Contact raises its ambitions on climate action
Contact Energy has stepped up its commitment to help tackle climate change, by setting new ambitious emissions reduction targets. The new targets cement it among the first power companies in the world to have their targets verified to the highest level of ambition for the energy industry by the leading authority, the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).
Science-based targets are emissions reduction targets in line with what the latest climate science says is needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement - to limit global warming to well-below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
James Kilty, Contact’s Chief Generation and Development Officer says the company is committed to leading New Zealand’s low carbon transition and contributing to global action on climate change.
“Setting meaningful, ambitious and credible emission reduction targets is a key part of ensuring we’re focusing our business on what matters and helping to drive change. This is a stepping stone towards our aspiration to align our business with a 1.5 C future,” says Mr. Kilty.
Since 2012 Contact has reduced its emissions from power generation (Scope 1) by almost 60% through closing thermal gas-fired plants, and building new renewable low-carbon generation. Contact’s new targets see it commit to reducing its Scope 1 and 2 emissions 34% by 2026 from a 2018 base year, and its Scope 3 GHG emissions from use of sold products 30% by 2026 from a 2018 base year.
David Tong, Climate Change Programme Manager, WWF New Zealand says, “The climate crisis could be the biggest challenge people face in Aotearoa and worldwide. Last year's IPCC report confirmed that our only options now are unprecedented action or unprecedented climate impacts, so business as usual isn't an option. Seeing Contact be the first energy company in New Zealand to set a verified, ambitious Science Based Target is exciting. The target shows their true commitment to the transition to a low or zero emissions future, where people thrive in harmony with nature. I hope others follow their lead."
Mr Kilty says, “We know that tackling climate change means bold commitments – backed up by bold actions. We believe we can continue to support New Zealand’s low carbon transition through displacing thermal generation with new renewable energy, and supporting business customers, partners and suppliers to further lower our collective carbon footprint.”