Iberdrola group's climate commitment
The electricity sector plays a key role in fulfilling the goal set by the historic Paris Agreement to keep global temperature rise well below 2 ºC and to tackle the climate emergency. Iberdrola group, global leader in the fight against climate change — goal no. 13 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) — and active participant of the different Climate Summits, is fully aligned with this international agreement.
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WHAT IS CLIMATE CHANGE?
Climate change is defined as a change in climate patterns attributable, directly or indirectly, to human activity. Greenhouse gases build up in the atmosphere and trap heat, increasing the greenhouse effect and raising the overall temperature of the planet.
Climate change is superimposed on the natural variability observable over equivalent periods of time, and also affects other changes in earth systems (melting ice, rising sea levels, etc.).
The company has set forth as climate goal for the coming decades to be carbon neutral by 2050. Targets for scopes 1, 2 and 3 approved by the Science Based Target Initiative in March 2019.
IBERDROLA, IN THE LEAD IN EMISSIONS REDUCTION
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WE ADVOCATE FOR A DECARBONISED FUTURE
Iberdrola began a thorough transformation of its business model more than 20 years ago, when it opted for a sustainable, safe and competitive energy model that would allow it to tackle the fight against climate change in the world.
Iberdrola wishes to contribute actively and decisively to a sustainable and low-carbon future, an effort that will also drive forward social and economic development through the creation of employment and wealth. Firm in its fight against climate change, Iberdrola is currently top of the main international indexes.
Iberdrola, which looks upon the fight against climate change as a strategic pillar of its activity, has an anti-climate change policy with different lines of action.
Iberdrolas lines of action to fight against climate change.
Discover our main lines of action
- Contribute to the mitigation of climate change and the decarbonization of the energy model.
- Supporting international negotiations and the significant involvement of the private sector to meet goal thirteen of the Sustainable Development Goals: Climate Action.
- Holding on to the position as global leader in renewable energy, smart grids and efficient technologies.
- Integrate climate change into internal decision-making processes, as well as in the analysis and management of long-term risks for the group.
- Actively fostering a culture that promotes the efficient and responsible use of energy.
- Promoting internal training and climate awareness of interest groups and encouraging suppliers to adopt appropriate policies.
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At the close of the First quarter 2020, of the owned installed capacity of the group, 70% corresponds to renewable energies and 77% is free of emissions.
Iberdrola's group progress in reducing emissions at the close of the First quarter 2020.
In line with its commitment to decarbonization, Iberdrola has already closed 15 carbon and fuel plants (with an installed capacity of 7.5 GW) worldwide since 2001, and is in the process of closing the last two (874 MW), both located in Spain.
By the end of the 2018-2022 period, it will have invested 34,000 million euros, of which 16 billion (47%) are for smart grids and 13 billion (39%), for renewables.
The commitment to clean energy, and to favouring measures to combat climate change worldwide, has led us to continue reducing our own emissions. In 2019, these fell below 110 grams per kWh, a figure three times lower than that of our competitors. Iberdrola already generates 100% of its energy with zero emissions in countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany and Portugal.
To develop its commitment, Iberdrola has a five-point climate action plan. These activities have allowed us to demonstrate that technology and solutions are available to successfully tackle climate change. Not only in a viable and competitive way, but also by creating numerous business opportunities and supporting a fair transition for those sectors that could be negatively affected, in the energy transition process.
COMMITTED TO CLIMATE CHANGE
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What is a carbon footprint and how does it affect the environment?
A Carbon footprint is the measurement used to measure the impact of human activities on the environment. It is the concept that calculates the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere (gas emissions are measured in units of carbon dioxide). Reducing global warming and its consequences involves reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and eradicating fossil fuels in favour of clean energy. There are tools you can use to help you calculate your carbon footprint.
But climate change does not only bring about changes at the environmental level, it also affects the economy and society.
How can we combat climate change in our daily lives? What are the best ways?
There are many small actions that you can incorporate into your daily life to help reduce your environmental impact. Walking, cycling or using public transport to get around is a good way to avoid emitting kilos of CO2 into the atmosphere. You can also try to use renewable energy at home (aerothermal, geothermal, solar thermodynamics), while trying to improve energy efficiency at home: use energy-saving light bulbs, check your windows, keep your boiler well maintained, make efficient use of heating and keep an eye on your daily habits. Other ways to combat global warming include recycling and reuse. Recycling at home is essential for helping slow down climate change.
What is the origin of climate change?
The origin of climate change goes hand in hand with industrialisation. According to experts, the beginnings of global warming date back to the Industrial Revolution. A change began that brought with it a new model of production and consumption that unfortunately caused environmental pollution. The demand for energy obtained from fossil fuels began to soar, bringing about a new geological era driven by human impact on the planet.
It was between the 1950s and 1980s when scientists warned of the deterioration in the atmosphere and new terms, that are now so well known, began to be introduced, such as: CO2 emissions, greenhouse effect or hole in the ozone layer.
Discover the countries most threatened by and vulnerable to climate change.
Actions to reduce climate change
Bold and joint climate action, with everyone doing their bit, will help slow down climate change. The use of sustainable energy, the promotion of energy efficiency and the conscious and rationalised use of energy are a good start in the fight against global warming. Actions to reduce climate change include: commitment (people who demand political action from governments); participation (individuals who contribute to the sustainability of their communities); healthy habits (walking, cycling, using public transport, etc.); ecological awareness (societies that love and respect nature); efficiency and innovation (people who prioritise energy saving and the use of renewable energies).
How can we reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our daily lives?
To reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help prevent climate change, start with this list of actions you can do to lower emissions: encourage the use of public transport (or walking or cycling to get around); recycle the waste you generate at home and reuse as much as possible; insulate your home from heat and cold to improve energy efficiency; encourage the use of renewable energy or try to help with reforestation.
But first and foremost, the main thing to do is to educate the young. Knowledge related to climate change will help them understand and address the consequences of global warming.
What measures can we take against climate change?
Governments and international agencies must recognise the climate emergency, and promote and pass legislation requiring action against climate change. Mitigation and adaptation measures such as the following will help to alleviate the damage and reduce climate change: improving energy efficiency and promoting renewable energies; encouraging sustainable mobility; promoting ecological industry, agriculture and fisheries; taxing the use of fossil fuels; or developing action protocols for climate emergencies. There is also a need for good citizen education on how to avoid climate change. Citizenship through day-to-day actions will also contribute to curbing climate change.
Essential information about global warming?
Global warming is the greatest environmental threat we face and therefore one of the greatest challenges. The clock can't be stopped, so if immediate action is not taken the situation will be irreversible. Solutions to global warming require widespread action by all countries to try to reverse the main causes of climate change (rising sea levels, rising average temperatures melting of the ice caps). For this, nearly 200 countries agreed to set the maximum global temperature threshold at 1.5 degrees Celsius. The commitment is also to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions to zero across the European Union by 2050.
To solve the effects of global warming, a revolution is needed now more than ever: the energy revolution. Only the use of renewable energies will alleviate the effects, but everyone must be involved.
How does environmental pollution affect animals?
Pollution affects fauna and flora very directly, threatening their survival and driving animals to extinction.
Land animals are suffering the effects of climate change through air and soil pollution, and through urbanisation, with the expansion of urban centres. Marine animals suffer from the spillage of pollutants into the waters and also have to endure excessive light and acoustic stimuli. Contamination by plastics and micro-plastics has already reached very high levels. There are species in danger of extinction as a result of suffering first-hand the effects of global warming. It is vital that animals are protected effectively and the destruction of their habitats and ecosystems is brought to a halt.
What role do greenhouse gases play in climate change?
It has been thoroughly proven that the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere is a direct cause of climate change. Carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxides or chlorofluorocarbons concentrate in the atmosphere, depleting the ozone layer and therefore limiting the absorption of ultraviolet radiation. The atmospheric temperature increases causing a range of environmental knock-on effects, from an increase in sea levels to the melting of polar ice, among others.
How does electricity affect climate change?
As a general rule, every time you switch on a light, turn on a household appliance or leave the TV in standby mode, fossil fuels are burned, creating greenhouse gases and therefore contributing to global warming. But electricity is necessary for ordinary life, and it is almost impossible to imagine a world without access to electricity. Therefore, the energy transition, the creation of sustainable electricity generation plants that produce clean energy and cover the energy demand of all societies, is vitally important. This is the only way to put an end to the use of the fossil fuels that are responsible for the greenhouse effect and climate change.
What are the consequences of climate change?
Melting ice, rising sea levels and droughts are clear evidence that climate change is real and that environmental degradation has begun. They are also an indication that serious, rapid and decisive climate action must be taken to stop global warming. There are many consequences of climate change: intense storms, warmer temperatures and strong heat waves, melting glaciers, dangerous hurricanes and rising sea levels. But, in addition, there are other knock-on effects that will directly affect human beings: the spread of diseases, increased migration, or more expensive food. And also our fauna, since many species are going to become extinct.
What is the greenhouse effect?
The warming of the earth's atmosphere is known as the greenhouse effect.
When humans burn gas, oil or coal (fossil fuels), gas emissions are generated that rise into the atmosphere; these gases accumulate and prevent the energy produced by the soil when heated by the sun from escaping back out into space. This produces the so-called greenhouse effect, which has a clear impact on the temperature of the planet and leads to global warming.
The main greenhouse gases are water vapour, carbon dioxide, which is the main one responsible for this effect and directly associated with human activity, nitrous oxide, due to the nitrogenous fertilisers typical used in intensive agriculture, methane, tropospheric ozone and chlorofluorocarbons.
When was the first climate change summit?
The first climate conference was held almost 30 years ago: The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change or COP (Conference of Parties). The first such meeting was held in Rio in 1992. It was the beginning of a series of global meetings that would be repeated annually to bring together world leaders with the aim of making decisions and meeting the goal of reducing gas emissions and therefore curbing climate change.
It was not until 2015 in the Paris Agreement that a global treaty ratified by nearly 200 countries would emerge. There, a common goal was set to keep the global average temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius.
What is being done to combat climate change?
Numerous citizens are taking action to save the planet and they are also calling for solutions to end climate change. Many of them are born activists and they are demanding and urging different governments to act and propose real changes. Numerous people go to protest at the different climate summits.
350.org is an international movement founded in the United States in 2008 which seeks to end the fossil fuel era.
The Climate RealityProject is an initiative created by former U.S. Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore. It seeks to raise public awareness through public activities and conferences.
Coalición Clima was founded in Spain in 2008. It is a citizen's platform made up of 24 organisations from the world of ecology, development cooperation, trade unionism, science and research and consumers. It subsequently became the Climate Alliance which was formed by more than 400 organisations.
Other important groups include the Social Climate Summit ("counter-summit" to COP25); #ForClimate Community, which was launched as a response to the Paris Agreement in 2016 — its promoters are the Biodiversity Foundation, Ecodes and the Ministry of Ecological Transition — and Fridays For Future which is led by the young activist Greta Thunberg.