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Big U.S. pension funds ask electric utilities for decarbonization plans

Big U.S. pension funds ask electric utilities for decarbonization plans

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BOSTON (Reuters) – Prime U.S. pension funds are asking electrical utilities to speed up efforts to chop carbon emissions however won’t power the problem with proxy resolutions this spring, hoping market shifts and falling costs for renewable power have already made executives and administrators receptive to the objective.

Scott Stringer speaks throughout a main debate for New York Metropolis comptroller within the WCBS-TV studios in New York, August 22, 2013. REUTERS/Frank Franklin II/POOL

Buyers together with New York Metropolis Comptroller Scott Stringer, who oversees retirement funds, and leaders of the California Public Staff’ Retirement System are asking the 20 largest publicly traded electrical mills in america for detailed plans for attaining carbon-free electrical energy by 2050 on the newest, in response to materials seen by Reuters.

In addition they search different steps like board commitments and tying progress to govt pay.

Stringer termed decarbonization a “monetary necessity” in a press release despatched by a spokeswoman. “This initiative makes clear that mobilizing for the planet goes hand-in-hand with defending our pensions, and we want these commitments now.”

Making electrical energy carbon-free by 2050 can be key to assembly the targets of the 2015 Paris Settlement to constrain world warming, the investor group mentioned in a separate assertion. They praised a December announcement by Xcel Vitality Inc that it’ll intention for carbon-free technology by 2050. [nL1N1Y91WX] [nL2N1Y11EV]

Giant utilities receiving the letter embrace Duke Vitality Corp and NRG Vitality Inc. Every has already moved towards chopping emissions: Duke has set a objective of lowering carbon emissions by 40 % by 2030 from its 2005 ranges, and NRG goals to chop emissions in half by 2030 and by 90 % by 2050 in contrast with 2014 ranges.

Requested concerning the funds’ request, Duke spokeswoman Catherine Butler famous the objective and mentioned through e-mail, “We proceed to guage choices to additional scale back emissions past that date.”

In a press release despatched by a spokeswoman, NRG Vice President of Sustainability Bruno Sarda mentioned the corporate agrees with the “urgency for decarbonization” and mentioned it’s reviewing its targets based mostly on newly-available science.

Falling costs for wind and solar energy will assist the utilities’ efforts, whereas the tempo of coal-fired energy plant closures has accelerated within the face of value competitors. [nL1N1Z91HG]

Funds concerned in Stringer’s effort collectively handle $1.eight trillion and in addition embrace Hermes Funding Administration and cash overseen by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

Technically the group is asking for “net-zero” carbon emissions by 2050, that means the quantity of carbon utilities launch should equal the quantity they take away.

Reporting by Ross Kerber in Boston; Modifying by Matthew Lewis

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