Is the corporate race to net zero just hot air?

You can't save the world by just planting trees. As COP26 begins, MT assesses whether all the new green pledges from businesses will ultimately result in net zero.

by Paul Simpson

Has your company vowed to achieve net zero? If not, why not? And if you have made the pledge, do you understand exactly what you need to do?

That sounds facetious but not all net zero pledges are created equal – for example, the EU’s strategy includes all greenhouse gases, while China’s only targets CO2 emissions. Some companies are focused on their own operations and not the Scope 3 emissions from their value chain.

The disparity between these promises – particularly the extent to which they favour reducing emissions rather than offsetting them – could, Nature magazine concludes, lead to "drastically differing outcomes" – and that could be bad news for Earth and all creatures that dwell on it.

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