France The most important climate summit so far has started in Paris. But the recent attacks on the French capital have cast a shadow over the meeting.

On Monday, 30 November, the UN climate change conference in Paris begins, under heavy surveillance from security guards, police and military.

The UN conference gathers thousands of delegates from 195 member states. Over 12 days, a new international carbon emissions agreement will be negotiated with the aim to limit global climate change.

Support FOR open society
The conference starts less than three weeks after the terrorist attacks that claimed more than 130 lives. 

Sabine Froning, Head of PRA & Stakeholder Relations at Vattenfall says that the fact that the climate change conference is being carried out in spite of the circumstances does not only show the urgency of the issue but should also be seen as a statement in support of an open society.

“The Paris meeting has been described as the most important climate summit so far. It’s a historic opportunity to forge a global partnership uniting rich and poor countries from all corners of the world, and to overcome all differences in an effort to preserve the environment we live in. Therefore it is vital to show that we do not give in to threats of violence but support openness and dialogue,” she says.  

Arena for sustainable innovations and solutions
Vattenfall is a main sponsor of the biggest business side event, the Sustainable Innovation Forum, which is organized by the UN environment program, UNEP, and the organization Climate Action. The Forum expects 750 participants from industry and society during two days, on 7 and 8 December. The Forum aims to be an arena where leaders in business, government, finance and NGO:s can connect to catalyse sustainable innovation and solutions.

Vattenfall has restricted travel for its staff for trips to Paris, and the company’s program and participation has been adjusted accordingly. For example, twelve pupils from the Swedish school project Gnistan (the Spark) will present their energy innovations for the future live in Stockholm and via video at the Sustainable Innovation Forum instead of travelling to Paris. 

However, the program stands as planned for CEO Magnus Hall and CFO Ingrid Bonde.

Ingrid Bonde will participate in several panels and discussions at the Sustainable Innovation Forum.  On Monday 7 December she will take part in a panel discussion on carbon pricing.

“True commercial incentives, such as the European Emissions Trading System, ETS, are important mechanisms to make the transformation to renewable energy production happen,” Ingrid Bonde says. “We believe a price tag on carbon dioxide production is needed, and that ETS is a functioning and established mechanism that can help enable this development”

Other panel members at the carbon pricing discussion include Germany’s Minister for the Environment Barbara Hendricks and New Zeeland’s Hon Tim Groser, Minister for Climate Change Issues.

On Wednesday, 9 December, Magnus Hall will be part of a CEO round-table discussion organised by the International Emissions Trading Association IETA.

The UN's Climate Change Conference is held between 30 November and 11 December.

Gnistan is a Vattenfall-supported school project for 8th graders on sustainable energy solutions. During the project period the 14-year-old pupils learn about energy and develop their own ideas on how the energy issue could be solved in the future.

More information about COP21 and Vattenfall at COP21 and the Sustainable Innovation Forum

Related content