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Sustainability – At the Heart of CIGRE's Work

Konstantin Staschus, Mercedes Vazquez and Henk Sanders.

Sustainability – At the Heart of CIGRE's Work




Sustainability is a key driver of many developments world-wide, and quite notably for power systems, thanks to the December 2015 Paris Agreement on climate protection with its actionable worldwide consensus and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations in September 2015. CIGRE, as the ‘global expert community for electric power systems’, is engaged in supporting the SDGs, the Paris Agreement, and sustainability in general, and pursues sustainable electricity for all.

This reference paper describes how CIGRE contributes to global sustainability and the SDGs, partly by adhering to sustainable organizational practices itself, but even more importantly by supporting many SDGs through its global work related to energy, emissions, and climate change. This paper thus lays the foundation to focus CIGRE's work more systematically on sustainability; and for the Technical Council to include further aspects of sustainability in the next strategic plan on which CIGRE's work should focus.

The paper thus means to clarify both for CIGRE members, its Councils and Study Committees, and for external parties - governments, regulators, industry, academia -how CIGRE already supports the sustainability goals, and how we will take sustainability into account when defining our future work.

For the same reasons outlined above, most worldwide organizations related to energy are clarifying and emphasizing their contributions to sustainability; as one example we cite here the International Energy Agency (IEA), whose Executive Director Fatih Birol has published “Energy is at the heart of the sustainable development agenda to 2030” in March 2018, with the IEA website since tracking the energy contributions to the SDGs.


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