Energy Secretary: "This agreement shows that the world is ready to move towards an innovative era of reductions in heat-trapping emissions that will put us on a path to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

"The agreement puts in place a framework to keep global warming below the most dangerous levels. Innovation-driven lower clean energy costs will underpin increased ambition on climate, while enabling life-changing energy services to the poor and enhanced global energy security."

Clear signal

Amber Rudd, UK Energy Secretary: "This deal will ensure all countries are held to account for their climate commitments and gives a clear signal to business to invest in the low carbon transition."

Rudd also told the BBC: "Countries have agreed to do this. They have to come forward with the proposals and what you saw at the conference over the past few weeks was the support from civil society, NGOs (non-governmental organisations) and critically from businesses who are going to help pay for this."

Game changer

Jim Yong Kim, president, World Bank: "This is extraordinary. It’s a game changer.

"I could never have imagined that we could get there. It forces us to rethink what we do."

Shift to low-carbon

Tom Burke, chairman of environmental thinktank E3G: "The political risk of not acting has gone up a lot, and and the political costs of doing things has gone down a lot, as renewables have got cheaper and cheaper and cheaper.

"So it’s easier for governments to make the commitments that are necessary to to drive us forward. [There] is a clear sense that the world is now going to tackle climate change change, and go further and faster than it has done in the past.

"That means that investors are going to start shifting their investments from high-carbon into low-carbon."

Fossil fuel on wrong side of history

Kumi Naidoo, executive director, Greenpeace International: "The wheel of climate action turns slowly, but in Paris it has turned.

"There’s much in this deal that frustrates and disappoints me, but it still puts the fossil fuel industry squarely on the wrong side of history.

"The deal won’t dig us out of the hole we’re in, but it makes the sides less steep."

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