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Corporate Net-Zero Goals Don’t Add Up to a Net-Zero Planet

June 27, 2022, 10:00 AM

More than 5,200 businesses have pledged to cut their greenhouse gas pollution to zero by 2050, or reach “net zero” by canceling out emissions with forestry or other projects that remove CO₂ from the air. They include some of the world’s biggest companies across all sectors: Apple, Zurich Insurance, P&G, General Motors, and so on.

But as the corporate net-zero juggernaut powers on, the less sense it makes, critics say, and it may do more harm than good. Their reason is simple: the only net-zero goal that matters is the one that applies to the entire planet. At the largest scale, discussion of ...