Corporate Green Policies Are So Much Hot Air

by Vins
Published: Updated:

Companies are backtracking on their promises to implement green policies, despite being incentivized. E- The Environmental Magazine reported that in February 2024 three major investment companies took a step back from plans to limit climate damaging emissions. However, they are not the only ones. Hundreds of companies across the world are going back on commitments toward emissions reductions, many of them being big names.

In 2023, Amazon dropped an effort to zero out emission on its shipments, despite publicly taking on The Climate Pledge in 2021. Another big name, Shell Oil, also stopped an initiative toward carbon absorbing projects after pledging that they would follow through. 

The non-profit watchdog Net Zero Tracker found that of more than 1,000 companies pledging to zero out emissions by 2050, less than 4 percent had done even “the bare minimum” to reach that goal.

There is a lack of government policy surrounding corporate emissions, which makes it easy for companies to not follow through with their promises. In the United States, the Inflation Reduction Act is designed to change that, providing billions of dollars in tax subsidies to companies that use green energy. Another method long proposed has been placing a blanket tax on each ton of greenhouse gas that is emitted. 

So far, however, companies initially agreed to implement green policies for the quick public relations boost, and not with true intention to make serious efforts. 

Some corporate news outlets have covered how companies are reneging, for example the New York Times  and Los Angeles Times are some of the only corporate news outlets reporting on this issue. However, a majority of news sources are reporting and applauding the efforts of companies taking the pledge toward green policies—however empty such pledges have proven to be.

Source: Taylor Connelly, “Why Are Companies Reneging on Emissions Reductions?” E- The Environmental Magazine, February 22, 2024. 

Student Researcher: Sophia DiSpirito (Frostburg State University)

Faculty Evaluator: Andy Duncan (Frostburg State University)