MILAN (Reuters) – Italian energy group Eni on Friday stepped up its ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, pledging to become clean carbon neutral by 2050, as it seeks to keep pace with the industry’s pace under pressure from investors to go green.
Like his peers, Eni is stepping up plans to transition to cleaner fuels as governments around the world scale up green deals to tackle the climate crisis and power economies.
“We are committed to the full decarbonization of all our products and processes by 2050,” said Chief Executive Claudio Descalzi. “Our plans are concrete, detailed, economically sustainable, and technologically proven.”
Graph: Strategic Presentation of ENI 2021-2024 –
Eni shares were speeding up after the plan was launched, up 2.3% at 1324 GMT versus a flat European oil and gas index.
In an update to the cleanup efforts announced last year, Eni said it would cut absolute emissions by 25% by 2030 from 2018 levels and 65% by 2040.
Eni’s plans come just days after newly appointed Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has put climate change at the core of his plans for Italy and said his government intends to increase renewable energy and green hydrogen production.
Eni, which derives most of its revenue from oil and gas, said the goal of decarbonization by 2050 will be achieved by increasing yields from bio refineries, increasing renewable capacity, deforestation initiatives, carbon capture and other green projects.
“These are targets, not aspirations,” Descalzi told analysts during the plan presentation, adding that management salaries would be tied to it.
The world’s top oil and gas companies have set targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from their operations and the use of the products they sell.
Royal Dutch Shell pledged to eliminate net carbon emissions by 2050, raising its ambition from its previous target, as its oil production declined from its 2019 peak, while Total changed its brand as part of a push to diversify and grow electricity and renewable energy production.
Eni said he would combine his renewable and retail businesses to grow his customer base in synergy with green ambitions.
Revealing the short-term target until 2024, Eni said production would increase by 4% per year, with upstream spending of around 4.5 billion euros per year.
Eni plans to spend a total of 7 billion euros per year over the next four years, with more than 20% of that allocated to green projects and retail and renewable businesses combined.
Eni said it would once again base its dividend policy on Brent prices, saying a base price of 0.36 euros per share would start from an annual Brent scenario of $ 43 per barrel, two dollars lower than the previous level.
The company will buy back shares for 300 million euros if Brent reaches $ 56 per barrel, and more if the price rises.
Earlier on Friday, Eni posted a better-than-expected net profit adjusted for the fourth quarter as oil prices strengthened after what Descalzi said was “a year unlike any other in the history of the energy industry” sending full-year profits tumbling.
“We will never forget this extraordinary year marked by the most unexpected and disturbing crisis we have ever seen,” said Descalzi.
Graph: Eni vs European Oil and Gas Sector –
Additional reporting by Stefano Bernabei; Edited by Edmund Blair and David Evans