UN combats greenwashing with new panel

July 8, 2022

The United Nations (UN) has brought together a panel of experts aimed at reducing greenwashing by companies in their net-zero commitments

Net-zero plans have come to saturate both business and political news on all levels, from independent stores and local councils to major transnational corporations. In the face of these rising claims, the accountability of both company and government pledges to net zero is set to face new scrutiny from a new UN Panel.  

First announced at the UN Climate Summit in Glasgow last November, the panel responds to the growing number of environmental groups suing companies that lack comprehensive details in their plans about climate commitments.

As stated by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the panel will be constructed of sixteen experts and headed by former Canadian environment minister Catherine Mckenna.  Mckenna has stated that the “pledges alone are not going to reduce emissions” and that “concrete actions” are needed to deal with the challenges of climate change.  

This panel will aim to reduce the greenwashing endeavours of companies within the private sector. To accomplish these plans, Guterres has stated that the panel will analyse the plans of companies, investors, cities, and regions to forge a transparent set of standards to ensure promises are fulfilled.  

While an intimidating assignment, both the public and private sectors must not resort to the use of ‘net-zero promises’ as a get-out-of-jail-free card designed to exploit consumers’ desire to go green. This UN Panel aims to riddle out the games played by corporations to ensure that these promises are fulfilled.  

Hopefully, this is a move in the right direction and a piece of revolutionary legislation that aims to tame a previously anarchic political landscape by holding those in positions of power accountable.  

Minerva has long targeted greenwashing as a matter of importance for responsible investors. Read our Minerva Briefing on greenwashing or watch a short introduction to the topic in the video below.

Last Updated: 8 July 2022