Suncor Energy, Canada’s largest oilsands producer, announced this Wednesday a goal to cut off its greenhouse gas emissions by a third until the end of the decade; due to investors pressure for broader efforts for climate change fight in energy companies.
Firstly, Suncor’s goal is to reduce its GHG emissions by 10 megatons by 2030; from 29 megatons in 2019. As reported by the Financial Post, half of that reduction will come out of the company’s oilsands plants, refineries and other facilities, by carbon capture technologies.
Secondly, switching to biofuels and increasing energy efficiency efforts will also play a role in the achieving such goal; said Chief Executive Officer, Mark Little, during an investors conference this Wednesday.
Thirdly, the remaining half of the reduction will happen through ongoing projects of the company, like the new 40 Mile Alberta wind facility; scheduled for completion by 2022. Furthermore, the announced goal is part of a broader spectrum objective to reach net-zero emissions from operations by mid-century, on 2050.
However, neither of both goals include the broad-spectrum emissions reduction called Scope-3; that includes the emissions produced by the burning of fossil fuels sold to other companies; or the ones emitted by vehicles, aircraft and others; which in fact represent the bulk of GHG emissions pollution globally.
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Suncor faced pressure from public investors
In addition, after the announcement, Suncor became the latest company to pledge emissions reductions; after a long list of oil and gas giants to do so; mainly due to pressure from stakeholders and investors for a more ESG related portfolio.
In fact, in recent years, Suncor endured a divestment from Norway’s sovereign wealth fund; also, earlier this year Suncor was the only oilsands producer to spare the divestment from the New York state pension fund.
Furthermore, the Southern Alberta wind farm of the company is currently converting a coke-fired boiler, into a less polluting gas-fired cogeneration unit. Also, Suncor revealed earlier in May that it is projected to produce 300,000 metric tons of hydrogen per year; off of its Edmonton refinery for injection to its natural gas distribution system in Alberta.
Finally, such hydrogen project will also use carbon capture technologies; however, it won’t be ready until 2024 and would not come into operations until 2028.