Greenwashing: How the economy pays off in a climate-neutral way

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At first glance, the electric Porsche “Taycan Cross Turismo” does not look particularly climate-friendly: It is 1.96 meters wide and 4.97 meters long – making it six centimeters wider and seven centimeters longer than a current VW van. It weighs 2.3 tons empty – about as much as a male white rhinoceros.

A Taycan Cross Turismo should be many things: A sports car with 476 hp. A family car with a 446 liter trunk and five doors. A four-wheel drive off-road vehicle. An electric car. Porsche advertises that the “Cross Turismo” is “CO2-neutral” on the balance sheet. It has been available to buy since March 2021. The year in which over 50 degrees Celsius are measured on the American west coast; in which the forests of the Amazon – formerly known as “the green lungs of the planet” – for the first time emit more CO2 than they absorb; in which over 170 people die in floods in West Germany. He is “the new Porsche” in the summer when the climate catastrophe hits the German public.

It feeds the hope of consumers that both are possible: Accelerate from 0 to 100 in 5.1 seconds and not have to have a guilty conscience in times of forest fires and flood disasters. But it also feeds the hopes of the industry: That you can actually continue as before, only with the label “climate neutral”. We can also fly “climate neutral” with Easyjet from Berlin to Fuerteventura. Aldi-Süd has “climate-neutral” milk. “Hofer” in Austria sells “climate neutral” beef. You can even grill it on “climate-neutral” charcoal.

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