To greenwash or do the right thing? Corporate dilemmas at COP28

To greenwash or do the right thing? Corporate dilemmas at COP28

They call the giant climate business expo running outside the COP28 United Nations talks in Dubai the “green zone”.

With the enormous former Expo 2020 site given over to green—and not so green—companies to trumpet their climate credentials, the private sector has never been embraced so warmly at a climate summit as it has been in the oil-rich city state.

An astonishing 400,000 visitors have registered for day passes to the futuristic jamboree, with stands touting the latest carbon capture tech to a vegetable garden trying to hold up under the desert heat.

And that is not counting the 80,000 people accredited to the talks themselves.

Corporate pledges have been coming thick and fast, with Dubai-based Emirate Airlines—which has its own huge pavilion—heralding its first flight with “100 percent sustainable aviation fuel” and BNP Paribas bank saying they were phasing out financing projects related to extracting coking coal.

Others have been more hazy. The public relations teams of big companies feel they have to “come up with something during COP”, sustainable finance expert Laurent Lascols told AFP. But most of the time they recycle “something they already have on the go”.

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