World Energy Council convenes key energy figures to launch Road to Congress series in Rotterdam


London/Rotterdam, 06 July 2023: Today, the World Energy Council brings together key stakeholders from across the energy spectrum to launch the Road to Congress series of events at City Hall in Rotterdam, in the lead up to the 26th World Energy Congress.

This morning’s event captures the spirit and excitement of the upcoming Congress and delivers a taster of the conversations, stories, and strategic moments of impact participants can look forward to when they convene in Rotterdam in April 2024. The insights from the conversations today will also help inform the agenda and programme at Congress.

Marking the start of the Road to Congress, today’s event includes discussions between a number of key energy leaders and stakeholders, including HE Minister Rob Jetten, World Energy Council Secretary General and CEO Dr Angela Wilkinson, Vice Mayor of Rotterdam Chantal Zeegers, and Chair of The Netherlands World Energy Council Member Committee Jeroen van Hoof.

The Road to Congress series spotlights the pivotal theme of ‘Redesigning Energy for People and Planet’ at a time when energy dominates global headlines, fostering debate around the importance of a clean and just energy transition.

The energy landscape of The Netherlands has changed dramatically since the government decided to stop producing natural gas from the fields in the province of Groningen. This has made the country much more dependent on imported sources of energy. With the war in Ukraine and energy prices surging, there has been an enormous increase in consumer awareness, speeding up the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.

The series, launched today in Rotterdam, chosen by the Council’s worldwide membership community as the city at the heart of Europe’s energy transition that consistently endorses innovation, is home to the continent’s largest smart port and world-leading energy economy. We encourage you to follow the Road to Congress series and to participate in the discussions. Together, we can build a better future for energy.

His Excellency Rob Jetten, Dutch Minister for Climate and Energy Policy, said:

“Redesigning energy is paramount for a global energy transition that is not only fast but also fair. This means everybody should be able to participate and take advantage of the energy transition.

As the energy systems of different countries are getting more and more intertwined, it is crucial we closely collaborate moving forward to a sustainable future. The World Energy Congress in April 2024 hosted by Rotterdam will be an important opportunity for countries, companies, knowledge institutions and NGOs to share their insights and best practices.”

Chantal Zeegers, Vice Mayor and Alder(wo)man for Climate, Building and Housing, City of Rotterdam, said:

“For the City of Rotterdam, hosting next year’s World Energy Congress on redesigning global energy fits in perfectly with our commitment to a fast and fair energy transition.

With our Climate Action Plan, we, as Rotterdam City Council, have mapped out what is needed to protect our city against climate change. We must roll up our sleeves even more to achieve our climate goals for 2030 and 2050. More good plans need to be made and implemented. To

this end, as a municipality, we engage in dialogue with residents, entrepreneurs and other partners about the plans and make concrete agreements. And by hosting and contributing to the World Energy Congress in April next year, we aim to give the energy transition an extra boost.”

Dr Angela Wilkinson, Secretary General and CEO at the World Energy Council said:

“For 100 years, the World Energy Council has connected the dots to make energy transitions happen. A century ago, we were the first organisation to see the connection between energy and peace. Seventy years ago, we recognised the role of sustainability in facilitating clean and inclusive energy transitions, and 20 years ago, we developed the World Energy Trilemma framework that connects energy security, equity and sustainability.

The global energy system is not fit for purpose, and requires radical, long-lasting structural change. Today we will ask, ‘What new dots do we need to connect to accelerate energy transitions at pace and scale? And how do we go beyond the dots of money and technology to the connections between people, places and systems’?

Congress is about connecting these new and emerging dots and ensuring diverse voices come to the table with shared goals: to redesign energy for people and planet, with more people and communities in the process, and by being open to using every tool at our disposals”.

Jeroen van Hoof, Chair of the World Energy Council The Netherlands, said:

“No one can predict exactly what the global energy system will look like, but we are certain that it will and must look very different in the near future than it does today if we are to make the necessary progress toward a cleaner and more inclusive world with a reliable and affordable energy supply.

Today’s event marks the beginning of the ‘Road to Congress’, which will take place in Rotterdam, a city known for its ability to constantly reinvent, adapt and innovate itself.

This ability and the energy expertise in the city, the port, the chemical cluster and the European hinterland make Rotterdam the natural home for Congress. It is the Council’s ambition during the Congress to bring together as many different visions and experiences as possible to help reshape the future energy system.”

Last month, the Council announced its initial set of 22 official media partners for the World Energy Congress, including leading business network, CNBC. The first confirmed speakers were also recently announced, including Amina Mohamed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group and Patrick Pouyanné, CEO of TotalEnergies.

Today, the Council additionally announced its first 100 speakers for the 2024 Congress.

In total, 18,000 attendees will convene in Rotterdam for four days of energy-defining and impact-focused conversations, roundtables, and peer-to-peer networking, while simultaneously showcasing the latest technologies driving forward the energy transition.

Registration for delegate passes and media partnerships is now open with tickets to provide access to all sessions and exhibitions during the Congress.

portrait image of Charlot Magayi

"As an energy entrepreneur from Nairobi, I'm looking forward to seeing how the World Energy Congress promotes better energy for communities in Africa and to being inspired by how others are tackling the global challenge of modern energy access for all."

Charlot Magayi

Founder and CEO, Mukuru Clean Stoves

portrait image of Ben Hutt

"Three major world crisis - covid, climate and conflict - have revealed the importance and fragility of energy systems. They have reminded us that we must manage the energy trilemma of security, affordability, and sustainability to avoid new shocks and crises."

Ben Hutt

Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Evergen

Portrait image of Gaia Vince

"As we enter the age of the Anthropocene, our human footprint deepens, and we are changing the world as never before. I'm looking forward to conversations about energy for both people and planet at the 26th World Energy Congress, as we prepare for a fundamental shift in how we live."

Gaia Vince

Journalist, Broadcaster and Author

Portrait image of Dr Leonard Birnbaum

"Few events can boast of bringing together such diverse energy leadership and the perspectives of so many different sectors under one roof. I look forward to reconnecting with my peers at the 26th World Energy Congress."

Dr. Leonhard Birnbaum

CEO and Chairman of the Board of Management, E.ON

Portrait image of Rafael Mateo

"We know that new zero is not enough and at ACCIONA we have a planet-positive strategy and the provision of renewable energy is at the heart of regeneration. It's a privilege to be part of the 26th World Energy Congress and its vision to redesign energy for people and the planet"

Rafael Mateo

Chief Executive Officer, ACCIONA EnergÍa