Reality check: Do the UN's false climate neutrality claims matter in the fight against climate change?
This year’s UN-organised climate conference (COP) is due for a heavy dose of reality checks. The prospect of disagreement over a fossil fuel phase-out looms large, along with scattershot climate finance pledges, especially for adaptation and loss and damage.
The UN itself is also facing scrutiny, thanks to our joint investigation with Mongabay: we found that despite championing the need for urgent climate solutions, the UN's own claims of carbon neutrality amount to greenwashing. In addition, a number of projects the UN supports via carbon offset credits are linked to claims of environmental damage, displacement, and health problems.
The UN isn’t alone: plenty of other organisations promoting climate action also rely on carbon offsetting to reduce the environmental impact of some of their work.
But the UN is positioned as a moral leader in the fight against climate change. Do its false claims of climate neutrality undermine its wider efforts and credibility to address global warming? Are there alternative ways that the UN and the wider aid sector can frame efforts to address climate change that others could learn from? In the humanitarian sector, who’s really leading by example when it comes to talking about and acting on efforts to become carbon neutral?
Join us on Tuesday 21 November for an online conversation to discuss these and other questions. We’ll look at the wider implications of the findings of our investigation, and discuss the widespread use of “junk” credits, why greenwashing has become so prominent, and how some aid organisations are leading by example in addressing their own environmental footprint.
Paisley Dodds, Investigations Editor, The New Humanitarian
Jacob Goldberg, Staff Editor and Reporter, Investigations, The New Humanitarian
Joseph Romm, Senior Research Fellow, University of Pennsylvania Center for Science, Sustainability, and the Media
Dikolela Kalubi, Planetary Health Coordinator, MSF
Will Worley, Policy Editor and Reporter, The New Humanitarian (moderator)
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