In this publication, Marja Lena Hoffmann focuses on the Climate Pledge Rating, which was developed and implemented as part of the Green Consumption Assistant (GCA). The rating shows Ecosia users reviews and ratings of sustainability pledges of selected companies. This is intended to support users in making sustainable consumption decisions.
The climate crisis is already causing heat waves, floods, droughts, and many more severe impacts on earth. As outlined by the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) drastic action is necessary to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 °C. This requires halving global GHG emissions by 2030 and reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. To reach this goal, governments, individuals, and the private sector need to take immediate action. In recent years, many companies have come forward with net-zero pledges and carbon reduction targets. However, understanding those pledges and evaluating whether they are ambitious and credible or mainly PR tools is challenging and can be misleading. One initiative attempting to increase the transparency of companies’ climate pledges is the Climate Pledge Rating, which was developed and implemented within the Green Consumption Assistant (GCA), a joint project by the Technical University of Berlin, the Berliner Hochschule für Technik, and the green search engine Ecosia. The rating shows evaluations and ratings of pledges from selected companies to users of Ecosia. Thereby, it reduces the information complexity of pledges and informs users about the ambition behind the companies’ climate commitment and what those would mean for achieving the goal to keep the global temperature from rising beyond 1.5 °C.