The prospect of rolling blackouts this winter could hamper the green transition, warn panellists

The challenges posed by the energy crisis are at odds with both public and private sector transition plans, according to panellists speaking at this morning’s plenary session at Ferma Forum 2022 in Copenhagen.

Titled ‘Transition Translated’, the discussion considered longer term sustainability responsibilities against the reality of an increasingly volatile risk landscape and challenging macroeconomic environment.

The challenge facing European corporates from an energy security perspective was front of mind. 

Emil Fannikke Kiaer, EVP, Political Affairs, Confederation of Danish Industry, submitted that such near-term concerns were not necessarily positive for the green transition, as solutions inevitably involve fossil fuels.

The economic situation was at the top of his list of risks for Danish businesses. “We have a perfect storm with rising inflation driven by the energy crisis and supply chain problems,” he said. “There is a lot of uncertainty for companies and the risk of lacking energy is a big risk for production facilities.” 

“It is important that the energy situation is dealt with this winter, as well as the next one.”

European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic acknowledged this and said the EU had to pull together to get through the energy crisis. Longer term, greater diversity of energy suppliers would become one way of improving resilience to future shocks.

He acknowledged there was a tendency for individual governments to want to protect and even stockpile their resources, but that the best solutions could be found by working together.

”The unity of Europe has never before been tested as it is being right now,” said Sefcovic. ”It is important to keep our political unity and take a uniform approach at a time when our opponents are trying to divide us.”