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Eaton pledges to reduce carbon emissions by at least 50 percent by 2050

The Plain Dealer  Cleveland logo The Plain Dealer Cleveland 7/1/2020 By Mary Kilpatrick, cleveland.com

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The power management company Eaton, which employs 2,500 Ohioans, on Wednesday said it wants to do its part to slow climate change and become carbon neutral by 2030.

The Dublin, Ireland-based company has a goal of reducing its carbon emissions by at least 50 percent in the next decade. It also aims to work with its partners to lower its indirect carbon emissions.

“These targets reflect our belief that corporations have a broader responsibility to society, and that includes helping halt the effects of climate change,” said Eaton chairman and CEO Craig Arnold in a news release. “We call upon companies around the world to join us in addressing this global emergency.”

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in a 2018 report that people have already increased the temperature of the earth by 1 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The result is an increased frequency of severe weather, rising sea levels and a reduction in Arctic ice.

Lake Erie has already felt the effects of climate change. Severe weather has caused erosion across Ohio’s farming fields. That means fertilizer runoffs into the Maumee River watershed and eventually into Lake Erie, where it nourishes toxic algal blooms.

The globe is on track to warm by 1.5 degrees Celsius between 2030 and 2052 if nothing changes, the report says. If the planet heats above that threshold and warms 2 degrees Celsius, there would be disastrous consequences. Such an increase in temperature would decimate coral reefs and the Arctic Ocean sea ice would likely completely melt at least every decade.

Keeping the warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius would reduce climate change and its effects on ecosystems and human health, but it requires “rapid and far-reaching” change across sectors including energy, industry and transportation, the report says. Human carbon emissions would need to decrease to 45 percent of 2010 levels by 2030.

“Eaton’s 2030 greenhouse gas targets…are also consistent with the challenge presented to corporations by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),” Eaton said in a news release. The company wants to help keep the globe’s warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“The climate emergency we face is no longer an abstract issue for scientists to resolve,” Arnold said in a news release. “It’s not a problem for our children – or their children – to confront. It’s happening now, and it’s a crisis for every continent, every nation and every individual. If we act now, we still have time to minimize the impact of climate change, to limit the force and frequency of devastating natural disasters, and ultimately, to save lives.”

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©2020 The Plain Dealer, Cleveland

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