Here are some questions to ask when a company says it plans to get to zero emissions.
The number of companies that have set net-zero climate goals—meaning that they’ll cut their CO2 emissions as much as possible, and any they still emit will be offset by projects that capture carbon—has more than tripled over roughly the last year. Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, says that it plans to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Unilever, another consumer product giant with hundreds of brands, plans to get there by 2039. Duke Energy, the North Carolina-based electric utility with a long history of using coal, plans to reach net zero by 2050. Even oil companies such as BP now say that they are aiming for the same thing. Others, including Amazon and Microsoft, plan to hit the goal much sooner.