We a pleased to be among contributors to a new report lead by Corporate Accountability, Global Forest Coalition and Friends of the Earth International called “The Big Con: How Big Polluters are advancing a “net zero” climate agenda to delay, deceive, and deny”. The report details major strategies used by industries to lock in a “net zero” climate agenda and the shortcomings of corporate “net zero” plans across sectors. This report joins a series of reports that have recently been released including “Not Zero: How ‘net zero’ targets disguise climate inaction”, which have all uncovered unreliable assessments, vague targets and often unachievable technological aspirations of “net zero” plans. “The Big Con” looks at plans from a number of key polluting industries including the fossil fuel and energy, aviation, technology, retail, finance, and agriculture industries. It also includes an in-depth look at some of the strategies these industries have deployed to ensure their “net zero” agenda becomes the primary principle of the global response to the climate crisis.
Key findings of the report include:
- Big Polluters, including the aviation and fossil fuel industries lobbied massively to help ensure the passage of a tax credit in the US, called 45Q, that subsidizes carbon capture and storage. Those same corporations are likely to have raked in millions from the credit, despite not having the right systems in place to qualify.
- The International Emissions Trading Association, perhaps the largest global lobbyist on market and offsets (both pillars of polluters’ “net zero” climate plans”) has leveraged its outsized presence at international climate talks to advance its agenda over others.
- Corporations have made massive financial contributions to renowned academic institutions including the Massachusetts Institute for Technology, Princeton University, Stanford University and Imperial College London to shape and influence the type of “net zero” related research these institutions pursue.
- In one example, Exxon Mobil retained the right to formally review research before it is completed and in some cases to plant its own staff on project development teams at Stanford’s Global Climate and Energy Project.
- By 2030, Shell alone plans to purchase more offsets to compensate for its emissions every year than were available in the entire global voluntary carbon offset market capacity in 2019.
- Walmart’s climate plan entirely neglects its value chain emissions, which account for an estimated 95 percent of the corporation’s carbon footprint.
- Eni is planning on increasing its oil and gas production over the coming years, a feat that the corporation proposes to offset through reforestation schemes that have been described as fake forests.
- BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, has pledged to reach “net zero” emissions in its portfolio by 2050. But despite pledging in 2020 to sell off most of its fossil fuel shares “in the near future”, it still owns US$85 billion in coal assets due to a loophole in its policy.
- JBS’ commitment to eliminate deforestation in its supply chain by 2035 in effect means it will continue contributing to deforestation for the next 14 years (until 2035), instead of immediately ending the deforestation associated with its supply chain—arguably one of the most effective and quickest ways for JBS to decrease its emissions.
The Big Con: how big polluters are advancing a “net zero” climate agenda to delay, deceive, and deny is available now in English, Français, Español and Português https://t.co/wKL2QcfIg7 pic.twitter.com/yfNr7C6aWl— Biofuelwatch (@biofuelwatch) June 22, 2021