The road to Net Zero is not easy, but one company has proved it is more than possible.

ERG moved from an oil refinery to a renewable energy company, delivering £1 billion in dividends over the decade and taking shareholders on the journey with them.

Head of Public Affairs Luca Bragoli discussed the transition with three other experts on the Herald’s latest Innovation for Recovery webinar which you can watch here

He was joined by Claire Mack, chief executive of Scottish Renewables; Professor Jim Skea, co-chair of Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Catharina Hillenbrand von der Neyen, head of company research at Carbon Tracker.

The panel talked about what is involved in the journey to Net Zero, creating what one participant referred to as ‘The Playbook” for change with their shared insight.

ERG’s model of transition to a green champion in the industry inspired a debate around the challenges facing companies, investors and communities.

Claire Mack highlighted the importance of community involvement in order to share the benefits of renewable energy; Jim Skea added the public had to lead the way to inspire change in businesses and investor habits.

They highlighted the importance of government and country leaders doing “what it takes” and providing the policy incentives needed. Businesses and whole economies – not just governments – will be the ones to action the transition to net zero, so the policies have to reflect that.

Partnership working is key, all panellists agreed. ERG is an example of an Italian-Scottish partnership and the COP26 event in Scotland next year is an ideal forum to inspire more collaboration.

A fair and just transition is critical -  panellists shared views on what it takes to share benefits across communities, the workforce, the skills providers, the environmental protectors,  the builders and the planners.

Watch the international panel discussion here and enjoy the Herald Innovation for Recovery webinar.

Claire Mack, Chief Executive, Scottish Renewables, said: “It was great to be able to bring together thinking in this webinar from people across the spectrum who are working on the solutions to climate change. This is exactly what it’s going to take to get to Net Zero – working together and learning as we go. A pleasure to be part of such an esteemed panel. “

“Scottish Renewables is working on behalf of ERG and all our other members to create the best possible environment for the deployment of renewables here in Scotland. Scotland has led the way to date in decarbonisation of its electricity demand. Renewable energy will continue to be at the heart of our journey to a low carbon economy here and across the rest of the world. In renewable energy Scotland really can, and does, lead the world.”

Professor Jim Skea CBE FRSA FEI HonFSE, Professor of Sustainable Energy at Imperial College London's Centre for Environmental Policy and Chair of the Just Transition Commission said: “This event started to dig below the surface in terms of the business role in a just transition to net zero. With the publication of Scotland’s updated Climate Change Plan, it gives a real insight into the ways that the business community and companies like ERG can play their part”.

Catharina Hillenbrand Von Der Neyen, Head of Company Research, Carbon Tracker, said: “The next phase of the energy transition requires profound rethink by companies and their shareholders. Carbon Tracker focuses on financial risk of the energy transition and strategic and financial implications for companies. In this webinar we share our thoughts on transition pathways, how investors will drive alignment and consistency and what managements should consider.”

  • This article was brought to you in partnership with the Herald's Climate For Change campaign