FRIES: There are ten terms in this glossary: Net Zero, Carbon Offsets, Nature-Based Solutions, Zero Deforestation, Climate Smart Agriculture, Agriculture 4.0 (or the Fourth Industrial Revolution), Regenerative Agriculture, Carbon Farming, Bioeconomy and last but not least Green Finance. This then is what you identify as key greenwashing concepts and false solutions used by food and agribusiness corporations?
KUYEK: Yes. And some of the terms are not just being used by Big Food and Ag alone. There are terms that are being used by corporations from other sectors as well. But they are a big part of the greenwashing that agribusiness is involved in.
KUYEK: Well, net zero refers to the Paris Agreement, the COP in Paris from several years ago, where countries agreed to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. And what that meant was that they would reduce emissions (it was supposed to mean they would reduce emissions) as close to zero as possible.
And then any remaining emissions would be absorbed from the atmosphere. Now, how much would be remaining and how that would be absorbed is not defined. And certainly at this point, the technologies that are being talked about and stuff is definitely not proven. But there was that.
And then it was also not discussed that if there are some emissions, well, what are those emissions for? Of course, you’d only want those to be for the most essential services or to fulfill the most basic needs of people. But the corporations have really used that as an open door to come forward with their own idea of net zero.
And then as a way to get to that net zero (which they’re claiming that they’ll be able to do), they are relying heavily on offsets. What is called carbon offsets. Meaning that they will invest or they’ll purchase credits of projects or technologies that are able to absorb carbon from the atmosphere
And an increasing amount of these sort of offset projects are based on land and forests. On the idea that if you say protect a forest from being deforested or you plant trees or you even engage in some kinds of agricultural practices that are set to store carbon in the soil, that through that (if a company purchases or pays for that) then they can offset their own emissions.
So really it becomes just this way for them to continue with business as usual.
Author(s): LYNN FRIES and DEVLIN KUYEK
Publication Date: 20 Oct 2022
Publication Site: GPE newsdocs