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Repsol pledges to become first net zero emissions oil major by 2050



Spanish energy giant Repsol has this week committed itself to becoming a net zero emissions company by 2050, making it the first oil major to make such a pledge. As part of the company’s decarbonisation path, Repsol has set intermediate targets to be met in 2020 and 2040.

The goal, which aims to limit planetary warming to less than 2 degrees centigrade compared to pre-industrial levels, has been set by Repsol’s Board of Directors.
Repsol pledges to become first net zero emissions oil major by 2050
(Repsol’s corporate headquarters in Madrid. Image via Repsol).

To achieve net zero emissions by 2050, Repsol is setting new goals for the reduction of its carbon intensity indicator from a 2016 baseline: 10% by 2025, 20% by 2030, 40% by 2040, and net zero CO2 emissions by 2050. Repsol believes that it will be able to achieve at least 70% of this target using current technologies. The remaining target will be achieved using emerging carbon capture, use and storage technology. Additionally, Repsol has said it will offset emissions through reforestation and other natural climate sinks to achieve zero net emissions by 2050.

Commenting on the new target, Josu Jon Imaz, Repsol’s Chief Executive Officer, said:

“We are convinced that we must set more ambitious objectives to fight climate change. We believe now it is the right time for Repsol. We do it with the utmost confidence that we invest for the future. Addressing the significant challenges that lie ahead with strategic clarity is what will allow us to turn them into opportunities. We are convinced that this strengthens our project that is sustainable, attractive and profitable for all our stakeholders.”

Repsol’s net zero emissions commitment this week fits in-line with the company’s already strong efforts to decarbonise its value chain. Repsol currently has 2,952 MW of renewable generation in operation and another 1,083 MW under development. The company’s Board of Directors has also approved new investments to incorporate and build two photovoltaic and one wind power projects totalling an additional 1,600 MW. With these projects, Repsol’s renewable power portfolio will reach a total capacity of 5,600 MW.
Repsol has committed to a set of ambitious emissions reduction goals.
(Repsol has committed to a set of ambitious emissions reduction goals. Image via Repsol).

Repsol is also committed to ‘greening’ its substantial petrochemicals business. 

Across its industrial petrochemical processes, Repsol has set a target of achieving 20% recycled content in its total polyolefin output by 2030.

Petrochemical products, present in most activities in daily life, play a major role in achieving a lower carbon intensity scenario. Their advantages and applications include, among others, a reduction in the weight of materials that contributes to lower energy consumption in mobility, insulation for homes and buildings, which contribute to greater energy efficiency, an improvement in food conservation conditions and advanced products for medical and sanitary use. Consequently, global demand for petrochemical products is expected to increase by 30% to 2030 and 40% to 2050.

With Repsol’s strong track record – it was the first company in the oil and gas industry to support the Kyoto Protocol – it will be interesting to see which will be the next oil major to follow suit and commit to net zero emissions.

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Tags: Oil & Gas
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Repsol pledges to become first net zero emissions oil major by 2050 - Time to read 3 min
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