‘Fake’ net-zero promises cover fossil fuel expansion

Launching a roadmap for financial institutions and businesses to reach net zero at COP27 today, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called the current pledges “fake”, calling for them to be aligned with the new guidelines.

“I have a message for fossil fuel companies and their financial enablers,” he said.

“So-called ‘net zero commitments’ that exclude basic products and activities are poisoning our planet. They must thoroughly review their promises and align them with these new directions. Using bogus “net zero” promises to cover up the massive expansion of fossil fuels is reprehensible. »

He was speaking today in Sharm el-Sheikh at the launch of the report, Integrity Matters: Net Zero Commitments by Businesses, Financial Institutions, Cities and Regionsby the Guterres Expert Group set up at COP26 last year and chaired by Catherine McKenna.

The report sets out a roadmap for business, but also stricter guidelines than other voluntary groups, such as requiring companies not to invest in new fossil fuel supplies or deforestation, limited use of carbon credits, inclusion of Scope 3 emissions and exclusion of pressures.

“The targets must cover all greenhouse gas emissions and all types of emissions,” said António Guterres. “For financial institutions, this means all funded activities.”

Natasha is a global associate editor at ESG Clarity, part of the Bonhill Group, and has been a financial journalist for six years. She was shortlisted for Story of the Year and Investment Journalist of… More by Natasha Turner