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Former environment minister Catherine McKenna is calling out weak net-zero commitments and the need for governments to regulate climate pledges in her role as head of a United Nations climate group.
Speaking at the latest UN climate talks happing in Egypt, McKenna says corporate climate promises need to be held up to high standards because greenwashing can lead to cynicism and undermine efforts to limit the harms of climate change.
Her comments come as the expert group she chairs released a report proposing standards around net-zero pledges, including the need for total emission reductions across a company’s value chain and the need for specific targets to end the use and support of fossil fuels.
She says governments should step in to make sure standards are high enough to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, with an initial focus on high-impact emitters including large corporations as well as banks and other financial institutions.
The report also emphasizes the need for a “just transition” as part of climate commitments, including for financial institutions and multinational companies to take on more risk while ramp up clean energy investments in developing countries.
McKenna’s comments come as other UN reports have found that climate commitments are falling short of what’s needed, while UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres opened the COP 27 conference by warning that the world is on a “highway to climate hell, with our foot still on the accelerator.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 8, 2022.
The Canadian Press
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