Consumers Energy pledges net zero carbon emissions goal for 2040

Published on February 26, 2020 by Chris Galford

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Consumers Energy committed to a net zero carbon emissions goal this week, laying out the next phase of a Clean Energy Plan that promises big changes by 2040.

Originally, the Clean Energy Plan — kicked off in 2019 — called for the reduction of carbon emissions by 90 percent within that same timeframe, largely eliminating coal use and working with customers to make energy use more efficient. The new goal expects to achieve 100 percent relief in all electricity generated by or purchased for customers of Consumers. However, Patti Poppe, Consumers Energy’s president and CEO, admitted that the utility does not pretend to have all the answers — just time, know-how, and dedication.

“Consumers Energy is proud to take a stand for Michigan and for the planet. We are committed to take actions that eliminate our carbon footprint and do our part to combat climate change,” Poppe said. “Our Clean Energy Plan already is focused on protecting the planet, and our net zero pledge takes that commitment to the next level.”

Consumers intends to avoid the creation of three new power plants with customers’ help under the plan, boost renewable sources, reduce energy use and waste, and eliminate coal use. Carbon sequestration, landfill methane capture, or large-scale tree planting are all on the table as well.

“We often say that no one can do everything, but everyone can do something,” Poppe said.