Energy giant SSE has become the latest business to commit to reaching net zero emissions by 2050, it was announced this morning.
Over 1,000 companies have already signed up to the “Race to Zero” campaign, placing their operations in line with efforts to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.
The Scottish business has already put in place a energy transition strategy which will see it invest £7.5bn into low-carbon energy over the next five years.
The programme will see it build the world’s largest offshore wind farm at Dogger Bank off the coast of Yorkshire.
In addition, SSE will build two more huge wind farms in Scotland, one off the coast of Angus and one on the Shetland Islands.
The combined power generation capacity of the three sites in around 5.5 gigawatts. A single gigawatt of power is enough to supply around 700,000 homes.
The move comes with Prime Minister Boris Johnson expected to announce a “10 step plan” to move the country to net zero by the same deadline.
By the end of the decade, the government is looking to develop 40 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity, ahead of the former 30 gigawatt commitment – enough capacity to power the equivalent of every UK home.
The move comes ahead of next November’s COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, which the UK is leading.
SSE’s energy director Martin Pibworth said: “Preventing climate change is the responsibility of everyone.
“At SSE, we have pinned our business future on providing the low carbon infrastructure that helps the UK and Ireland achieve their climate targets.
“But we must have our own house in order too. That’s why SSE is today, committing to achieve ‘net zero’ carbon emissions from all of our business operations by 2050 at the latest.”
COP26 climate champion Nigel Topping said: “It is great that SSE is joining the Race to Zero and very encouraging to see its ambitious low-carbon investment plans.
“We encourage all energy companies to step up with the same level of ambition and join the Race to Zero.”