Big corporates buy ‘more clean power than UK’s entire generation’

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Green-minded electricity buyers for the world’s 100 most environmentally conscious firms together purchase for the first time more clean electricity than Britain’s entire annual output.

Corporate environmental lobbyists the Climate Group calculate that their RE100 pool of 310 transglobal firms pledged to renewables bought 334TWh of exclusively green power last year.

That’s 8TWh more than the UK’s national consumption in 2020, generated from both fossil fuels and carbon-free sources.

The numbers come from CDP and its partner the Climate Group.  CDP was formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project.

Started seven years ago, the RE100 now comprises global über-brands and brand owners such as Unilever, Apple, Microsoft, H&M, AB InBev and BT.

The analysts estimate its members are on track together to save CO2 emissions equal to the burning of 118 million tonnes of coal every year.

“Business demand for renewable electricity is racing past that of G7 countries, because it makes business sense as well as environmental sense,” said Sam Kimmins, head of RE100 at the Climate Group.

“But many hundreds more big corporates are yet to take this relatively easy step towards net zero carbon.

“To meet global climate targets, and to remain competitive in a world driven by cheap, clean electricity, it quickly needs to become the norm to power your business with renewables.”

COP26 chair Ashok Sharma welcome RE100’s numbers.  “The rapid growth of RE100 demonstrates that businesses around the world support bold climate ambition,” he asserted.

“We urge more companies to join RE100 ahead of COP26, and for governments to respond to this growing market demand for 100% clean energy.”

Total electricity demand from RE100-committed companies has rocketed 20% in just eight months, RE100 disclosed.

UK businesses pledged to the scheme have progressed fastest in decarbonising power purchases, analysts revealed. Only the USA and Japan are better represented as nations in the initiative.

With renewables tumbling in price worldwide, large energy users such as Siemens, Nikon and Asia’s big electronics suppliers are joining RE100.

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