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The ‘Big Con’ Revealed: Report Details Fossil Fuel Industry’s Deceptive ‘Net Zero’ Strategy

Big coal rig. Net Zero scam.

A brown coal mining machine operating at the Welzow-Sued lignite opencast mine in Welzow, eastern Germany. A new report out Wednesday details how so-called “net zero” pledges are simply schemes propagated by the fossil fuel industry and other powerful interests “to mask inaction, foist the burden of emissions cuts and pollution avoidance on historically exploited communities, and bet our collective future through ensuring long-term, destructive impact on land and forests, oceans, and through advancing geoengineering technologies.” (Photo: Patrick Pleul / dpa / AFP via Getty Images)

The ‘Big Con’ Revealed: Report Details Fossil Fuel Industry’s Deceptive ‘Net Zero’ Strategy

“Big polluters and rich governments should not only reduce emissions to Real Zero, they must pay reparations for the huge climate debt owed to the Global South.”

A new report published Wednesday by a trio of progressive advocacy groups lifts the veil on so-called “net zero” climate pledges, which are often touted by corporations and governments as solutions to the climate emergency, but which the paper’s authors argue are merely a dangerous form of greenwashing that should be eschewed in favor of Real Zero policies based on meaningful, near-term commitments to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.

“Increasingly, the concept of ‘net zero’ is being misconstrued in political spaces as well as by individual actors to evade action and avoid responsibility.” —Report

The report—titled The Big Con: How Big Polluters Are Advancing a “Net Zero” Climate Agenda to Delay, Deceive, and Deny” (pdf)—was published by Corporate Accountability, the Global Forest Coalition, and Friends of the Earth International, and is endorsed by over 60 environmental organizations. The paper comes ahead of this November’s United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland and amid proliferating pledges from polluting corporations and governments to achieve what they claim is carbon neutrality—increasingly via dubious offsets—by some distant date, often the year 2050.

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