Corporate pledges of reaching net zero carbon emissions have quickly become commonplace. Critics argue that such pledges are mere greenwashing, and even if pledges are fulfilled, the balance sheets usually utilize carbon offsets, which can be of questionable quality and accountability. Proponents of corporate net zero pledges say we’ll never get to net zero emissions without corporate action, and pledges represent legitimate ramping up of ambition and commitment. How can consumers, investors and policy leaders distinguish between stalling and increased ambition? Can third party auditors hold companies accountable?
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