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HandWiki. Energy Transitions Commission. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 14 June 2024).
HandWiki. Energy Transitions Commission. Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed June 14, 2024.
HandWiki. "Energy Transitions Commission" Encyclopedia, (accessed June 14, 2024).
HandWiki. (2022, November 29). Energy Transitions Commission. In Encyclopedia.
HandWiki. "Energy Transitions Commission." Encyclopedia. Web. 29 November, 2022.
Energy Transitions Commission

The Energy Transition Commission (ETC) is an international think tank, focusing on economic growth and climate change mitigation. It was created in September 2015 and is based in London. The commission currently contains 32 commissioners from a selection of individuals and company and government leaders.

climate change etc economic growth

1. Activities

The primary activity of the commission is publishing reports and position papers. They are typically supported by a body of readily available or explicitly commissioned data sets provided by various independent or industry-related organizations. The findings of reports are then reviewed through a broad consultation process within and outside of the commission. Finally, the report or position paper is redacted and generally understood to constitute the collective view of the ETC commission. Although individual commissioners may disagree with particular findings or recommendations, the general direction of the arguments developed in the publications is guided by consensus.[1]

2. Publications

Since its founding in 2015, the commission has published two extensive reports and half a dozen papers. For example, Pathways from Paris - Accessing the INDC Opportunity, is a 25 page study of INDCs (i.e. the plans developed by individual countries and submitted at the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference in Paris). This investigation highlighted the mechanisms various countries utilize in order to reduce emissions and identify opportunities for further reductions.[2] News outlets of general interest and the specialized press reported summaries of these reports. Both reports outlined below were cited as reference to several articles in a 2018 special report edition of The Economist magazine.[3]

2.1. Better Energy, Greater Prosperity

This 120 page report[4] recognized the opportunity to halve global carbon emissions by 2040. According to the report, it is possible to simultaneously ensure economic development and access affordable, sustainable energy for all, while reducing carbon emissions by half the current output.

The report suggested four strategies to be concurrently implemented:

  • Accelerate clean electricity access.
  • Decarbonize beyond power generation, using bioenergy, hydrogen, and carbon capture for industrial activities and transport modes which cannot be electrified in an economical fashion.
  • Improve energy productivity by targeting a 3% energy productivity per year (compared to 1.5% currently)
  • Optimize usage of remaining fossil fuel uses

According to the report, the strategies listed above would have reduced fossil fuel consumption by 30%, but 50% of energy needs would have needed to be met with fossil fuels. This, the report explained, could be solved by optimizing usage of these sources by switching from coal to gas, by preventing methane leakages, and by stopping routine flaring. Another area of optimization would come from carbon capture or sequestration such as underground storage, and finally a decrease in fossil fuel use.

The report suggested two solutions for energy policy:

  • Increased investment, keeping in mind that the investment required by the transition is estimated to be between $300-600 billion USD annually. At this level, the cost would not cause a significant macroeconomic challenge, relative to the approximately $20 trillion in anticipated savings and investments annually. The issue is more one of a shift in the mix of investments: moving away from fossil fuels and toward low carbon technologies and energy-efficient equipment and infrastructure.
  • Public governance, with the introduction of coherent and predictable policies which favour the energetic transition, along with the phasing out of fossil fuel subsidies and the introduction of carbon pricing.

2.2. Mission Possible

This 172 page report[5] focused on the "hard to abate sectors", namely:

  • Heavy industry: cement, steel and plastics
  • Heavy duty transport: heavy road transport, maritime shipping, and aviation

Collectively, these sectors currently represent approximately 30% of energy emissions, with the potential to increase to 60% by 2050 (due to the reduction of the share owed to other sectors, and to the demand growth in these hard to abate sectors).

The report concluded that full decarbonization of these sectors is feasible and the cost to the global economy would be less than 0.5% of GDP by 2050. It also identifies cement, plastics and shipping as the most challenging sectors, due to process emissions, end-of-life emissions and the fragmented nature of the maritime industry respectively. The feasibility if not inevitability of some of these transitions, for example these concerning the industrial production of ammonia, are echoed (or in some cases originate from) the respective industry sectors.[6][7][8]

3. Funding

The ETC is funded by various businesses and organizations, including major oil and gas companies - this was a source of concern from many observers.[9] Current or past sponsors include Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BHP Billiton, Energy Systems Catapult, CO2 Sciences, the European Climate Foundation, the Grantham Foundation and the UN Foundation. Regardless of funding every Commissioner has an equal voice and participation in ETC activities.[10][11]

4. List of Commissioners

Current and past Commissioners
Start Date End Date Current Name Position Company / Organization References
2019-09-28   Y Badar Khan President National Grid Ventures  
2019-09-27   Y Siddar Sharma Group Chief Sustainability officer Tata  
2018-11-19   Y Dominic Emery Vice President, Group Strategic Planning BP [12]
2018-11-19   Y Lei Zhang CEO Envision Group [12]
2018-11-19   Y Mahendra Singhi Managing Director and CEO Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Limited [12]
2018-11-19   Y Nandita Parshad Managing Director, Energy and Natural Resources European Bank for Reconstruction and Development [12]
2018-11-19   Y Richard Lancaster CEO CLP Holdings Limited  
2018-11-19   Y Robert Trezona Partner, Head of Cleantech IP Group  
2018-11-19   Y Will Gardiner CEO DRAX [12]
2018-11-19   Y Zoe Knight Managing Director and Group Head, Centre of Sustainable Finance HSBC [12]
2018-09-27   Y Andreas Regnell Senior Vice President, Strategic Development Vattenfall [12]
2018-03-26   Y Mark Laabs Managing Director Modern Energy [12][13]
2017-08-19   Y Zhang Lei CEO and founder Envision Group [14]
2017-04-25   Y Cathy Zoi President Odyssey Energ  
2017-04-25   Y Changwen Zhao Director General, Department of Industrial Economy Development Research Center of the State Council of China [15]
2017-04-25   Y Laurence Tubiana CEO European Climate Foundation  
2017-02-13   Y Laurent Auguste Senior Executive Vice-President, Innovation and Markets Veolia [12][15][16]
2017-02-13   Y Pierre-André de Chalendar Chairman and CEO Saint-Gobain [12][15][16]
2016-05-16   Y Auke Lont CEO (previously at Statoil) Statnett [12][15]
2016-05-16   Y Philip New CEO Catapult Energy Systems [12][15][17]
2020-01-01   Y Damilola Ogunbiyi CEO Sustainable Energy For All [12][15][17]
2016-03-16   Y Adair Turner Chair Energy Transitions Commission [10][12][15]
2016-03-16   Y Alex Laskey President and Founder Opower [18]
2016-03-16   Y Nigel Topping CEO We Mean Business .[12][15][18]
2015-09-28   Y Ajay Mathur Director General The Energy and Resources Institute ,[10][19]
2015-09-28   Y Andrew Steer President and CEO World Resources Institute ,[12][19]
2015-09-28   Y Chad Holliday Chairman Royal Dutch Shell [19]
2015-09-28   Y Jules Kortenhorst CEO Rocky Mountain Institute ,[12][15][19]
2015-09-28   Y Nicholas Stern Professor London School of Economics ,[12][15][19]
2015-09-28   Y Timothy Wirth Vice Chair United Nations Foundation ,[12][15][19]
2015-09-28   Y Zhao Changwen Director General Industrial Economy Development Research Center State Council China  
2019-09-28   N Lord Gregory Baker Executive Chairman of the board of directors EN+ [19]
2018-11-19   N Arvid Moss Executive Vice President, Energy and Corporate Business Development Hydro  
2018-11-19   N Gopi Katragadda Chief Technology Officer and Innovation Head Tata Sons  
2017-08-19   N Deb Frodl Global Executive Director GE Ecomagination  
2017-08-19 2018-11-19 N Didier Holleaux Executive Vice President ENGIE [12][20]
2017-04-25 2018-00-00 N Riccardo Puliti Senior Director, Energy and Extractives Global Practice World Bank  
2017-02-13 2018-00-00 N Stuart Gulliver Group Chief Executive HSBC [15][16]
2016-05-16 2017-08-11 N Al Gore Chairman Generation Investment Management ,[15][17]
2016-05-16 2017-04-25 N Mukund Rajan Member Group Executive Council Tata [17]
2016-04-15 2017-01-00 N Kate Gordon Vice Chair for climate and sustainable urbanization Paulson Institute  
2016-04-15 2018-00-00 N Poppy Allonby Managing Director, Natural Resources BlackRock  
2016-03-16 2018-05-00? N Bernard David Chairman and CEO The Global CO2 Initiative ,[13][18]
2016-03-16 2017-09-00 N Purna Saggurti Chairman, Global Corporate and Investment Banking Bank of America Merrill Lynch  
2016-03-16 2017-12-00 N Tony Cudmore Chief Public Affairs Officer / Head of Sustainability and Public Policy BHP Billiton [14][18]
2016-03-16   N Yngve Slyngstad CEO Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) .[12][15][18]
2015-09-28 2017-04-00 N Anita George Senior Director Energy and Extractives World Bank Group [16]
2015-09-28   N Dean Dalla Valle Chief Commercial Officer BHP Billiton  
2015-09-28   N Hank Paulson Chairman Paulson Institute  
2015-09-28   N Jay Faison Founder ClearPath Foundation  
2015-09-28 2018-11-19 N Jean-Pascal Tricoire Chairman and CEO Schneider Electric [12][19]
2015-09-28 2018-00-00 N Kandeh Yumkella Former CEO Sustainable Energy For All (SE4All)  
2015-09-28   N Lorenzo Simonelli CEO General Electric, Oil & Gas [15]
2015-09-28 2018-00-00 N Peter Terium CEO RWE AG [19]
2014-08-01   N Johannes Meier CEO European Climate Foundation  
2014-08-01 2017-01-00 N Felipe Calderon Former President of Mexico    


  1. "Mission Possible report summary". ETC. November 2018. p. 4. 
  2. "ETC Position Paper and INDC Assessment published". ETC. April 2016. Retrieved 7 October 2019. 
  3. "Sources and Acknowledgements". The Economist. 29 November 2018. Retrieved 5 October 2019. 
  4. "Better Energy Greater Prosperity - Achievable pathways to low-carbon energy systems". ETC. April 2017. Retrieved 1 October 2019. 
  5. "Mission Possible - Reaching net-zero carbon emissions from harder to abate sectors by mid-century". ETC. November 2018. Retrieved 1 October 2019. 
  6. Brown, Trevor (17 January 2019). "Mission Possible: decarbonizing ammonia". Ammonia Industry blog. Retrieved 7 October 2019. 
  7. "Reaching Net Zero Emissions From the Cement Industry Sector is Possible by Mid Century". Concrete Decor Magazine. 8 May 2019. Retrieved 6 October 2019. 
  8. "Mission possible : but no time to waste". BioPlastic Magazine. 19 November 2018. Retrieved 6 October 2019. 
  9. "Shell-funded Energy Transitions Commission 'lacks credibility'". Carbon Tracker. 28 September 2015. Retrieved 6 October 2019. 
  10. "About ETC". ETC. October 2015. Retrieved 1 October 2019. 
  11. "Despite oil-industry past ETC foresees a full renewable future". RAEL. 25 April 2017. Retrieved 1 October 2019. 
  12. "ETC release 'Mission Impossible". ETC. 19 November 2018. Retrieved 3 October 2019. 
  13. "ETC who we are Apr 2018". ETC. 14 April 2018. Retrieved 3 October 2019. 
  14. "ETC who we are Nov 2017". ETC. 15 November 2017. Retrieved 3 October 2019. 
  15. "ETC press release". ETC. April 2017. Retrieved 3 October 2019. 
  16. "ETC who we are Feb 2017". ETC. 13 February 2017. Retrieved 3 October 2019. 
  17. "ETC who we are May 2016". ETC. 16 May 2016. Retrieved 3 October 2019. 
  18. "ETC who we are Mar 2016". ETC. 16 March 2016. Retrieved 3 October 2019. 
  19. "ETC who we are Sept 2015". ETC. 28 September 2015. Retrieved 3 October 2019. 
  20. "ETC who we are Aug 2017". ETC. 19 August 2017. Retrieved 3 October 2019. 
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