We have made significant long-term investments in environmental controls to reduce the environmental impact of how we generate electricity. From 2000 through 2021, we invested approximately $9.1 billion in environmental controls, primarily related to the Clean Air Act. These investments subsequently resulted in significant emissions reductions. Since 1990, we have reduced our annual emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) by approximately 98% and 95%, respectively. Since 2001, we have reduced our annual mercury emissions by approximately 97%.
Additional information about mercury is located within the Toxics Release Inventory program.
Through 2021, we reduced our carbon emissions by 70% from a 2000 baseline. In 2021, emissions increased relative to 2020 due to the post-pandemic economic recovery and surge in natural gas prices. Despite the 2021 increase in CO2 emissions, AEP is still on track to meet our goals of 80% reduction by 2030 and net-zero by 2050. We are committed to periodically reviewing these goals as we work toward a clean energy future.
We are often asked if our emissions data is third-party verified. At present, AEP’s emissions data is not third-party verified as the majority of data is derived from calibrated and certified systems that are deemed acceptable by federal regulators for compliance requirements. This will potentially change in the future as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission seeks to have third-party verified emissions data included in financial statements.
Learn more about AEP’s emissions reduction accomplishments and targets in our Climate Impact Analysis.
In October 2022, AEP announced an update of our CO2 emission goals. We are rebasing our near-term CO2 emission reduction target to 2005, upgrading our 2030 target to include full Scope 1 emissions and accelerating our net-zero goal by 5 years.