European Sustainable Energy Week Invites Alain Hubert to “Debate with Ambassadors” Panel

On Tuesday, June 11th, IPF Founder and President Alain Hubert was invited to participate in the “Debate with Ambassadors” panel at European Sustainable Energy Week 2024 (EUSEW24).

Billed as “a dynamic exchange between EUSEW Digital Ambassadors from different sectors,” participants on the panel exchanged views on topics related to the EU’s clean energy transition, increasing the implementation of technologies with net-zero impact, improving opportunities to develop renewables and energy efficiency, and the need to cooperate globally to enact meaningful climate action.

Alain’s experience as an engineer, polar explorer, and initiator of the Princess Elisabeth Antarctica, the world’s first (and to date only) zero-emission polar research station, helped bring insightful perspective to the discussions.

Ditte Juul Jørgensen, Director-General for Energy in the European Commission, moderated the panel, which also featured two other highly accomplisehd experts in their respective fields: Claire Roumet (Secretary General of Energy Cities - a network of local authorities, city officials and technical experts from over 30 countries who are leading the energy transition), and Tuomas Hooli (Chief Executive Officer of Winda Energy - an SME renewable energy project developer in Finland with a particular focus on local engagement in developing renewable energy projects).

In his first remarks to a full-capacity Alcide de Gasperi Room at the European Commission, Alain reminded attendees that even though our activity is the cause of the climate problem, we are also part of the solution.

The panel of experts fielded questions from attendees both in-person and online during the hour-long discussion.

Alain, Claire, and Tuomas proposed several approaches to consider during the panel discussion, including:

  • Developing and implementing ideas to reduce energy consumption and increase energy efficiency on a local level, as this is where changes can happen more easily and a real difference can be made (for example, Working with local experts such as engineers to find ways to address energy needs on a local level).
  • Diversifying energy solutions.
  • Organising more citizen assemblies to involve the general public in creating solutions and educating them about how they cna take action themselves.
  • Investing more in research and development.
  • Investing in making cities more resilient to the effects of climate change as they become more intense.
  • Investing in infrastructure (buildings, heating solutions, transport, etc.) to make them more energy-efficient, as well as infrastructure for electric vehicles (charging stations, service points, etc.) and other ancillary services.
  • Securing the raw material supply chains to develop the technologies needed for the Green Transition.
  • Implementing policies on the EU, national, and local level that help fund startups and entrepreneurs working on finding solutions to our energy issues, including using market design to help new startups gain a foothold.
  • Making the best use of the EU Single Market to increase European competitiveness.
  • Implementing existing technologies and solutions more effectively.
  • Optimising existing funding schemes.
  • Creating programmes for those with fewer means to participate in the upscaling needed to realise the green transition to make sure they stay on baord for further steps that may need to be taken to meet the EU's net zero by 2050 goals.
  • Investing more in scientific research to inform policymakers about what needs to be done.

You can watch the entire panel discussion on the EUSEW24 interactive platform.

The International Polar Foundation would like to thank the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) and the Directorate-General for Energy at the European Commission for the invitation to contribute to such a highly important discussion.