Nov 14, 2019 - Energy & Environment

Net-zero carbon pledges are still rare among energy companies

Despite some splashy pledges, the energy industry overall is just at the early stages of adopting "net-zero" carbon emissions plans, a new report shows.

Why it matters: Achieving global net-zero emissions by mid-century is a widely cited target in a steep uphill battle to meet the Paris agreement goal of limiting warming to 1.5 °C.

What they found: Analysts with the London School of Economics and Political Science and the University of Oxford examined disclosures from 132 big and publicly traded coal, electricity and oil-and-gas companies.

  • Just 13 of them have made a net-zero pledge of some sort, with 2050 the most common target but some with earlier goals.

Where it stands: "Some commitments cover all, or at least the majority, of a company’s lifecycle carbon emissions, others cover a small share," finds the report that's also from a group called the Transition Pathway Initiative.

  • "Fossil fuel extraction companies that have set net zero commitments have mostly limited the scope of these to their own operational emissions, rather than downstream emissions from burning fossil fuels," it adds.
  • The 13 companies include Xcel Energy, Eni, Orsted, BHP Billiton, EDF, Exxaro Resources and others.

But, but, but: The analysis captures commitments made through mid-August, and there have been some since that period, such as from companies like Duke Energy and DTE Energy.

Go deeper:

Go deeper