UN: ‘Bogus’ net-zero pledges cover up fossil fuel expansion

UN's Guterres speaks at the launch of net-zero guidance at COP27

At the launch of a roadmap for financial institutions and businesses to achieve net zero at COP27 yesterday, UN secretary-general, António Guterres, called current pledges “bogus,” calling for them to be aligned with the new guidance.

“I have a message to fossil fuel companies and their financial enablers,” he said.

“So-called ‘net-zero pledges’ that exclude core products and activities are poisoning our planet. They must thoroughly review their pledges and align them with this new guidance. Using bogus ‘net-zero’ pledges to cover up massive fossil fuel expansion is reprehensible.”

He was speaking today in Sharm el-Sheikh at the launch of the report, Integrity Matters: Net Zero Commitments by Business, Financial Institutions, Cities and Regions, by the expert group Guterres set up at COP26 last year that is chaired by Catherine McKenna.

The report sets out a roadmap for firms but also stricter guidelines than other voluntary groups have, such as requiring firms to not invest in new fossil fuel supply or deforestation, a limited use of carbon credits, the inclusion of Scope 3 emissions and the exclusion of lobbying.

“Targets must cover all greenhouse gas emissions and all scopes of emissions,” Guterres said. “For financial institutions, this means all financed activities.”


Natasha Turner

Natasha is global editor at ESG Clarity, part of Mark Allen Financial, and has been a financial journalist for seven years. She has been shortlisted for Story of the Year and Investment Journalist of the...