Climate Protection

Our objective is to reduce our CO2 emissions relative to the generated amount of electricity and in absolute terms by investing in modern and efficient hard-coal and gas-fired power stations, and in renewable energies. These form part of our responsibility to the community and we have a duty to reduce our high level of CO2 emissions during electricity generation. These emissions are well above average compared with our main competitors. The financial risks of our CO2 emissions are reflected in our risk management.

Evaluation of our energy sources

Energy sources

Climate protection

Certainty of supply


Risk and success factors


High CO2 emissions*

Domestic, available over the long term

Favourable production costs, no government subsidies

Nature conservation and environmental protection, community acceptance, efficiency enhancement, as well as carbon capture and storage

Hard coal

High CO2 emissions*

Available over the long term, large number of supplier countries

Manageable price risks

For hard coal: Compliance with international social and environmental standards in the supply chain

Natural gas

Low CO2 emissions*

Limited number of supply countries

High fuel costs, low capital expenditure

Lack of utilisation capacity due to priority feed-in for renewable energies into the grid

Nuclear energy

No CO2 emissions*

Small stockpile of uranium

Favourable generation costs

Community acceptance, disposal issue, decommissioning after shutdown

Renewable energies

Climate neutral

Generally domestic fuels, primarily unstable supply

More production still required, capacities of hydropower often taken to the limit

Connection to the grid, storage and load management, community acceptance

*CO2 emissions only in relation to electricity generation, not including the upstream process chain

Consistently reducing CO2 emissions

By the year 2050, the long-term goal of the European Union is to reduce CO2 emissions by 80 % compared with the baseline year 1990. As Europe’s biggest single emitter of CO2, we want to make a contribution to the achievement of this objective – through capital expenditure on climate-friendly generation of electricity, alongside packages directed towards energy efficiency and management at consumers. As well playing our part in climate protection, we are aiming to use this approach to position RWE on a robust platform for the future.

Since the 1990s, we have been continuously renewing our power plant portfolio with modern, highly efficient power plants, and this has also enabled us to reduce the specific CO2 emissions in our conventional portfolio. Since 2008, we have also been driving forward our investments in renewable energies with RWE Innogy.

We use the CO2 emissions for each megawatt hour of electricity (CO2 mt/MWh) generated as the key performance indicator for the level of target attainment in the area for action Climate Protection.