What are all these pledges to go “net zero” about?
Swiftly getting its investments in line with cutting global emissions in half by 2030 and reaching credible net zero emissions by 2050 is just the beginning of what Vanguard needs to be doing to deal with its climate problem.
Net zero means reducing greenhouse gas emissions enough that any leftover emissions can be removed from the atmosphere by planting trees or using carbon capture and storage technologies.
It was a positive development when Vanguard joined the Net Zero Asset Manager initiative in 2021 and disappointing when it quit the initiative the following year.
Vanguard should be taking ambitious, meaningful climate action that recognizes the need for an immediate end of fossil fuel expansion and real reductions in the burning of fossil fuels now. We cannot gamble with any net zero plans that dangerously allow for heating the planet up past 1.5 ℃ and rely on unproven methods for removing carbon from the atmosphere to correct our overshoot.
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