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  18 May 2022, 12:00

Sony brings zero-carbon goal forward 10 years to 2040

 TOKYO, May 18, 2022 (BSS/AFP) - Japanese giant Sony brought forward its
deadline for reaching carbon neutrality by a decade on Wednesday, saying it
is now targeting net-zero emissions across its business by 2040.

The electronics and entertainment firm said the decision was taken "as
climate change risks become more apparent and serious worldwide, and the
transition to a decarbonised society has become an urgent issue".

Climate campaigners praised the move, but raised doubts over an element of
how Sony aims to reach the goal -- investing in new technology that removes
carbon from the atmosphere or converts it into a less harmful compound.

Sony said it wants its own factories to be carbon neutral by 2030, also a
decade earlier than its previous goal, and plans to reach that by increasing
use of renewable power and energy-saving.

Eliminating emissions from areas "such as products, supply chains, and
logistics", however, is to be achieved in part by investing in start-ups
focused on carbon removal and projects that encourage carbon absorption with
so-called augmented ecosystems.

But that technology remains unproven, said Eri Watanabe, senior finance
campaigner at Japanese climate group 350.org.

Sony's announcement "is a positive signal that the company is serious about
tackling climate change", but these removal methods are "unproven, and (it
is) uncertain if it can contribute to the decarbonisation pathway", she said.

She said Sony could influence other Japanese firms to upgrade their climate
targets but urged the company not to rely "on unproven technologies to reduce
its emissions."

UN climate experts say humanity has fewer than three years to halt the rise
of planet-warming carbon emissions, and less than a decade to slash them by
nearly half to have a shot at capping global warming at a target 1.5 degrees
Celsius.

Japan, which is highly dependent on imported fossil fuels, aims to become
carbon neutral by 2050. The country is the world's sixth-biggest carbon
emitter if the EU is counted as one bloc, according to European Commission
data.

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