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Is a watchdog for corporate climate commitments caving to industry?

A road through a partially cleared forest.
Pigeon River Country State Forest in Vanderbilt, Michigan, U.S., on Wednesday, April 20th, 2022. State and local governments in the US are enrolling public-owned forests in carbon projects that could earn them tens of millions of dollars but provide little new help in the fight against climate change.

The charity that serves as a major watchdog on corporate climate commitments faces allegations that it’s caving to industry pressure to relax standards.

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) assesses companies’ sustainability pledges and develops standards for how companies can set goals to fight climate change that are backed by science. SBTi’s policies are supposed to prevent greenwashing, which is when companies make misleading statements about their environmental impact.

One way SBTi has tried to crack down on greenwashing is by limiting the use of carbon offsets. Offsets are supposed to cancel out some of a company’s carbon footprint, even though that’s often only reflected on paper and not in the real world. SBTi’s tough…

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