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How to spot the difference between a real climate policy and greenwashing guff

Unless actions by governments and corporations cut emissions in the here and now, a dose of scepticism is in order.

6 May 2021

So it’s goodbye climate deniers, hello – and you’ll pardon me for being blunt here – climate bullshitters.

The impacts of the climate emergency are now so obvious, only the truly deluded still deny them. Instead, we are at the point where everyone agrees something must be done, but many are making only vague, distant promises of ineffective action. As a result, we are currently on track for a 0.5% cut in global emissions from 2010 levels by 2030, when a 45% drop is needed to avoid climate catastrophe.

So how to spot this greenwash? A good rule of thumb is whether the proposal actually cuts emissions, by a significant amount, and soon, and whether the proposer is in fact making the climate emergency worse elsewhere.

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