Public Resource
Chasing Carbon Unicorns: The Deception of Carbon Markets and “Net Zero”
Friends of the Earth International

What is “net zero”? Are the consequences for “net zero” the same for everyone? Friends of the Earth International’s 2021 report argues that the net zero commitments by multinational corporations and governments are “smokescreens” that hide these entities’ inaction. Instead, we should be aiming for actual reductions in the amount of carbon emission we are creating — a “real zero.” Instead of making real changes, the “net zero” plans will lead to carbon offset markets. These carbon offset markets then will likely require that large areas of land in the Global South be dedicated to offsetting carbon. This will effectively ignore the needs of local communities, whose autonomy over their land will likely be challenged – with indigenous communities being particularly vulnerable. Outsourcing carbon emissions to the Global South is not how we should combat climate change. “Real zero” is the real goal.