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Electricity North West joins UN-backed Race to Zero campaign

It follows the distribution network operator committing to being net zero by 2038 in 2019. Image: ENW.

It follows the distribution network operator committing to being net zero by 2038 in 2019. Image: ENW.

Electricity North West (ENW) has joined a UN-backed coalition of over 3,000 global companies focused on addressing the climate emergency.

The Race To Zero campaign launched in 2020, with nearly 1,000 businesses committing to a 2050 net zero at launch.

Now, over 3,000 businesses have signed up to the campaign, including ENW, which has been included as a signatory on the list of companies taking action on the science-based targets initiative (SBTi) and the list of leaders on the UN Global Compact website.

ENW has already set itself the target of achieving net zero by 2038 as part of its Leading the North West to Zero Carbon plan, released in 2019.

The next step is to develop science-based targets for validation against the latest SBTi criteria, which will be consistent with keeping global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

It comes after the IPPC issued a "reality check" in its latest report, detailing the need for strong and sustained reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to limit climate change and warning that some changes now set in motion will be irreversible over hundreds of thousands of years.

Steve Cox, engineering and technical director at Electricity North West, said the report shows "we need to act urgently", with ENW having a responsibility to play its part.

“Joining the Race to Zero campaign and working with SBTi will not only ensure that our roadmap to achieving our carbon reduction ambitions is robust, but will help us accelerate our work to lead the North West’s transition to net zero," Cox said.

ENW recently committed to investing more than £2 billion between 2023 and 2028 as part of its RIIO-ED2 business plan. This is to help to build capacity and support the rise in technologies such electric vehicles (EVs) and air source heat pumps.

Meanwhile, its key commitments for becoming a net zero business by 2038 include making all depots and training centres zero carbon, including the installation of renewable power sources and storage, working with Salford University to design a zero carbon substation for the onsite energy used and transferring its fleet of vehicles over to EVs and installing charging points at all depots.

It follows fellow energy company SSE joining the Race for Zero in June 2020, as well as Manchester joining in December 2020.

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