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STA02-klimaschutz

Climate protection

RWE will be climate neutral by 2040. Our climate targets for 2030 have been certified by the Science Based Targets initiative to be in line with the Paris Climate Agreement.


RWE has set new climate targets, in-line with a 1.5° pathway. The targets are currently validated by Science Based Targets initiative.


By focusing on renewable and storage technologies, RWE’s energy generation will be climate neutral by 2040. We invest €55 billion between 2024 and 2030. Electricity is the most important energy source of our time for innovation and modernisation. The more digitalisation and electrification progress further, the greater the demand for a permanently available, secure supply will be. Yet, climate change is pushing us to significantly reduce emissions. We intend to cover the rising demand for electricity as best we can and protect the climate at the same time. The steps we need to take towards climate neutrality are clear.

Moving purposefully towards climate neutrality...

Between 2012 and 2021, the company reduced its CO2 emissions by nearly 100 million tonnes – equivalent to a reduction of more than 55%. We will continue to move in this direction. Massively expanding renewables is at the heart of our strategy to reduce CO2 emissions. It involves steadily and responsibly phasing out fossil fuels. We are modernising our power plant fleet and decommissioning older plants in order to improve energy efficiency. In doing so, we are also reducing our CO2 emissions per unit of electricity or heat generated and cutting resource consumption, as well as fuel costs and the need for CO2 certificates.
2019 2025 2030 2040

Scope 3

Emissions from our upstream and downstream value chains

Scope 2

Emissions from our purchased and consumed energy

Scope 1

Emissions from our operating activities

CO2 equivalents (CO2e) in million metric tons; CO2e is a unit of measurement used to standardise the climate effects of various greenhouse gases.

Scope 3

Overall reduction target for emissions from our upstream and downstream value chains

Scope 1 & 2

Relative reduction target per kWh of power generated for emissions from our operating activities and emissions from our purchased and consumed energy

CO2 equivalents (CO2e) in million metric tons; CO2e is a unit of measurement used to standardise the climate effects of various greenhouse gases.

Scope 3

Overall reduction target for emissions from our upstream and downstream value chains

Scope 1 & 2

Relative reduction target per kWh of power generated for emissions from our operating activities and emissions from our purchased and consumed energy

CO2 equivalents (CO2e) in million metric tons; CO2e is a unit of measurement used to standardise the climate effects of various greenhouse gases.

We are also currently moving ahead with projects to produce ‘green’ hydrogen on the basis of electrolysis with renewable electricity and researching storage technologies.

...with concrete measures

  • All opencast mines in Germany (Inden, Hambach and Garzweiler) will be decommissioned by 2030.
  • The electricity generation from lignite will end step-by-step by 2030 as well.
  • In Germany and the UK, RWE has already decommissioned its last hard coal-fired power plants.  
  • Dutch policy-makers are keen to end coal-fired electricity generation by 2030. RWE will therefore stop emitting CO2 from burning hard coal in the Netherlands by then. RWE is endeavouring to convert both its plants in the Netherlands to biomass and will only operate them with this primary energy source, provided it is politically and economically feasible.

RWE contributes to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement

With the Paris Agreement at COP 21 in December 2015, almost all countries worldwide committed themselves to jointly limiting the global temperature increase to well below 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit warming to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius. To this end, the states have made national reduction pledges. The European Union has committed itself to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared with the base year 1990. RWE is making an important contribution by pressing ahead with the expansion of renewable energies. Our ambitious climate protection targets go beyond those set by the EU and our core markets. Since December 2020, RWE's climate targets for 2030 have been scientifically certified as consistent with a "well below 2 degree" scenario. RWE is thus one of the few electricity producers worldwide with such Science-based Targets.

Cutting other emissions

Pollutants, such as nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide, particulate matter and mercury, are also emitted during the generation of electricity and heat at our power stations. Statutory thresholds are observed in our plants with the help of primary emission reduction measures, such as the optimisation of the firing technology and secondary emission reduction measures, including duct extraction and desulphurisation in all operating conditions.

Particulate matter and noise are the main emissions associated with open-cast mines. We always take suitable measures to reduce these in agreement with supervisory authorities and taking account of operational and local factors. (Concrete measures are outlined in the Sustainability Strategy Report.) The operations monitoring services of the open-cast mines are available around the clock for any affected citizens, so that we can take remedial action as swiftly as possible in the event of acute noise pollution. 

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