Mirant commits $50m to fund climate change initiatives

US power group Mirant announced Tuesday that it will fund at least $50m in initiatives to help find solutions to global climate change. The investment, which will be made over ten years, is one of several key projects outlined in Mirant’s first, annual environmental report.

“This funding is a further investment in the development of a progressive environmental program that can benefit the global community in which we operate,” said Marce Fuller, president and chief executive officer, Mirant. “Mirant is striving to continue improving its environmental performance. For us, this includes taking action now to mitigate our greenhouse gas emissions.”

Mirant’s environmental report contains a comprehensive climate change action plan outlining the company’s commitment to fund climate change initiatives including greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation projects to help offset its CO2 emissions, such as GHG source reductions, energy efficiency improvements and carbon sequestration projects. The company will also fund research to further understand the causes, impacts and pace of climate change as well as research to develop less carbon-intensive generation technologies and CO2 capture technologies.

Mirant will utilize the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol to develop an inventory of its GHG emissions. Developed by the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the protocol will enable Mirant to track its CO2 emissions and the progress of its mitigation measures. The company plans to develop a CO2 emissions rate reduction goal by the end of the year.

“We are delighted the GHG Protocol will help Mirant lay the foundation for their climate protection strategy,” said Elizabeth Cook, Director of World Resources Institute’s Environment and Business Program. Undertaking a greenhouse gas inventory is the place to start, yet emissions reductions and investments in clean energy technologies is where we hope this information would lead an energy company. It’s great to see Mirant make a commitment down this path.”

“Renewable energy will play an important role in meeting global energy demand, and we will pursue opportunities to develop and invest in renewable generation projects,” said Barney Rush, chief executive officer of Mirant’s European business group. “Mirant expects that Europe offers many of the best opportunities for investment in renewable energy given the targets set by several European Union countries to increase their share of renewables.” Additionally, the vast majority of the company’s new power generation currently under advanced development calls for the use of state-of-the-art natural gas-fired technology. It is the most efficient fossil fuel technology and has the lowest CO2 emission rate in comparison to other fossil fuels.

Mirant’s investment announcement was one of several highlights listed in the company’s environmental report. The report features several environmental initiatives the company has developed such as: a corporate environmental policy, an environmental management system, establishment of environmental performance indicators to set improvement targets and measure performance, a decision to link compensation of employees to environmental performance, and a commitment to develop air emissions reduction goals.

Mirant also recently announced an investment of $3m in Cheng Power Systems of Mountain View, California to develop and commercialize products that decrease Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emissions and increase fuel use in power generation plants. This funding was made through Mirant’s recently formed venture capital group.

Mirant’s climate change position statement and annual environmental report are available at www.mirant.com .

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