The companies’ green claims should be treated with caution.
Empty Promising is now fashionable in management teams.
Business leaders have declared their commitment to zero emissions targets. Thus, companies are trying to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to zero or even minus by using technologies that absorb and bury carbon dioxide from the air.
The companies are working with many governments complying with the Paris Agreement to cut country-specific emissions by 2050 to curb global warming.
At first, this seemed like significant activity, as many industries in the past were reluctant to commit to or even lobbied against demanding climate goals. This was done, among other things, in the fossil fuel sectors.
Fresh According to the analysis, one-fifth of the world’s 2,000 largest listed companies with a total annual turnover of more than € 12,000 billion are aiming for zero emissions.
More than two-thirds of companies selling household and hygiene products are committed to zero emissions. In the United States, about 25 percent of large industrial companies in the S&P 500 index are doing the same. Some technology giants, such as Alphabet and Microsoft, even say they will remove all the carbon they emit during their business from the atmosphere.
Many companies use the long time horizon as an excuse not to draw up a detailed action plan.
All honor for climate goals, but such big promises should be treated with caution for two reasons.
First, many companies describe their climate goals in inaccurate terms from zero and zero net emissions to carbon neutral and carbon negative. One might think that companies intend to significantly reduce their greenhouse gas emissions on this basis, but this may not be true.
Most companies plan to cut emissions somewhat, which can be cumbersome and expensive.
They intend to achieve the rest of their goals by shifting funds to renewable energy or the protection of carbon sinks, which is cheaper but of varying quality.
Through this loophole, companies can promise anything without explaining exactly how they intend to improve their operations.
Suspect also supports the fact that most of the commitments are promised to be implemented by 2040, 2050 or later. Promises are easy to make because now the business leaders who make decisions are hardly responsible when it is time to deliver on them.
Many companies use the long time horizon as an excuse not to draw up a detailed action plan. They only paint pictures of future innovations that magically solve the problem.
Amazon, which is drumming its 2040 zero-emissions target in TV commercials, says bluntly that it doesn’t really know how the target will be met.
Although there is much room for doubt, there are also two good reasons to believe that companies will start taking their emissions targets seriously in 2022.
First, a number of advances in international and industry regulations and standards are expected, which would seem to expose fraudsters and encourage heroes.
At the request of governments and regulators, the IFRS Foundation in London is helping to develop requirements for listed companies to report climate risks to their operations.
The first set of requirements is scheduled to be released in mid-2022. Rules on how custodians should declare environmental considerations are highly anticipated by the EU. The rules are due to be published in July.
In 2022, there will be new requirements from the U.S. and Singapore authorities regarding the information provided by companies.
Hope also mocks from the bottom up.
Science Based Targets (SBTi) is a voluntary initiative by a number of international organizations, including the United Nations, that encourages companies to commit to zero emissions with the severity required by the Paris Agreement climate change targets.
SBTi researchers only accredit companies that publish their climate data and measurement results to strict standards and have proper plans to reduce their CO2 emissions. For example, no emission offsets are taken into account.
Companies supporting the initiative have reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by a total of a quarter since 2015, while global emissions from energy production and industrial processes increased by 3.4 percent over the same period.
So don’t let the green washers bother.
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