Italian oil and gas group Eni has pledged to reach net-zero carbon emissions for its operations by 2030, despite announcing plans to increase oil and gas production by 3.5% annually up to 2022.
Eni’s net-zero carbon pledge is part of an upstream business transformation to align to the targets of the Paris Agreement, according to the company’s chief executive Claudio Descalzi.
To meet this ambition, upwards of €3bn will be invested into renewable energy, energy efficiency projects and a major forestry offsetting programme. Eni will plant enough trees and forestry to capture up to 20Mt of carbon by the 2030 deadline.
Almost half of the €3bn earmarked for investment will be aimed at renewable energy projects, with a focus on solar. Eni will aim to install more than 10GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030 – up from 0.2GW currently.
Eni will also invest in technologies that can convert organic waste into biofuels to be used for boats and eventually cars.
However, the company also announced that oil and gas production between 2019 and 2022 will increase by 3.5% annually due to existing business strategies. Around 2.5 billion barrels of oil and gas are expected to be generated by 2022, with Eni drilling 140 exploration wells in the process.
Descalzi also noted that future plans would involve increasing “exposure to energy storage”.
Eni is the latest oil major to outline a transition towards the low-carbon economy. Last week, for example, Royal Dutch Shell said it will link the pay of its 150 most senior executives with its progress towards its carbon reduction aims with "immediate effect".
BP has also pledged to align its business with the aims of the Paris Agreement and has begun linking staff bonuses to its low-carbon progress.
Many fossil fuel majors are reacting to investor pressure. A briefing paper from Unfriend Coal revealed that 24 of the world’s largest investors have collectively excluded coal from $6trn in assets, as the trend towards divestment from carbon-heavy projects and products continues.
Earlier this year, a report from the European Commission revealed that the UK spends more than any EU nation on subsidising fossil fuels. The report also found that EU-wide payments have failed to decrease despite the bloc's commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change.