18 JUN

2020

Research Papers , SRI , Topics

A Just Energy Transition: Impacts on European Power Producers

European power generation companies are critical actors for the Just Transition to renewable energy. Candriam ESG analysts have surveyed and evaluated whether, and how, these companies are integrating the social consequences into their planning and decisions. Can we be comfortable that “no one is left behind”?

The European Union has embarked on a grand plan to decarbonise the European economy and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. This very ambitious but necessary objective will undoubtedly require a massive reallocation of resources -- human, financial, and regulatory -- from carbon-intensive activities to low-carbon or completely new realms. Some activities, such as thermal coal power generation, will be eliminated.

This industrial shift, like most industrial transformation, will make some jobs obsolete, while others will be in high demand.

Management of the social impact is a central challenge in the energy transition. The potential for unequal benefits and cost burdens is magnified by the uneven distribution of emission-intensity of power generation plants across countries. If Europe is to achieve its decarbonisation objective, the most carbon-intensive European countries in terms of power generation are likely to request assistance from the more efficient ones.