Decarbonization: What is it and how to achieve it

Zero carbon emissions

In recent decades, global warming — primarily caused by greenhouse gas emissions — has become more than a threat. It's now a reality we must all face together. Fortunately, companies and organizations as well as society have become aware of it, and major progress is being made to turn things around. Therefore, the future of the planet will depend on a more sustainable economy, and decarbonization will play a fundamental role in achieving it. 

The energy transition will be our great ally when it comes to this, and we will gradually see how new energy vectors such renewable hydrogen and fuels will increasingly become more sustainable like synthetic fuels and biofuels. This is all possible thanks to the fact that the focus on renewable energy is growing within the energy mix without overlooking the presence of natural gas compared to oil.

A hand holding a plant

What is decarbonization?

Decarbonization is a gradual process of reducing carbon emissions into the atmosphere. These emissions — mostly carbon dioxide — are a consequence of human activity and the way in which we produce our energy, as well as due to cattle farming and intensive agriculture. If we manage to reduce these emissions and achieve so-called net zero emissions, we will be taking an enormous step in the fight against global warming.

What can we do to help achieve decarbonization?

In order to be carbon neutral, the involvement of society, governments, and major corporations is vital. Both government policies that drive low-carbon economies as well as initiatives that favor innovation and sustainable development are necessary to make this happen. We should also not overlook the fact that all energies, particularly clean and renewable ones, play an important role in the energy transition, with technological neutrality taking precedence.

Fortunately, there are many sectors where we can drive efficient decarbonization. With the help of fiscal, residential, transportation, industrial, and many more types of measures, we can all work together to gradually reduce emissions. These are some keys for reaching carbon neutrality:

Repsol's commitment to decarbonization

At Repsol, we firmly believe that large businesses must incorporate a net zero emissions policy into their business strategies and eliminate their dependence on carbon. The route towards decarbonization is the best way to continue growing, which is why we are backing a model that considers several technological options, such as electrification, by using products with a low carbon footprint or none at all. 

That’s why Repsol was the first energy company to step forward and take on this challenge, including the Commitment to Net Zero Emissions by 2050 in our new 2021-2025 Strategic Plan. 

From backing accessible, affordable and low-carbon energy to investing in projects and technologies focused on the energy transition, all initiatives we participate in are in line with the fulfillment of the Paris Agreement goals.

We are leading the energy transition and working day after day as part of our commitment to caring for the environment. To forge the way for a low-carbon economy,  we have adapted our initial strategies and objectives, making them much more ambitious. During Low Carbon Day, which was held in October 2021, we announced an increase in our intermediate decarbonization target and a reduction in the Carbon Intensity Indicator of 15% in 2025, 28% in 2030, and 55% in 2040, compared to the 12%, 25%, and 50%, respectively, set previously.

Here are the five pillars on which we have based our strategy to reduce carbon intensity:

  1. Drive energy efficiency in our operations and facilities.  
  2. Transform the Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production portfolio.
  3. Produce low-carbon fuels aimed at the circular economy, such as new biofuels.
  4. Generate low-carbon power by investing in wind and solar generation.
  5. Foster carbon capture, use, and storage technologies (CCUS).

Carbon Intensity Indicator

In response to our need to move towards a business model compatible with the Paris Agreement in order to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, we developed this Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII), expressed in g CO2eq/MJ (CO2 emissions by energy unit we place at the service of society).

This indicator enables us to define reduction objectives, support strategic and investment decision-making, and monitor the progress.

Snowy mountains

This is what places us at the forefront of the sector in the fight against climate change

First company in the sector to support the Kyoto Protocol.

Committed to sustainability for more than 25 years.

Recognition from socially-responsible investors.

Someone using the Waylet application on their cell phone

Repsol helps you get ahead in the decarbonization process

We have recently launched a voluntary emissions offsetting initiative, called Zero Net Emissions Commitment, which we manage through our innovative Waylet and Vivit applications. This way, every time a customer refuels at one of our more than 3,400 service stations and makes their payment using the Waylet application, they will have the option, on a voluntary basis, of offsetting 100% of the CO2 emissions generated by the consumption of that fuel by collaborating in reforestation projects.