Since 1854, 12.5 percent of all industrial carbon pollution has been produced by ust 5 companies: Chevron, ConocoPhillips, BP, ExxonMobil, and Royal Dutch Shell. Graphic: UCS / Heede 2013

By Peter Frumhoff, director of science & policy
21 November 2013

(UCS) – Today’s publication in the journal Climatic Change by Richard Heede on Tracing anthropogenic carbon dioxide and methane emissions to fossil fuel and cement producers, 1854–2010 provides a robust scientific basis for motivating fresh thinking and dialogue about responsibility for taking action to address climate change.

The responsibilities for climate change fall on many shoulders, of course — from individuals through the daily choices we make, to emitting industries, to nations. But some are more responsible than others. Drawing upon several years of painstaking research, Heede shows that nearly two-thirds, 63 percent, of all industrial carbon dioxide and methane released to the atmosphere can be traced to fossil fuel and cement production by just 90 entities — investor-owned companies, such as Chevron and Exxon-Mobil; primarily state-run companies, such as Gazprom and Saudi Aramco; and solely government-run industries, such as in the former Soviet Union and China (for its coal production).

The top 20 entities, shown here, produced 48 percent of all industrial carbon pollution, with 15 percent produced by another 70 entities. Look to the paper and to Heede’s website for more detailed figures, methods, and the underlying data. [more]

Who Is Responsible for Climate Change? New Study Identifies the Top 90 Producers of Industrial Carbon Emissions


  1. Steve From Virginia said...

    Energy companies don’t exist in a vacuum, they produce fuel for users. Regarding the five major oil companies, they produce a loss-leader for the auto, real estate, insurance, highway building and finance industries. No cars = none of the above related fuel use.

    The carbon argument orbits around car use, as does the entire debt argument.

    Aside from spewing billions of tons of carbon, nitrogenic and other toxic compounds into the air and water, autos do not offer any return by way of their use other than for commercial operators; most of this last is contrived. What supports auto use is hundreds of trillions of dollars of debt. Autos are poisoning us and bankrupting us at the same time.

    Solve the climate problem = get rid of the cars.



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