Saturday, October 16, 2021

CONSOL Energy Sets Goals Of Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions By 50% By 2026, Achieve Net Zero Emissions By 2040; Coal Mining Produces More GHG Emissions Than Natural Gas Production In PA

On October 13,
CONSOL Energy announced it is setting an interim goal to reduce its direct operating greenhouse gas emissions (referred to as scope 1 and scope 2 emissions) on an absolute basis by 50 percent over a five year period (or by the end of 2026), compared to 2019 baseline levels and measured as the rate of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) emitted. 

In addition, the Company announced its long-term efforts to achieve net zero direct operating greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 or sooner if feasible.

Coal mining in Pennsylvania results in more greenhouse gas emissions than natural gas production, transmission and distribution, although more attention has been focused on natural gas emissions.

According to the most recent DEP Pennsylvania Greenhouse Gas Inventory (page 15), greenhouse gas emissions from underground coal mining, surface mining, underground and surface processing of coal resulted in 9.86 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2018.

Abandoned coal mines resulted in another 1.28 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emission equivalents in 2018,

According to the same inventory, natural gas production, transmission and distribution result in 9.74 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2018.

CONSOL Energy is a Pennsylvania-based producer and exporter of high-Btu bituminous thermal coal and metallurgical coal. It owns and operates some of the most productive longwall mining operations in the Northern Appalachian Basin and is developing a new metallurgical coal mine in the Central Appalachian Basin

"Since becoming an independent company in 2017, we've prioritized ESG and outlined goals to enhance employee safety, reduce environmental impacts, and create sustainable value," said CONSOL Energy President and Chief Executive Officer Jimmy Brock. "We continue to emphasize those ESG aspects of greatest impact to CONSOL, our stakeholders, and the environment. Developing direct operating greenhouse gas emission reduction targets puts our ESG approach into action and reflects our Board of Directors' and management team's dedication to continuous improvement."

2019 Baseline

The emission reduction targets were developed on the basis of CONSOL Energy’s current operating footprint and comprehensively include:

-- The Pennsylvania Mining Complex,

-- The CONSOL Marine Terminal,

-- The Itmann Metallurgical Project,

-- Various closed mine reclamation obligations and legacy mine water treatment facilities,

-- Conventional oil and gas wells acquired in advance of underground mining,

-- and the Corporate office.

CONSOL’s scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions totaled 8.164 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2019.  In 2020, they totaled approximately 6.5 million metric tons.  [Read more here]

In 2020, Consol Energy sold between $60-$70 million of mineral assets, gas wells and coal reserves outside of its active operations [Read more here] and was also affected by COVID-related working conditions.

Click Here for CONSOL’s GHG Reduction Targets Supplement to its Sustainability Report.

CONSOL Energy's interim greenhouse gas emission reduction target is expected to be achieved through multiple initiatives, including energy management and operational efficiency efforts. 

Primary to achieving this goal is the expansion of the Company's methane destruction program, which has been piloted at the Pennsylvania Mining Complex since 2017.  The pilot program has proven that this endeavor will lead to meaningful direct operating emissions reductions. 

CONSOL's long-term ambition envisions multiple initiatives across our entire operating footprint, starting with full-scale deployment of methane abatement equipment. 

The 2040 target is also expected to be informed by the Company's strategic initiatives and partnerships, which aim to develop the technologies needed to achieve global aspirational greenhouse gas emission reduction goals. 

While the targets announced last week are limited to direct operating greenhouse gas emissions, CONSOL continues to invest in research that could positively impact indirect (or scope 3) emissions in the future, if successful. 

21st Century Power Plant

This includes, for example, the Company's U.S. Department of Energy sponsored 21st Century Power Plant project and multiple projects seeking to develop advanced building materials from coal, which support a reduction in indirect emissions. [Read more here]

Dan Connell, CONSOL's Senior Vice President of Strategy, said, "We are excited to be among the first pure play coal companies to set greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. Today's announcement underscores our commitment to sustainability, complements our technology, growth, and diversification initiatives and exemplifies the alignment of CONSOL's strategy and ESG management approach."

The Company firmly believes our world-class asset base will continue to be relied upon for the foreseeable future to meet the world's electricity and infrastructure needs, supporting social objectives and catalyzing economic progress. 

Having been awarded Bettercoal Supplier status, we believe our commitment to deploy robust ESG operating practices will help ensure that we carry out this role responsibly and sustainably. 

CONSOL Energy remains intentionally focused on leveraging innovation while maintaining our stated financial priorities to create sustainable value for the Company and its stakeholders.

For more information, visit CONSOL Energy’s Sustainability webpage.

Related Article:
[Posted: October 16, 2021] 
PA Environment Digest

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