Corporate Net Zero Targets on the Rise, But Lack of Credibility Pervades

More than a third of the world’s largest publicly-traded companies have set net zero targets, but 65% of them have yet to meet minimum procedural standards of robustness, according to the latest ‘Net Zero Stocktake 2022’ report by Net Zero Tracker. Around 40% of companies have disclosed that they intend to offset a portion of their emissions to achieve net zero, with less than 2% “explicitly ruling out their use”, the report said. This means roughly 60% of companies with net zero targets have yet to specify whether carbon offsetting will feature in their decarbonisation strategies. However, companies in carbon intensive industries are setting targets, with those in the fossil fuels industry having the second highest percentage of net zero targets (49%) among industries with more than ten companies in the Forbes 2,000 list. “As scrutiny grows and the shadow of regulation lengthens, increasingly those companies without credible targets should become outliers. Civil society, researchers, and policymakers are getting better at separating genuine from greenwash, so gone are the days when misleading net zero targets will not be found out,” the report said. Net Zero Tracker is a collaboration between the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), Data-Driven EnviroLab (DDL), NewClimate Institute and Oxford Net Zero. 

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