"This isn't just a pie-in-the-sky commitment or announcement. This is something that we spent a lot of time researching and analyzing and studying," DTE Gas Co. President and COO Matt Paul said of the company's plan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
Paul made the comment in an exclusive interview with ESG Insider, an S&P Global podcast about environmental, social and governance issues.
DTE Gas parent company DTE Energy is among the largest electric and gas companies in the U.S. and serves 2.2 million electricity customers and 1.3 million gas customers in Michigan. In June, it expanded its existing goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 to also include its natural gas distribution and gas retail sales operations. The company joins a growing list of U.S. electric and gas utilities that have made deep decarbonization pledges.
But achieving net-zero emissions can be a complicated feat and requires different strategies for different types of companies. For example, electric utilities can reduce the majority of their carbon emissions by retiring coal-fired power plants and replacing that generation with wind, solar and battery projects. However, not all companies have the option of changing their power fleet to achieve their goal.
In the interview, Paul detailed DTE Gas' strategy for achieving net-zero emissions within its operations and from suppliers, such as oil and gas drillers and owners of major interstate pipelines that transport the gas to its distribution system. Paul also noted that DTE Gas is looking to help customers who use natural gas for home heating and other purposes offset their associated emissions.
Paul said that the company will need to rely on carbon offsets for a portion of its goal and described how DTE Gas is already taking steps to ensure those options are available for the future.
Listen the episode to hear the full interview, and subscriber to ESG Insider to catch future episodes.