COP27: U.N. expert group say corporate climate pledges rife with greenwashing
"COP27 - Corporate climate pledges rife with greenwashing - U.N. expert group", 8 November 2022
Promises by companies, banks and cities to achieve net-zero emissions often amount to little more than greenwashing, U.N. experts said in a report on Tuesday as they set out proposed new standards to harden net-zero claims.
The report, released at the COP27 climate conference in Egypt, is intended to draw a "red line" around false claims of progress in the fight against global warming that can confuse consumers, investors and policy makers.
At last year's climate negotiations in Glasgow, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed 17 experts to review the integrity of non-state net-zero commitments amid concerns about "a surplus of confusion and deficit of credibility" around corporate climate claims...
An estimated 80% of global emissions are now covered by pledges that commit to reaching net-zero emissions.
The report set out a list of recommendations that companies and other non-state actors should follow to ensure their claims are credible. For example, a company cannot claim to be net-zero if it continues to build or invest in new fossil fuel infrastructure or deforestation.
The report also dismisses the use of cheap carbon credits to offset continued emissions as a viable net-zero strategy, and recommends companies, financial institutions, cities and regions focus on outright emissions and not carbon intensity - a measure of how much carbon is emitted per unit of output.
"Too many of these net-zero pledges are little more than empty slogans and hype", group chair and Canada's former environment minister, Catherine McKenna, said during a news conference launching the report...