Iain Conn, Centrica Group Chief Executive, spoke in Brussels yesterday at the launch of the World Economic Forum Global Energy Index.
The index ranks 127 countries on their progress towards clean, secure and competitive energy systems.
Speaking alongside European Commission Vice-President Šefčovič and Lord Adair Turner, Iain welcomed the index and said it was an important point of reference to see how the world is performing.
He also commented on the drivers for energy transition identified in the report: “I fully agree that consistency of direction, philosophy and regulation is essential for businesses. Over the past ten years the EU policy framework has given us some degree of certainty on the long-term trajectory. Policymakers should however watch out for the risk of overregulation.”
Speaking for the European Commission, Vice President Šefčovič referred to the goals of his Clean Energy Package launched last year which aims to integrate renewables into the energy system and create a level playing field for all technologies. Centrica has welcomed the package. He spoke about the need to double R&D spend to focus on clean technologies and renewable energy.
Finally Iain stressed the need for a stronger carbon price across the EU – which could accelerate the energy transition. Šefčovič agreed that the current carbon price is not right and floated the idea of linking international carbon trading systems together for more efficiency.
European countries hold 14 of the top 20 ranks on the index. Switzerland comes first, followed by Norway and Sweden. The UK holds the 15th position, followed by Ireland. However, other countries such as Mexico and Uruguay have made significant improvements.