Xcel Pledges to Phase Out CO2 Emissions

By 2050, the energy company plans to have reduced its carbon emissions by 100% from 2005 levels, with an interim target of 80 percent by 2030.

Xcel Energy joined the ranks of the companies committed to fighting climate change, announcing it will reduce carbon emissions by 100 percent by 2050, with an interim target of 80 percent by 2030. The company, which serves 3.6 million customers from Michigan to New Mexico, is the first big U.S. utility to take the pledge.

Xcel’s Corporate Responsibility Report, released in May this year, showed that the company has already cut carbon emissions by 35 percent from 2005 levels. In addition, the company announced the retirement of 20 coal units from 2005 to 2026, representing 40 percent of its coal-powered capacity. Xcel is already one of the largest U.S. wind farm operators and plans to invest more in solar power as well.

“Investors applaud this important step toward addressing Xcel’s climate impact and transitioning to a more sustainable business model. Xcel’s leadership shows that it is feasible for the power sector to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change goals to avoid catastrophic climate change. By committing to such ambitious reductions, Xcel is positioning itself to thrive in the coming low-carbon energy economy,” said Lila Holzman, energy program manager of As You Sow, in a prepared statement. 

As You Sow is a nonprofit organization that promotes environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building and innovative strategies.