(Australian Associated Press)
Origin Energy says Australia will be a better place to live thanks to its world first commitment to a global climate initiative.
The company is the first energy firm in the world to fully commit to an internationally recognised business initiative on climate change that includes putting a price on carbon.
The company has endorsed all seven climate leadership commitments developed by UK environmental not-for-profit organisation CDP and We Mean Business, a coalition of businesses backing a transition to a low carbon economy.
Origin says it supports Australia progressively “de-carbonising its electricity mix” with the aim of becoming net carbon neutral by 2050.
“We have committed to a significant development in our renewables which will make Australia a better place for us to live in from an emissions point of view,” chairman Gordon Cairns told the company’s annual general meeting on Wednesday.
Energy production was responsible for two thirds of global carbon emissions so energy companies had to play a central role in delivering solutions to reduce emissions, Mr Cairns said.
Managing director Grant King said the company was committed to becoming a leading solar player and said Origin’s gas will be a substitute for coal in the future.
However, he said Origin was unlikely to invest further in wind energy amid predictions solar will become the major source of renewable energy in the future.
Shareholders told the company’s annual general meeting that Origin was still the eighth largest carbon emitter in Australia and its emissions had risen 55 per cent over the last three years.
More than 200 companies, almost 40 of them in Australia, have endorsed at least one of the commitments formulated by CDP, formally known as Carbon Disclosure Project.
Coca Cola, Nestle, Pepsi and Unilever are among the other companies involved.
The initiative will be showcased at next month’s Australian Climate Leadership Summit in Sydney, which is a lead-in event to the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris starting on November 30.
ORIGIN’S CLIMATE COMMITMENTS
* Putting a price on carbon
* Adopting a science-based emissions reduction target
* 100pct of electricity for its own operations and offices to come from renewable sources
* Report climate change information in mainstream reports as a fiduciary duty
* Remove commodity-driven deforestation from all supply chains by 2020
* Reduce short-lived climate pollutant emissions.
* Responsible corporate engagement in climate policy