Plans from major corporations to drastically reduce emissions have both "major flaws" and "major credibility gaps," according to Net Zero Tracker's annual report. Net Zero Tracker says many company promises to slash emissions are flawed and vague. The report also casts doubt on the use of carbon offsets, a key tactic for many companies' climate goals.
Roughly half of the Forbes 2000 largest companies have yet to announce plans to reach net-zero — the point at which greenhouse gas emissions are negated by deep cuts in output as well as methods to absorb atmospheric carbon dioxide. Of the 702 companies with a net-zero target, such as Amazon, Apple, and Volkswagen, two-thirds haven't made it clear how they plan to achieve that goal, according to the report.
The report also highlights the "unacceptably low" targets among many of the companies to be carbon neutral by 2050. Such long-running plans would do little to halve emissions in the next eight years, something scientists believe is needed to stem climate change.
Net Zero Tracker, run in part by the UK-based Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) and the University of Oxford, assesses publicly available data for about 200 countries as well as large publicly traded companies.
"We see a lot of issues with credibility, and the quality and robustness of these targets," said report co-author Frederic Hans, a climate policy analyst at NewClimate Institute, a German think tank.
The practice of carbon offsetting also featured heavily in the study. Buying credits for emissions reduced elsewhere is often a key tactic for corporations who say they are serious about their climate goals, despite the fact that experts have raised serious concerns about its efficacy and its lack of regulation.