Greenwashing: U.N. chief slams companies engaging in ‘toxic cover-up’

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Source: The post is based on the articleU.N. chief slams companies engaging in ‘toxic cover-uppublished in The Hindu on 9th November 2022. 

What is the News?

The UN Secretary-General has said that there will be zero tolerance for Greenwashing or falsification of carbon emissions reports by companies, financial institutions, cities, regions and other non-state actors.

What is Greenwashing?

Greenwashing is the process of conveying a false impression or misleading information about how a company’s products are environmentally sound.

It involves making an unsubstantiated claim to deceive consumers into believing that a company’s products are environmentally friendly or have a greater positive environmental impact than is true.

What are examples of Greenwashing?

Developed countries are often accused of greenwashing their normal business investments in developing countries or their bilateral aid. They often highlight the climate co-benefits of these financial flows, sometimes with very little justification.

The Volkswagen scandal was also a case of greenwashing. In this scandal, the German car company was found to have been cheating in emissions testing of its supposedly green diesel vehicles

What is being done to address greenwashing by non-state actors?

An expert group was formed by the UN Secretary-General in 2021 to suggest remedial actions to address a ‘surplus of confusion and deficit of credibility’ over net-zero targets of non-State entities.

The report has given several recommendations such as: 1) corporations pursuing net zero targets must not be allowed to make fresh investments in fossil fuels, 2) corporations must be asked to present short-term emission reduction goals on the path to achieving net zero and must bring an end to all activities that lead to deforestation, 3) corporations have been advised not to use offset mechanisms at the start of their journey to net-zero status and 4) creation of regulatory structures and standards as soon as possible.

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