Scottish energy firm SSE has joined the “Race To Zero” campaign, pledging to reduce its carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 at the latest.
As part of the commitment, the Perth-headquartered will also have to bring its operations in line with ambitions to limit global warming to a maximum of 1.5ºC.
Backed by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Race To Zero is a global initiative aimed at rallying support for reducing carbon emissions from businesses, cities, regions and investors.
All campaign members are committed to the same overarching goal of achieving net emissions within the next 30 years.
SSE is already investing around £7.5 billion in low-carbon energy and electricity infrastructure over the next five years.
That includes building two landmark offshore wind projects in Dogger Bank and Seagreen, which will be the largest developments in the world and Scotland respectively upon completion.
Preparatory works for SSE’s huge 443 megawatt Viking onshore wind farm also got underway earlier this year.
The development is on course to become the largest in the UK in terms of electricity output when it becomes operational in 2024.
It has also already committed to a series of comprehensive carbon targets, aligned to the 2016 Paris Agreement, and validated by the Science Based Target initiative.
The UK and Scottish Governments have legally binding targets to reduce all emissions to net zero by 2050 and 2045 respectively.
Martin Pibworth, SSE energy director, said: “Preventing climate change is the responsibility of everyone. At SSE, we have pinned our business future on providing the low carbon infrastructure that helps the UK and Ireland achieve their climate targets. But we must have our own house in order too. That’s why SSE is today, committing to achieve ‘net zero’ carbon emissions from all of our business operations by 2050 at the latest.
“With less than 12 months until the pivotal international climate negotiations at COP26 in Glasgow, we hope many more businesses will join the Race to Zero and support greater global climate action.”
Nigel Topping, COP26 high level climate action champion, who leads Race To Zero, said: “It is great that SSE is joining the Race to Zero and very encouraging to see its ambitious low-carbon investment plans. We encourage all energy companies to step up with the same level of ambition and join the Race to Zero.”
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