(Phoenix, AZ) – Western Resource Advocates and Southwest Energy Efficiency Project commend the Salt River Project (SRP) on the improved sustainability commitments that the SRP Board of Directors approved today. The commitments are an important step toward significantly reducing carbon dioxide emissions in Arizona by 2035, while also increasing clean energy and conserving water resources.
The sustainability commitments, advanced by the SRP Board’s Strategic Planning Committee in May, call for the utility to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions from electricity production, from current levels of about 1,100 pounds per megawatt-hour to 550 pounds per megawatt hour, by 2035. Under reasonable projections of future electricity demand, the new goals would cut carbon dioxide emissions 43 percent below 2005 levels by 2035. The new sustainability commitments also call for further reductions by 2050.
The sustainability commitments that SRP updated are an improvement from prior targets and show welcome progress. The conservation groups appreciated SRP’s willingness to include and consider feedback from stakeholders in the process of developing the proposed commitments, and these groups will continue to work with SRP to explore how more ambitious, science-based targets, which set limits on the total amount of carbon pollution produced by SRP, can be established and achieved.
“The SRP sustainability planning process was very open to stakeholder input, which SRP considered fully,” said Jeff Schlegel, the Arizona representative for the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project who participated in the process. “SRP made good progress in adopting more ambitious sustainability commitments as a result of seeking and responding to input from stakeholders.”
“We commend SRP for developing these commitments and look forward to working with SRP going forward to evaluate ways to achieve further reductions of carbon emissions, in line with scientific consensus, to ensure the health and welfare of Arizona residents now and for future generations,” said Adam Stafford, Western Resource Advocates’ staff attorney in Phoenix.