Reporting on net zero targets: How to tell real ambition from greenwashing

16.00-17.30 CET // 11:00-12:30 ET
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When reporting on corporate net zero targets, drawing the line between meaningful climate commitments and hollow greenwashing can be complicated. Yet, the rapid spread of company climate commitments makes this journalistic undertaking more urgent than ever. In the words of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterrez: “We must have zero tolerance for net-zero greenwashing.” But how can journalists best report on net zero targets? What are the shortcuts to finding out whether a company’s climate pledges are a meaningless PR exercise, or a serious commitment to decarbonisation?

Clean Energy Wire has already produced a compact guide,“How to unpick a company net zero target in 7 steps,” based on the methodology of NewClimate Institute, a global leader in assessing corporate net zero targets. In the latest edition of the Corporate Climate Responsibility Monitor, NewClimate found that the “net zero” climate plans of 24 of the world’s largest companies – including household names such as Amazon, Apple, Google, H&M, Nestle, and Walmart – come to emissions reductions of only 36 percent. In this webinar, Frederic Hans and Sybrig Smit, co-authors of the report, will share insights from years of experience in assessing net zero targets, and in dealing with company press and sustainability departments on this issue. In addition, Taipei-based journalist Kwangyin Liu will talk about her experience of researching how the net zero targets of Apple, Google, and Microsoft could force Taiwan’s massive chipmaking industry abroad.

Journalists attending the session will learn about:

  • What approach to take when reporting on company net zero targets
  • Avoiding common pitfalls when assessing company climate targets
  • Spotting telltale signs for greenwashing in company publications
  • Asking the right questions when dealing with company press and sustainability departments