Towards net zero

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the fragilities of the global socio-economic system whose imbalances will leave a clear mark in the years to come, highlighting the need to act and continue moving towards an increasingly sustainable development model. In this context of uncertainty, economic players, politicians and civil society seem to have become aware of the imbalance in global priorities and of the need for a shift towards sustainability, taking into account the needs of all stakeholders.

With this in mind, governments and institutions have turned their efforts to emergency management with the imperative objective of protecting people, while at the same time seizing the opportunity to integrate a commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals into international recovery strategies.

Just as pandemic recovery will require as systemic and globally coordinated a response as possible among governments, climate change must also be addressed by considering the indirect environmental and social consequences that have amplified the impact of the pandemic risk. Alongside the combat against Covid-19, in fact, pollution and climate change remain two of the global priorities, also in light of the fact that the effects of the pandemic, and according to some studies also the causes, have been exacerbated by air pollutants, rising temperatures and loss of biodiversity.

In September 2020, the European Council presented NextGenerationEU, which will help repair the damage caused by the pandemic to create a post-Covid-19 Europe that is greener, more digital, resilient and fit for present and future challenges, setting specific parameters for the use of funds aligned with those of the European Green Deal. Innovations also continue on the climate change front: following the February 2021 elections, the United States rejoined the Paris Agreement and China announced in September 2020 that it would achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.

Achieving the global climate targets, which many countries have announced or are working on for the next 30 years, requires significant investment in the decarbonisation of the energy sector, which faces a twofold challenge: on the one hand, accompanying the recovery by securing energy supplies; on the other hand, preparing for an epochal transformation, which sees energy transition as the fundamental tool for combating climate change.

The difficult context of 2020 has highlighted the need for an integrated economic response that puts health and sustainability first. It is clear, therefore, that recovery and a return to a context of real growth will depend on the extent to which people, businesses and communities actively participate and are ready to set themselves ambitious goals such as combating inequalities, developing a green economy and spreading a model of sustainable consumption and development. Global institutions, especially the European ones, have confirmed and relaunched their commitment to combating climate change and developing a fair and resource-efficient society, making the evolution of the energy sector essential.

In this context, Snam is determined to play a leading role in achieving the objectives outlined at European and global level for the success of the energy transition and the creation of a sustainable economic model, seizing the opportunities that this important challenge offers.

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