Origin Energy has become the world’s first energy company to sign up to all seven initiatives under the global ‘We Mean Business Coalition’, joining a worldwide group of NGOs, signatory companies and institutional investors committed to leadership on climate change.
Origin Chairman Gordon Cairns said, “We acknowledge climate change and support meaningful global action to reduce carbon emissions to limit global warming to less than 2°C on pre-industrial levels.
“Origin is incredibly proud to be the first energy company globally to make a meaningful commitment to all seven of the ‘We Mean Business Coalition’ climate leadership initiatives.
“Energy production is responsible for two-thirds of global carbon emissions, which means energy companies must play a central role in delivering the solutions that will help to reduce emissions globally,” Mr Cairns said.
Origin Managing Director Grant King said, “Origin has been preparing for a carbon constrained world for a long time and will continue to play an active role in developing low carbon and renewable energy solutions to meet the world’s growing demand for energy.
“Over the years, we have invested strategically in a power generation portfolio with an emissions intensity lower than the national average, ensuring we can meet the daily energy needs of our 4.3 million customer accounts in a sustainable manner,” Mr King said.
The CDP-led ‘We Mean Business Coalition’ encourages companies to commit to one or more of seven initiatives. Origin has committed to:
- Report climate change information in mainstream reports
- Undertake responsible corporate engagement in climate policy
- Adopt a science-based emission reduction target which will see the emissions intensity of the energy we deliver through our fuel and generation portfolio reduce over time, in line with the International Energy Agency’s “450 Scenario”
- Set measures to factor in a cost of carbon internally to materially affect investment decisions to drive down greenhouse gas emissions
- Become Australia’s leading renewable and low carbon energy provider, helping our customers to procure electricity from renewable sources and to procure 100 per cent of electricity from renewable sources for our office premises and, where possible, our other operations by 2050
- Reduce short-lived climate pollutants
- Remove commodity-driven deforestation from all supply chains.
“The way we conduct our business today already includes much of what is in the commitments. But we can always do more and better, and aligning with the ‘We Mean Business Coalition’ demonstrates that not only are we serious about these issues, but we are prepared to be open and transparent about our efforts,” Mr King said.
“Origin believes natural gas has an important role to play as a cleaner, safely transportable fuel that can help economies around the world to decarbonise. With abundant natural gas resources and strong gas production expertise, Australia is well-placed to lead in this area and is expected to overtake Qatar to become the world’s largest exporter of LNG in around 2018.
“Australia’s Renewable Energy Target and the 2030 Emissions Reduction target will also create significant opportunities for growth in renewable energy, with utility scale solar most likely to drive the country’s next boom in energy investment. Origin intends to build a leadership position in solar,” Mr King said.