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Corporate Climate Responsibility Monitor


Net zero or not zero?

Combating corporate greenwashing

Despite claiming to be champions of climate action, two dozen of the world’s largest and richest corporations are hiding their climate inaction behind the fig leaf of green-sounding ‘net zero’ plans, concludes the 2023 edition of the Corporate Climate Responsibility Monitor.

Governments must stop their dithering and regulate the  green claims companies make.


Main findings

Not zero

The assessed corporations are part of the Race to Zero initiative, yet their climate plans will only cut 36% off their combined emissions by their net-zero target years, instead of the 90-95% that is required.

2030 blind spot

Humanity needs to halve its carbon footprint by 2030 if we are to keep temperature rises within the relatively safe 1.5°C, yet the corporations that have a 2030 target commit to cutting only 15% of their real emissions by 2030.

Offsetting ambition

Almost all the climate plans rely on offsetting. Together, the corporations plan to offset between 23% and 45% of their combined carbon footprint.

Silver lining

A few corporations have shown leadership in some areas of climate action, such as innovating pioneering technology that monitors and matches renewable energy consumption and production round the clock, or investing in electric vehicles and low-carbon fuel.

“At a time when corporations need to come clean about their climate impact and shrink their carbon footprint, many are exploiting vague and misleading ‘net zero’ pledges to greenwash their brand while continuing with business as usual. This dangerous procrastination must stop. Since multinationals have both an oversized impact on the planet and the means to reduce their carbon footprint, they must take real action to clean up their act and not just their image by slashing their emissions.

Sabine Frank
Executive director, Carbon Market Watch

Greenwashing in focus

Our demands

Governments must ensure stronger consumer protection through a ban on misleading climate-related “neutrality” claims, such as "carbon neutral" and "net zero". These claims fool people into believing harmful emissions can easily be “cancelled out” or “neutralised” and deny them the opportunity to decarbonise their consumption.
Governments must ensure better enforcement of existing and future consumer protection rules related to false and misleading green advertisements. Public enforcement agencies must be more ambitious. Civil society organisations cannot and should not be expected to continue to fill the large enforcement gap.
Governments must provide clear guidelines for companies on the right level of ambition and how to communicate about it. Companies must be encouraged and supported to adopt climate strategies that reflect robust commitments to deep decarbonisation.

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