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Net-Zero Goals by Fossil Fuel Firms, “Largely Meaningless”


BNR – The total number of fossil fuel firms committing to net-zero emissions objectives has increased dramatically in the last year. Yet many of them fail to address critical problems, rendering them “largely meaningless,” according to a report released on Monday.

75 of the worldwide biggest 112 fossil fuel firms have now pledged to go net-zero. Net-zero refers to the point at which emissions of greenhouse gases are offset by drastic reductions in output elsewhere and tools that capture atmospheric carbon dioxide.

According to Net Zero Tracker’s analysis of publicly accessible data, this is up from only 51 a year ago. The website is run partly by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit in the United Kingdom and the University of Oxford.

Critical Gaps of Net-zero Objectives

Most objectives do not completely address Scope 3 emissions, lack transparency, or do not contain short-term reduction strategies. The usage of a company’s products is within Scope 3 emissions, which is the largest source of emissions for fossil fuel firms.

As a result, they were deemed “largely meaningless” by the study. According to the report, none of the fossil fuel businesses were making the necessary commitments to transition away from fossil fuel extraction or production.

As of now, over 4,000 governments, states, regions, towns, and businesses worldwide have committed to net-zero energy. Last November, the United Nations produced a study on what a ‘good’ net-zero plan ought to look like in order to prevent greenwashing.

“We haven’t yet seen a huge move from fossil fuel companies or other companies on meeting those (guidelines),” said Thomas Hale of the University of Oxford. “So, there’s still a lot of work to do to come up to that level.” Hale co-wrote the report.

Challenges Ahead for Genuine Implementation

Daisy Streatfield, sustainability director at global asset company Ninety One, believes that credible strategies and real implementation will take time.

She went on to say that this is especially true with several businesses outperforming national governments.

According to research published last week in the Science Journal, almost 90% of countries’ net-zero ambitions are unlikely to happen.


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