New research by the Climate Accountability Institute has revealed that just 90 companies are to blame for the majority of the climate change crisis. Unsurprisingly, most of these companies are in the business of dirty energy, ranging from investor-owned firms such as Chevron and Exxon to state-owned and government-run companies. Former Vice President Al Gore applauded the breakthrough analysis, calling it a “crucial step forward” for greater accountability.
“There are thousands of oil, gas and coal producers in the world,” says climate researcher and author Richard Heede. “But the decision makers, the CEOs, or the ministers of coal and oil if you narrow it down to just one person, they could all fit on a Greyhound bus or two.” Climate Accountability Institute’s report is considered one of the boldest moves in climate research that aims to hold individual carbon producers, rather than governments, accountable.
According to the research, the top 90 carbon emitters produced 63% of all greenhouse gases since preindustrial values–half of the estimated emissions were produced in the past 25 years. Apart from seven cement manufacturers, the rest of the companies are oil, gas, and coal producers. Nearly 30% of emissions were produced by 20 investor-owned companies such as ChevronTexaco (3.5%) and Exxon (3.2%); the government-run oil and coal companies of the former Soviet Union produced more carbon emissions than another other entity at nearly 8.9%.
Some climate scientists hope that by highlighting the worst offenders, the research will spark greater shifts towards carbon neutral energy systems. The Climate Accountability Institute estimates that global emissions have risen to 1,450 gigatonnes since 1751.
Via The Guardian
Second Image via eutrophication&hypoxia