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Regulating corporate green claims and greenwashing – policy recommendations

In an assessment of 25 major global corporations’ climate claims, produced by NewClimate Institute in collaboration with Carbon Market Watch, it was found that nearly all of them rely on some form of loophole or trick to significantly exaggerate the ambition of their climate targets and actions.

The EU, and its member states, should improve requirements related to false and misleading advertising and marketing. Carbon Market Watch recommends the following:

Summary of recommendations

  • Governments must ban corporations from making “net zero” and “carbon neutrality” claims.
  • Companies must report absolute emission reductions separately from any emission reductions financed outside of their value chain, rather than one single aggregate number.
  • Companies must always provide consumers and investors with the full picture. They must set targets that cover all of the emissions within their value chain, i.e. scopes 1-3; express emission reductions in both absolute terms and as a share of total emissions; and provide details on the reference point used to calculate reductions, i.e. the base-year.
  • Companies should not balance fossil fuel emissions with carbon stored in non-permanent carbon sinks such as forests or soil.

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