The Dirty Truth About Utility Climate Pledges, Version 2

Industry and Business
Wednesday, November 9, 2022

By ​Cara Bottorff, Noah Ver Beek, & Leah C. Stokes

Utilities are trying to greenwash their dirty plans.

It’s time to hold them accountable.

The next decade is critical to averting the worst impacts of the climate crisis and transforming our economy to run entirely on clean energy.

Studies show that unless utilities retire all their coal plants by 2030, abandon all plans to build gas plants, and aggressively build out renewable energy resources, we risk destabilizing our livable climate. Despite this pressing deadline, utilities are either not moving fast enough toward these goals, or not moving at all.

Dozens of utilities may have pledged to become “carbon neutral” by 2050, but research conducted by the Sierra Club in its inaugural Dirty Truth Report showed that nearly all utilities in the United States lack the plans needed to move toward clean energy in the time frame needed to avoid the worst of the climate crisis. In an update to that report a year and a half later, Sierra Club found that most utilities have continued to drag their feet, making little progress in the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy.