Are Big Companies’ Net-Zero Pledges a Well-Intentioned Shell Game?

Stefan Reichelstein im Interview für die Stanford Graduate School of Business

Are Big Companies’ Net-Zero Pledges a Well-Intentioned Shell Game?

Some of the boldest promises to fight climate change today are coming not from governments but the private sector. Major firms around the world are stepping forward with pledges to achieve “net-zero emissions” of carbon by a certain date, often 2050.

Of course, these announcements are played for all the PR juice they’re worth. And that’s fine — if they’re backed up with real action. But how do we know whether those pledges are meaningful or just greenwashing?

Why Stefan Reichelstein concludes that the world of climate promises and carbon offsets is “like the Wild West, where anything goes,” and that we need a system that is sufficiently simple and trans­parent:

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