Washington, D.C. and New Orleans, La. (May 3, 2001) -- Entergy Corporation, one of the nation's leading electricity providers, today pledged it will voluntarily take actions to stabilize its domestic greenhouse gas emissions at year 2000 levels through 2005, and develop a long-term target which would include additional reductions to help combat climate change.
Entergy (NYSE:ETR) is the first U.S. electric company to publicly announce such a greenhouse gas emissions target. To implement this target, the New Orleans-based company will partner with Environmental Defense, a national advocacy group, to develop a program to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from Entergy's plants in the United States that generate electricity through burning fossil fuels.
Entergy also announced it has become the first U.S. electric company accepted for membership in the Partnership for Climate Action (PCA), a collaboration of international business and environmental leaders dedicated to climate protection.
"The process of intergovernmental debate and negotiation on the terms and conditions to assure economic parity around the world takes time that we may not have," said J. Wayne Leonard, Entergy's chief executive officer. "It is incumbent upon every individual and business to take voluntary initiatives to limit greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the risks we face today. As businesses, we know the right answer without government action to force us to act more responsibly. Entergy's program will demonstrate that companies can do the right thing while remaining competitive and profitable."
"We appreciate, in this period of major uncertainty in the electric generation sector, how important it is for a leading company like Entergy to step up and guarantee that it will reduce its emissions even while it continues to grow its business," said Environmental Defense executive director Fred Krupp. "As we have learned from past experience, it is possible to cut emissions and still provide products to customers and profits to shareholders. Entergy's leadership in this arena should encourage other electric utilities to take similar steps to reduce pollution."
To meet its greenhouse gas reduction target, Entergy will undertake a combination of internal actions and investments in emissions reduction projects. Entergy's nuclear assets are not included in this target. Entergy has established a $25 million Environmental Initiatives Fund to help accomplish that goal through 2005. Entergy will work with Environmental Defense to design the programs that implement the target. "Entergy's first priority is to reduce greenhouse gas pollution within our own operations. We expect to achieve at least 80 percent of the reduction in this way," said Leonard. "Entergy also believes that extending our reach outside our own walls for ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will stimulate innovation and create incentives for finding new ways to aggressively cut pollution in the most practical, cost-effective manner possible."
Entergy will also work within the PCA both to share its experience and to learn from the other members. As indicated in its policy statement, PCA members agree to limit and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, take direct actions, employ market-based mechanisms and share their learning. The organization, launched in October 2000, currently includes Environmental Defense, Entergy and seven other members: The Canadian aluminum company Alcan, BP, DuPont, the French aluminum company Pechiney, the Canadian electric company Ontario Power Generation, Shell International and Suncor Energy.