Covid not an excuse to put off Net Zero

26th Jan 2021


Despite the upheaval in 2020 caused by Covid, leading energy trade body, the Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA) has once again achieved Net Zero status. Determined to show leadership in the sector and sending a message that another way of doing business is possible, EUA have again off-set their unavoidable carbon emissions to secure their Net Zero position.

Its Chief Executive, former UK International Development Minister Mike Foster, said: 

“We all know 2020 has been an unusual year, with Covid posing huge challenges but it should not be an excuse to do nothing towards our international Net Zero obligations. We still have a moral duty to become Net Zero and it is also in our interest to do so. Climate change, if not addressed, will have catastrophic effects across the globe often hitting the poorest the hardest. Here in the UK, increased flooding; more ferocious storms, more frequent heatwaves all put extra strains on our local communities. So we should be leading the way on climate change. Our members are at the forefront of heat and transport decarbonisation initiatives, leading on hydrogen and biomethane clean gases. But as an organisation we emit carbon too, so I want to deal with that whilst showing others how it can be done.” 

“EUA pledged to reduce its carbon footprint from 2019, but Covid forced changes on our normal routines, with working from home being the norm. This meant we massively reduced our carbon footprint but we feel this doesn’t reflect the true picture, with higher carbon emissions created by our staff at home. So to make sure we do not game the system, we are off-setting the same level of carbon emitted in 2019, even though our actual emissions are much reduced. We have again partnered with ‘The Gold Standard’ to purchase carbon offsets to achieve our net zero aims. EUA chose The Gold Standard as it guarantees that its carbon offsets achieve the highest level of environmental integrity and sustainable development.”

Mr Foster continued: 

“EUA chose to offset its own carbon emissions by supporting a project in Rwanda that provides clean, fuel efficient cooking stoves. This has enormous development co-benefits too. It often means women spend less time sourcing wood for cooking, creating time for girls to attend school. It improves indoor air quality as smoke is no longer polluting the air and it means fewer trees are felled providing the wood, which in turn keeps them absorbing carbon from the air.” 

“These co-benefits are often over-looked yet they are a way to both reduce carbon emissions and support international development objectives for some of the world’s poorest. As someone who has worked in the development space, I recognise the value that these carbon offsets bring.” 

“While we work to reduce our carbon emissions, I am proud that we can still achieve Net Zero and bring environmentally sound and sustainable development to help some of the poorest people on our planet. If others did the same, what a difference we could make.” 

EUA offset its carbon emissions at $15 per tonne.