Earth, Inc.
April 14, 2022 7:00 AM EDT

Only a relative few companies have set net-zero targets, and even fewer expect to fully stop emitting greenhouse gases. For the majority, the plan is to eliminate their carbon footprint by 2050 through offsets—a reduction or removal of emissions elsewhere to compensate. Offsets, however, are controversial, in part because they’re difficult to get right.

Tech options, like carbon capture, are of nowhere near the scale needed, leaving nature-based solutions, like growing new forests, as the current best choice. But nature is able to absorb only so much carbon from the atmosphere each year, and as more companies set climate goals, the more likely it is that there won’t be enough land to meet corporate demand. Here’s a look at the math behind the pledges.

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