Energy utilities hold the key to reducing emissions – help us move the sector!

| 24 November 2016
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Short-term consultants needed to test transition planning guidance with energy utility companies and investors–£5,500 (Europe) $7,000 (North America)
Preventable Surprises is a nonprofit ‘think-do’ tank seeking to accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy in a timeframe that restricts global warming to not more than 2°C. The lever we pull is with investors and the companies they own. Our argument to investors, which aligns with the thinking of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure, is that climate change creates systemic risks (physical, transition, legal) across a diversified portfolio that cannot be avoided by hedging or stock picking. Hence investors have a fiduciary responsibility to take action on climate change. We ask them to do this by voting for resolutions calling for companies to develop transition plans to a low carbon economy.
We are taking a sector-by-sector approach because this is the best way to get around the weaknesses of inter-governmental decision-making. We are focusing on the energy utility sector because it is the largest consumer of fossil fuels and it is already facing significant regulatory and technology disruption. In parallel with encouraging investors to put down AGM resolutions asking companies to prepare transition plans to a low carbon economy, we have drafted guidance on transition planning for the energy utility sector.
We are seeking two consultants, one based in Europe and the other in North America, to test the guidance note with senior management in selected energy utility companies and with relevant investors over the two-month period January-February 2017. Consultants, who are likely to have a background as energy utility analysts, strategic planners within the energy utility sector or similar, should have:
  • Excellent contacts at a senior level which will allow for in-depth interviews with at least 7 energy utility sector companies in the chosen region, including a mix of ‘leaders’, ‘mid-range movers’ and ‘laggards,’ and with at least 5 portfolio managers and investment research specialists (credit rating and sell side) who cover this sector.
  • A good understanding of the likely trends in the business environment (technology, climate regulation, new entrants etc.) and energy utility responses to them.
  • Intellectual agility to process and respond to feedback and to understand the drivers underlying it, and then convey it in a concise form to Preventable Surprises.
  • Minimum conflicts of interests and a willingness to be fully transparent about these.
  • Ability to allocate about 50% of time in this period.
These roles might be well suited to recently retired professionals with suitable expertise. Please send short proposals to Carolyn Hayman (Chair, Preventable Surprises), at [email protected], stating your credentials, and target companies and investors. Deadline for proposals is 18th December 2016.