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Wind turbines and solar panels. Photo credit: Seagul/Pixabay

E&E News reports on three studies released last week on plans for reaching net zero emission and the conclusion is that the math doesn’t add up. The reports, produced by Oil Change International and by consultants at Deloitte and EcoAct, find that many of the largest companies in the United States, including major energy firms, are not seriously planning to reduce carbon dioxide emissions or lack sufficiently detailed net-zero road maps.

Of the 55 major investor-owned utilities that serve electricity customers in the United States, for example, just 22 have drawn up net-zero or carbon-free plans, according to Deloitte. Among those 22 companies, “significant gaps” exist between their net-zero targets and their plans to retire fossil fuel plants, add renewables and prepare the grid for a clean energy transition.

Some of the companies haven’t set timelines for coal retirements – the “low-hanging fruit for decarbonization,” Deloitte said – and most are planning to grow natural gas fleets, pinning hopes on carbon capture and other clean energy technologies to emerge in the 2030-40 time the oil and gas industry, net-zero goals laid out by several major European companies contain gaping holes, like the exclusion of CO2 emissions produced by joint ventures and projects in certain jurisdictions, wrote environmentalists at Oil Change International in their report.

As the staff at Deloitte wrote: “The math doesn’t yet add up.” E&E News: ‘The math doesn’t yet add up.’ Net-zero plans fall short