Southern California Gas Co., the largest gas utility in the country, pledged Tuesday to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions in its operations and delivery of energy by 2045.

According to a company statement, the utility’s commitment “aligns with the Paris Climate Agreement’s recommendations and reflects the company’s focus on supporting California with a resilient gas grid through the energy transition to support a carbon neutral economy.”

“Our mission is to build the cleanest, safest and most innovative energy company in America,” said SoCalGas CEO Scott Drury. “We will lead the energy transition by providing clean fuels and innovative technologies essential to carbon neutrality for California. Through collaboration and partnership, California can develop clean energy solutions at scale and serve as a global beacon for energy innovation.”

According to the utility, SoCalGas “is the largest gas distribution utility in North America to set a net zero target including scopes 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions, which would eliminate not only its own direct emissions, but also those generated by customers’ energy delivered by SoCalGas’ energy infrastructure.”

SoCalGas serves nearly 22 million residents, representing half the state’s population.

Over the next five years, the utility said it plans to invest in initiatives to decarbonize, diversify and digitalize the business. Its stated commitments to reaching net zero include:

— By 2025: to achieve net zero energy for 100% of SoCalGas’ newly constructed buildings and major renovations of buildings over 10,000 square feet; replace 50% of SoCalGas’ over-the-road fleet with electric, hybrid, natural gas, and/or fuel cell electric vehicles; establish statewide hydrogen blending standards; and complete five hydrogen pilot projects.

By 2030: to eliminate 100% of vented gas during planned transmission pipeline work; achieve net zero energy for 50% of all SoCalGas existing buildings; and deliver 20% renewable natural gas.

By 2035: to operate a 100% zero emissions over-the-road fleet; and achieve net zero energy for 100% of SoCalGas buildings.

Caltech chemistry professor Nate Lewis signaled his support.

“Converting electricity into fuel is a critical technology that will solve many issues for storing electricity long-term and for decarbonized transportation fuels within our existing infrastructure,” Lewis said. “The linchpin is converting electricity to fuels, and SoCalGas’ dedication to these solutions will help California reach carbon-neutrality faster and more cost-effectively.”

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