Corporate pushback against climate action is getting desperate

(Climate Home News, 29 Sep 2022) It’s not every day that professors are told they risk breaking the law for articulating basic scientific facts. But that’s the reality of giving expert advice in the deepening climate crisis.

As net zero commitments reshape the world economy, and as the impacts of climate change accelerate, climate politics is getting existential. Vulnerable communities are fighting to survive. This month, one-third of Pakistan, a country of 220 million people, was flooded. At the same time, fossil fuel interest groups coal, in particular are trying every tactic to delay the inevitable.

Capitalism has become the battleground for this conflict. Over the past decades, a groundswell of voluntary action on climate change has surged around the world. According to the Net Zero Tracker, one in three of the world’s 2,000 largest companies now has a net zero target, up from one in five in 2021.

Some of these targets are credible; many are not. To mobilise action and combat greenwashing, a host of initiatives, standards, and regulations have arisen to define science-based pathways to net zero and hold companies accountable for meeting them.

One such initiative is the Race to Zero campaign, which commits companies, investors, cities, regions, and others to reach net zero by mid-century or sooner. To join, these entities need to meet science-based criteria as defined by an independent advisory group of experts, which I co-chair (a voluntary, unpaid position).

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Climate Home News, 29 Sep 2022: Corporate pushback against climate action is getting desperate