Clipped Green Claims at COP27 Might Signal Progress

Companies' more cautious decarbonization promises at this year’s climate conference could be a sign they are taking them more seriously

In a speech at the COP27 conference in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said that the Earth is nearing tipping points that will make climate chaos irreversible and called for more action. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Less fanfare from companies at this year’s United Nations climate conference doesn’t necessarily mean they are scaling back their ambitions for decarbonization.

Corporate and political leaders from around the world are gathered on the shores of the Red Sea for this year’s Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or COP27. One notable outcome of last year’s COP26 in Glasgow was a raft of promises from businesses to cut their net greenhouse-gas emissions to zero by 2050. Executives have many reasons to be less vocal this year.

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