In 2014, we established industry-leading GHG reduction goals and in 2015 became one of the first ten companies globally to have our decarbonization goal validated as 2 degrees Celsius-aligned by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). In 2019, NRG announced the acceleration of these GHG emissions reduction goals to align with new United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) guidance, which calls for limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius in the post-industrial era. We are now targeting a 50% reduction by 2025 from our current 2014 baseline and net-zero emissions by 2050. Our goal covers all of NRG’s direct emissions (scope 1), all of its purchased energy (scope 2), and the employee business travel portion of scope 3. As of December 31, 2020, we had reduced our cumulative emissions by 55% relative to our current 2014 baseline. The decrease is attributed to reductions in fleet-wide annual net generation, a market-driven shift away from coal as a primary fuel to natural gas, and in 2020 reduced load as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We believe the 2020 emissions level may change as load recovers from the impact of COVID-19. NRG is continuing to target a 50% reduction by 2025 and is on track to meet that goal.
We are proud to have had our emissions reduction targets approved by SBTi — first in 2015 as previously mentioned, when our goals were declared as 2 degrees Celsius-aligned, and more recently in March 2021 when our current goal was declared to be 1.5 degrees Celsius-aligned, the most ambitious designation currently available and what the latest climate science has told us is needed to prevent the most damaging effects of climate change. NRG is the first power company in North America to achieve this designation and among only twelve globally.