Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt –

Julie Segal, Senior Climate Finance Program Manager:

“The UN’s landmark report, released today at COP27, brings credibility back to ‘net-zero’. There is no excuse for uttering the words net-zero without a plan to wind down polluting assets. Most of the private sector focuses on simply reporting their emissions, but these recommendations rightfully focus on cutting those emissions down.

“Voluntary groups are failing to bring business and investor plans in line with net-zero. Without accountability for climate promises, Canada’s finance sector has been running rogue and not delivering results. The UN’s guidance today sets the bar for credibility – financial regulators should pick up where this report leaves off and make these red lines mandatory.”

Julia Levin, National Climate Program Manager:

“The UN has set a new bar for what net-zero means: no new fossil fuel projects, no new fossil gas or LNG exports, and plans to wind down existing projects. Net-zero promises from Canadian institutions that fail to live up to these new standards should be dismissed as greenwashing.”

Read the full report:

Background information

  • In March 2022, UN Secretary-General António Guterres appointed a diverse group of experts including Catherine McKenna to help non-state actors –  including businesses, investors and cities and regions – “to walk the talk on their net-zero promises” by developing stronger and clearer standards, and criteria for assessing non-state actor commitments to reach net-zero.
  • Environmental Defence and partners put out a report early November outlining the requirements for a Credible Climate Plan – many of the recommendations are mirrored by today’s High-Level Expert Group Report.Ministers Guilbeault and Wilkinson were recently quoted in the CBC saying they would consider regulating Canada’s financial sector on climate commitments.

ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE ( Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian environmental advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.

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For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

In Canada: Alex Ross,

In Egypt: Barbara Hayes,