Enel CEO in New York for United Nations Climate Action Summit 2019

Published on Monday, 23 September 2019

  • Sustainable and just energy transition, climate finance, infrastructure and cities are among the main themes of this year’s UN Climate Summit
  • Enel was reconfirmed as a LEAD company of the UN Global Compact, which this year addresses sustainable finance, where Enel is at the forefront through the recent launch of the world’s first SDG-linked Bond Programme
  • The company recently committed to a 70% reduction in its direct greenhouse gas emissions per kWh by 2030, with the aim to achieve full decarbonisation by 2050
  • Enel continues to lead in renewables growth and energy infrastructure digitalisation worldwide


New York, September 23rd, 2019 – Enel is participating in the United Nations Climate Action Summit 2019, the UN’s most important global event on climate change, gathering corporate as well as policy leaders to address this challenge, also by pushing for the transformation of economies in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Summit, which is the first event of its kind to be convened by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, will focus on a set of action areas, including the energy transition, climate finance and carbon pricing, as well as infrastructure and cities, to boost ambition and accelerate action to implement the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Enel will play a major role at the Summit within the global business community, due to its accomplishments in sustainability, decarbonisation and innovative financing schemes towards the achievement of SDGs.

Climate change can be tackled today. The technologies and solutions are there, the financial community’s interest to push in that direction is also growing. We only need now the willingness and clarity of thought required to speed up the transition to a sustainable and decarbonised economy. Global events such as the UN Climate Summit are paramount in enabling governments to collectively take on the most demanding challenge of our time,” said Francesco Starace, Enel CEO and General Manager. “The business environment is expected to show determination and courage in taking difficult yet unavoidable choices linking sustainability to value creation. Enel’s strategy incorporates the achievement of SDGs within the company’s business model, and this full integration has contributed to Group growth as well as to the reduction of its risk profile. Today, we are the largest private operator of renewables and networks worldwide, as well as the largest European company by market capitalisation. Furthermore, our commitment to the achievement of SDGs allowed us to become a leading sustainable finance innovator through Enel’s recent launch of the first-ever SDG-linked Bond Programme. Sustainability and decarbonisation will continue to drive our growth as we move forward towards the accomplishment of our ambitious targets to reduce direct greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2030 and achieving full decarbonisation by 2050.”

Enel’s sustainability credentials have been further acknowledged by the decision of the UN Global Compact to once again reconfirm the Group as a LEAD company, a recognition Enel has held since 2011. The UN Global Compact is the main corporate sustainability initiative to drive forward the achievement of SDGs. This year, UN Global Compact discussions will focus, among other issues, on how corporations, working with capital market institutions, can meaningfully contribute, through financing, to the achievement of SDGs. To tackle this challenge, the Group has recently issued the world’s first General Purpose SDG-linked Bond Programme, leveraging on a new approach to capital markets that couples the Company’s sustainability performance with securities, expanding the scale of sustainable fi­nance and showing bondholders the impact of their investment on the company’s overall strategy.

Earlier this month, leading up to the Summit, in line with Enel’s 2050 full decarbonisation target, the company committed to a 70% reduction in its direct greenhouse gas emissions per kWh by 2030, from a 2017 base-year, following the April 2019 update of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi)[1]. Again in September, Enel was confirmed in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World) for the 16th year in a row. This leading sustainability index acknowledged Enel’s commitment towards a zero-emission energy model.

Today, Enel’s CEO is also attending the UN Private Sector Forum on Climate Change. Hosted by the UN Secretary-General and organised by the UN Global Compact, the event will gather Chief Executives, young climate leaders, Heads of State and Government as well as UN leaders, stirring a multi-stakeholder, intergenerational dialogue to share an urgent and collective course of action in tackling the climate crisis. On September 24th, Mr. Starace will attend the UN Global Compact Board Meeting, as the only Italian member.

Within the framework of the Summit, Enel will hold on September 24th its 17th #EnelFocusOn in New York City, to discuss the role of electrification in the push towards creating a zero-emissions future and providing access to clean energy for all (https://www.enel.com/media/news/d/2019/09/enel-new-york-decarbonisation-climate). Keynote speakers will be Francesco Starace and Rachel Kyte, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All, a worldwide network aimed at driving the transition to renewables and accelerating global access to clean energy. #EnelFocusOn are devised as informal meetings involving key players in the digital world to launch a dialogue about global challenges.

On September 25th, Francesco Starace will also participate in the 3rd annual Bloomberg Global Business Forum (GBF), which gathers key stakeholders like heads of state and government as well as CEOs to address threats from global warming to economic prosperity and examine the opportunities for solutions.

Mr. Starace will participate with other business leaders and heads of state in the Open Plenary and its Panels, including the Panel “Investing in a Low-carbon Future: Exploring Challenges and Opportunities in Emerging Markets”.

The Panel will discuss, among other themes, how to overcome barriers and scale low-carbon investment opportunities in emerging markets and actions related to the solutions recommended by the new Climate Finance Leadership Initiative (CFLI) report “Financing the Low Carbon Future”. The report is aimed at mobilising private climate finance at the scale and speed needed to support an orderly transition to a low-carbon economy. 

Mr. Starace will participate on September 26th in the UN Global Compact CEO Roundtable “Closing the Financial Gap - Mobilizing Corporate Strategy and Investments for the SDGs”. The roundtable, led by Amina J. Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General and Lise Kingo, CEO of the UN Global Compact, will gather business leaders and key stakeholders to discuss the major trends in sustainable finance and the opportunity to direct financial flows towards economic, social and environmental sustainability initiatives.