Big fossil fuel companies have played a devastating role in the planet’s growing climate crisis.
A new report has been released by The Climate Accountability Institute and it reveals that just 20 of the biggest fossil fuel companies on the planet have pumped out more than a third of global greenhouse gas emissions over the past few decades.
The Climate Accountability Institute (CAI) revealed that just a small selection of oil, gas, and coal companies are solely responsible for almost 480 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere since 1965. This equates to 35 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions between 1965 and 2017! Truly astonishing.
Out of the top 20 offenders, 12 of them are state-owned companies, with the remaining eight being private investor-owned companies and four companies from the USA.
Starting with the worst climate offenders, here’s a list of the companies.
- Saudi Aramco (Saudi Arabia) — 4.38 percent
- Chevron (USA) — 3.2 percent
- Gazprom (Russia) — 3.19 percent
- ExxonMobile (USA) — 3.09 percent
- National Iranian Oil Co. (Iran) — 2.63 percent
- BP (UK) — 2.51 percent
- Royal Dutch Shell (The Netherlands) — 2.36 percent
- Coal India (India) — 1.71 percent
- Pemex (Mexico) — 1.67 percent
- Petroleos de Venezuela (Venezuela) — 1.16 percent
- PetroChina/China Natl Petroleum (China) — 1.15 percent
- Peabody Energy (USA) — 1.14 percent
- ConocoPhillips (USA) — 1.12 percent
- Abu Dhabi (UAE) — 1.01 percent
- Kuwait Petroleum Corp (Kuwait) — 1 percent
- Iraq National Oil Co. (Iraq) — 0.93 percent
- Total SA (France) — 0.91 percent
- Sonatrach (Algeria) — 0.91 percent
- BHP Billiton (Australia) — 0.72 percent
- Petrobras (Brazil) — 0.64 percent
The CAI said in a press release:
“Although global consumers from individuals to corporations are the ultimate emitters of carbon dioxide, we focus on the fossil fuel companies that, in our view, have produced and marketed the carbon fuels to billions of consumers with the knowledge that their use as intended will worsen the climate crisis,”
The vast majority of these CO2 emissions is generated through the combustion of products such as oil, gas, coal, and jet fuel. The remaining amount is generated through the processing and transportation of their products.
The report also indicates that since 1751, when fossil fuels were first used to power industry, nearly half of all CO2 emissions have been emitted since 1990. What’s more, since 1965, a staggering 1.35 trillion tonnes of CO2 has been poured into the atmosphere.
Given the gravity of their findings, The CAI state that these 20 companies must act now and slow down their impact on the environment immediately if there is any hope of achieving the goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement in 2017 (to reduce emissions by 45 percent by 2030 and reach net-zero by 2050)
The report goes on to argue the fossil fuel giants have a “significant moral, financial, and legal responsibility” to stem the effects and compensate for visible damages of climate change, which are becoming increasingly violent, prolific and widespread.
Richard Heede, report author from the CAI’s Carbon Majors project, wrote in an opinion piece for The Guardian:
“In my view, fossil fuel firms were morally and legally obliged to warn that continued use of carbon fuels threatens our health and welfare, and to accelerate the conversation on how to reduce the threat. Instead the industry has for decades invested millions in climate denial and obfuscation in order to delay legislative action and avoid losing market share,”