As the landmark UN Climate Action Summit gets underway, energy company Ørsted says the world must build green energy faster and bigger to halve carbon emissions by 2030 and limit global warming to 1.5Â°C.
Submitted by Ørsted
UN Secretary General António Guterres clearly stated the agenda of the Summit when he said: “I want to hear about how we are going to stop the increase in emissions by 2020, and dramatically reduce emissions to reach net-zero emissions by mid-century.”
Governments will have to come to New York with clear and enhanced plans to reduce their countries’ carbon emissions and progress climate goals. Businesses too will need to act fast to remove emissions across their operations and deliver sustainable solutions to consumers.
Rapid shift to green energy
For Ørsted, a rapid global transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy is fundamental to reducing carbon emissions in half by 2030 and limiting global warming below 1.5°C.
“Renewable energy from solar and wind energy is now built at scale and outcompetes fossil fuels on price in most markets. But the transition from fossil fuels to renewables needs to happen much faster to stay within 1.5°C of warming and meet the world’s growing energy needs,” says Filip Engel, Vice President for Sustainability, Public Affairs and Branding at Ørsted.
To accelerate the transition, governments must set ambitious and stable energy policies that enable companies to invest in renewable energy generation at large scale. This helps to foster innovation and supply chain efficiencies, which further drives down costs. That is the power of scale.
The experience of the offshore wind sector shows the impact of scaling-up green energy technologies. As the industry leader, Ørsted has helped reduce the cost of offshore wind by more than 60% since 2014. In Europe, it is now cheaper to build offshore wind, than new built coal or gas fired power plants and nuclear plants1. In just the past decade, offshore wind has gone from a niche to a global, rapidly growing technology.
“At the same time, the world must stop building new coal plants to have a realistic chance of halving emissions towards 2030, and not undermine the green energy transition,” says Engel. For its part, Ørsted has cut coal consumption by 81% since 2006 and will completely stop using coal by the end of 2022. That is 27 years ahead of what is needed by the energy sector2.
Read more about the benefits of the green energy transition in this Ørsted blog post for The Climate Group.
Transforming to meet climate goals
In the past ten years, Ørsted has transformed from a coal-intensive utility to a global renewable energy company. By mid-2019, the company had reduced carbon intensity of energy generation by 83%, as compared to 2006, well beyond the necessary reduction trajectory of the energy sector to stay within 1.5°C.
“Ørsted will share its story of decadal transformation from fossil fuels to renewables at Climate Week and the Climate Action Summit in New York. We hope to inspire other companies to reduce carbon emissions and help meet climate goals in the next ten years towards 2030,” Engel says.
The Ørsted vision is a world that runs entirely on green energy. Ørsted develops, constructs and operates offshore and onshore wind farms, bioenergy plants and provides energy products to its customers.
Carbon intensity of the company’s energy generation decreased by 83% in mid-2019, as compared with 2006 levels. By 2025, Ørsted will have reduced its emissions by 98% making the company’s energy production and operations close to carbon neutral.
82% of Ørsted’s energy generation was from renewable sources in mid-2019. The target is 99% in 2025.
The company is committed to reducing carbon emissions from end use of its products and in its supply chain by 50 percent by 2032, as compared to 2018.
Ørsted is ranked the world’s most sustainable energy company and fourth most sustainable company overall in the 2019 Global100 index.
1. BloombergNEF 2H 2018 LCOE Update; Ørsted
2. Based on the International Energy Agency’s 2C scenario for carbon emissions reductions in the energy sector; in line with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
The Ørsted vision is a world that runs entirely on green energy. Ørsted develops, constructs and operates offshore and onshore wind farms, solar farms, energy storage facilities, and bioenergy plants, and provides energy products to its customers. Ørsted ranks #1 in Corporate Knights' 2020 index of the Global 100 most sustainable corporations in the world and is recognised on the CDP Climate Change A List as a global leader on climate action. Headquartered in Denmark, Ørsted employs 6,600 people. Ørsted's shares are listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen (Orsted). In 2019, the group's revenue was DKK 67.8 billion (EUR 9.1 billion).
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