'Moving the Ball Forward' on Clean Energy, Climate Equity
Edison International demonstrates leadership, urgent action and commitment to zero emissions at UN climate conference in Egypt.
The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, known as COP27, has been marked by discord over topics such as the struggle to maintain a commitment to global warming limits. There has also been good news, including an agreement between the United States and China to cooperate again on climate change issues.
Amid those potential distractions, Edison International’s delegation at COP27 kept its eye on the ball, with a packed agenda of meetings with global leaders and its own continued leadership in the drive for a clean energy future.
“COP is an excellent environment to share ideas with other leaders from around the globe, to demonstrate our commitment to what needs to be done and frankly to keep the ball moving forward,” said Pedro Pizarro, Edison International president and CEO. He spoke at an event billed as “A Recharged U.S. Climate & Energy Landscape,” one of eight COP27 panel discussions featuring the Edison leader.
Pizarro expressed satisfaction that the U.S. has followed the example set by the state of California by committing to specific actions to reduce carbon emissions. He also expressed hope other nations will follow.
“As we look at California as an example for the world, and we’re about the fifth largest economy, one of the things we did early in my CEO tenure was look at what it would take to have the whole economy, not just our sector, get to net zero (carbon emissions) by 2045,” Pizarro said. “And the punchline is that we see that using clean energy to power the economy, mostly electricity, using clean fuels where it’s hard to electrify, is the most affordable and the fastest way to get to net zero.
“What is really needed now is a greater sense of urgency,” Pizarro said, pointing to Pathway 2045 and Mind the Gap, two groundbreaking analyses of the steps necessary to decarbonize California’s economy and help avoid catastrophic damage from climate change.
Also representing Edison at COP27 were Drew Murphy, Edison International senior vice president of Strategy, Corporate Development and Sustainability, and Caroline Choi, Edison International and SCE senior vice president of Corporate Affairs.
“We have been participating in panels and individual meetings to promote the critical role of the electric industry in helping the U.S. meet its commitment to achieving 50-52% economywide emission reductions by 2030,” Choi said. “Much of the focus is on implementation, and it has been encouraging and energizing to see the work underway to meet these ambitious goals.”
With predictions of an impending global recession looming over COP27, questions about the costs of transitioning to a clean energy economy persist. As Pizarro has often said, “The cost is high, but the cost of inaction is greater.”
One challenge is to make sure those costs don’t fall disproportionately on the poorest consumers of energy. Edison’s COP27 delegation stressed that the transition can not only be affordable in the long run, but equitable as well.
“Yes, there are investments up front that need to be made,” Pizarro said. “But our analysis sees the average consumer energy bill — natural gas, gasoline, electricity — decrease by one-third in real terms by 2045.”
To learn more about Edison International’s commitment to a clean energy future, visit edison.com/clean-energy.
For more information about Edison at COP27, visit edison.com/COP27