Carbon neutrality by 2050

In early 2018, EDF Group made the commitment to reduce its direct CO₂* emissions by 40% compared with 2017, aiming to bring them down from 51 million tonnes to 30 million tonnes by 2030.

At the beginning of 2020, the Group committed to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. He joined the “Business Ambition for 1.5°C: our only future” initiative, currently comprising more than 300 other companies that have undertaken to be CO₂ neutral by 2050, in order to help limit the increase in global temperature to 1.5 °C compared with the pre-industrial period.

Also, as regards Executives in France (EDF), a new criteria for their variable remuneration has been introduced in 2020 which is linked to carbon intensity and more precisely specific CO₂ direct emissions from electricity and heat generation (gCO₂/kWh)(1). It is based on group CO₂ reduction net zero 2030 trajectory. Moreover, as regards to managers(2) in generation business units in France (EDF) and the United Kingdom (EDF in the UK), 10% of the variable part of their remuneration (which represents up to 40% of their salary) is indexed to the availability of the nuclear fleet, and therefore to the carbon content of the electricity produced, which does not generate direct CO₂ emissions.

On December 2020, the EDF Group's reinforced downward trajectory of CO₂ emissions has been validated by Science Based Targets(3) as being aligned with a well-below 2°C pathway, whilst also establishing a dedicated climate-related governance (two Climate point persons from within its Executive Committee and Board of Directors), aligned with best practices recommended by the Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure (TCFD). The CO₂ emission reduction targets that the EDF Group set itself in early 2020, covering both its direct emissions (scope 1) and indirect emissions (scope 2 and 3), were validated by Science Based Targets as being aligned with a “Well Below 2°C” trajectory in accordance with their specifically developed methodology for the electricity sector.

For the EDF Group, it involves:

  • reducing its direct and indirect CO2 emissions (scope 1 and 2) by 50% (2017 basis), including emissions from non-consolidated generation assets and emissions associated with electricity purchased for sale to end customers;
  • reducing its CO₂ emissions associated with the burning of gas sold to end customers (scope 3) by 28% (2019 basis).

This trajectory represents an absolute reduction of direct greenhouse-gas emissions amounting to 25 Mt CO₂e by 2030, equivalent to a carbon intensity of approximately 35 g CO₂/kWh in 2030.

* Direct emissions excluding the life cycle analysis of generating plant and fuel.
(1) The Group specific CO₂ direct emissions was 55gCO₂/kWh in 2019 and our target is 35 gCO₂/kWh by 2030
(2) These are the managers of the production entities in France (EDF) and in the United Kingdom (EDF in the UK).
(3) The SBTi promotes a methodology to assess and track the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

Graphic: EDF Group CO2 emissions - Details down below


EDF group's CO₂* emissions are well below those of other electricity producers and follow a downtrend. After passing under the 100 gCO₂/kWh mark in 2015, EDF Group’s specific carbon emissions delivered the figure of 50 gCO₂/kWh in 2022. The Group’s carbon intensity is now nine times lower than the sector’s average worldwide (437 gCO₂/kWh)(1), and five times lower than the European average (275 gCO₂/kWh)(2).

The light increase in carbon intensity between 2021 and 2022 is mainly related to the decrease in the EDF Group CO₂*-free production (decrease of more than 88 TWh), in particular of its nuclear production.

Graphic: EDF CO2 emissions in France - Details down below

In France

In mainland France, the EDF production mix remains very low with a carbon intensity of 17 g CO₂/kWh, that is 16 times less than the European average for the sector(2).

* Direct emissions excluding the life cycle analysis of generating plant and fuel.
(1) Estimation 2021, International Energy Agency, World Energy Outlook 2022.
(2) Estimation 2021, EU-27, European Environment Agency, Greenhouse gas emission intensity of electricity generation by country, Oct. 2022

A concerted industrial policy that has paid off

EDF reduced its CO₂* emissions in France by more than two-thirds from 24 Mt to 7 Mt between 1990 and 2016. In 2022, it delivered the figure of 5.3 MtCO₂*.

Graphic: Reduction of EDF CO2 emissions - Details down below

The Group achieves its commitments decommissioning power plants producing electricity from plants.

For about twenty years, the Group has been implementing and supporting the decommissioning of the largest number of coal and heavy fuel plants in Europe. From 2017, the Group was involved in the Powering Past Coal Alliance coalition which recommends within the framework of the Paris Agreement the phasing out of coal, from 2030, in the countries.

In 2021, Le Havre power plant in France and two plants of the West Burton A power plant in the United-Kingdom had been decommissioned. The other two units at West Burton A will be closed in 2023.

* Direct emissions excluding the life cycle analysis of generating plant and fuel.

A unique mix of nuclear and renewable energy

EDF Group has the foremost hydropower capacity in the European Union. It is also one of Europe’s leading producers of electricity and heat from renewable sources.

It is highly committed to developing renewable energy, notably wind, solar and hydropower, backed by its nuclear plants as the main source of power. By 2030, the Group aims at increasing its renewable capacity production worldwide by more than 70% to reach GW net.

In France, to support the development of wind and solar power and manage their variability, EDF has been working on making the operation of its nuclear power plants more flexible. As a result, it is now possible to rapidly increase production at some nuclear power plants to offset a drop in wind or solar output; or, conversely, rapidly drop nuclear production when wind and solar production ramp up. Today, the reactors in EDF’s nuclear fleet can modulate around 80% of their power in under 30 minutes. This capability is not found anywhere else in the world.

To go further

Centrale de Cruas Meysse

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

An ambitious carbon emissions reduction path ensuring reaching 25 MtCO₂e for the Group's direct emissions in 2030.

Ferme solaire aux Etats-Unis

Green Bonds

EDF is a reference issuer in the Green Bond market: since November 2013, it has issued the equivalent of around €8.75bn in Green Bonds to support its development in renewable energy sources.