Today, Dominion Energy announced a goal to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, joining the ranks of at least 17 other U.S. utilities setting net-zero targets. Significantly, Dominion’s goal applies to both its electric and natural gas businesses in the 18 states where it operates.
As You Sow has worked with Dominion for nearly a decade seeking to reduce the company’s reliance on fossil-fuel based energy and reduce the company’s methane emissions, successfully reaching a withdrawal agreement after filing a shareholder resolution in 2018 to improve the company’s methane management. This year, As You Sow filed a resolution focusing on Dominion’s reliance on natural gas and the risk that gas assets will become stranded as the world moves toward a clean energy transition. As You Sow fully supports this ratcheting up of Dominion’s climate-related targets.
“We commend Dominion for setting a net-zero target that covers both the electricity and natural gas sides of its business,” said Lila Holzman, Energy Program Manager of As You Sow. “While some utility net-zero targets cover only electricity generation, Dominion is acknowledging that the significant climate impacts of its natural gas operations must also reduce to zero.”
As investors ramp up pressure on companies to address greenhouse gas emissions, utilities in turn are accelerating their climate ambitions by setting long-term, net-zero targets.
“We look forward to understanding the company’s plans to achieve this new target, especially as it moves ahead with carbon-intensive projects like the Atlantic Coast Pipeline,” added Holzman. “While long-term targets are critically important, as noted in our 2020 shareholder resolution, investors are also asking utilities to focus on current investments in fossil assets with high potential for stranding.”
To learn more about As You Sow’s work on climate change, click here.