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A Walmart store. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Walmart said Monday that it's aiming to have zero greenhouse gas emissions across its global operations by 2040.

Why it matters: It is the latest corporate giant to make an aggressive long-term pledge, and Walmart says it'll do it without offsets — that is, paying for climate-friendly projects elsewhere while continuing its own emissions.

How it works: The plans include having renewables supply all their global facilities by 2035 and "electrifying and zeroing out emissions from all of its vehicles, including long-haul trucks, by 2040."

  • Another part involves using "low-impact refrigerants" and electric heating for all its "stores, clubs, and data and distribution centers" within 20 years.
  • Separately, Walmart says it will help to "protect, manage or restore " 50 million acres of land and 1 million square miles of ocean by 2030.

Yes, but: Bloomberg provides some important context...

  • "Walmart is committing to cutting emissions from its own operations, known as Scope 1 and 2. Though not an easy task, the target will zero out merely 5% of its total emissions."
  • "The retailing giant has put in some efforts through so-called Project Gigaton to address Scope 3 emissions, which are generated by its suppliers and customers, but the company has yet to set a net-zero target across all scopes."

Go deeper

Dec 4, 2020 - Economy & Business

Clean trucks are paving the road to the electric vehicle era

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The electric vehicle revolution is underway, led by the un-sexiest of plug-in models: the commercial truck.

Why it matters: Growing demand for cleaner trucks means 2021 will be a pivotal year for electric vehicles — just not the kind you might have expected.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Dec 19, 2019 - Energy & Environment

Electric vehicles are coming, but no one is sure how fast

Data: Columbia Center on Global Energy Policy; Chart: Axios Visuals

A new study helps to show that experts are all over the map when it comes to gaming out the rise of electric vehicles in the global marketplace.

Why it matters: The speed at which EVs become truly mainstream is one variable affecting the future of oil demand and carbon emissions. Passenger cars account for roughly a fourth of world oil demand.

Sep 25, 2020 - Economy & Business

Eyeing the end of gas-powered cars

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Gasoline-powered cars may be going the way of the woolly mammoth, even if it will take decades to replace them and seems hard to fathom today.

The big picture: Internal combustion engines (ICEs) have powered automobiles for more than 100 years. But the shift to electric vehicles, slow to materialize at first, is now accelerating due to tightening government policies, falling costs and a societal reckoning about climate change.