90 firms contributes two-third off global warming releasing greenhouse gases into atmosphere

Two-third of global warming contribution from just 90 firms!

12:04 PM, 2nd December 2013
Research on greenhouse gas emissions
Two-third of global warming contribution from just 90 firms!

WASHINGTON DC, US: A new research on greenhouse gas emissions has reported that the climate crisis of the 21st century has been caused largely by just 90 companies, which between them produced nearly two-thirds of the greenhouse gas emissions generated since the dawning of the industrial age. The companies range from investor-owned firms - household names such as Chevron, Exxon and BP - to state-owned and government-run firms.

Half of the estimated emissions were produced just in the past 25 years – well past the date when governments and corporations became aware that rising greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of coal and oil were causing dangerous climate change.

Many of the same companies are also sitting on substantial reserves of fossil fuel which – if they are burned – puts the world at even greater risk of dangerous climate change. Climate change experts said the data set was the most ambitious effort so far to hold individual carbon producers, rather than governments, to account.

90 companies on the list of top emitters produced 63 per cent of the cumulative global emissions of industrial carbon dioxide and methane between 1751 to 2010, amounting to about 914 gigatonne CO2 emissions, according to the research. All but seven of the 90 were energy companies producing oil, gas and coal. The remaining seven were cement manufacturers.

The list of 90 companies included 50 investor-owned firms – mainly oil companies with widely recognised names such as Chevron, Exxon, BP , and Royal Dutch Shell and coal producers such as British Coal Corp, Peabody Energy and BHP Billiton. Some 31 of the companies that made the list were state-owned companies such as Saudi Arabia's Saudi Aramco, Russia's Gazprom and Norway's Statoil. Nine were government run industries, producing mainly coal in countries such as China, the former Soviet Union, North Korea and Poland, the host of this week's talks.

“It seemed like maybe this could break the logjam. There are all kinds of countries that have produced a tremendous amount of historical emissions that we do not normally talk about. We do not normally talk about Mexico or Poland or Venezuela. So then it's not just rich v poor, it is also producers v consumers, and resource rich v resource poor,” Naomi Oreskes, Professor, Harvard University.

Meanwhile, Oreskes, who has written extensively about corporate-funded climate denial, noted that several of the top companies on the list had funded the climate denial movement. “For me one of the most interesting things to think about was the overlap of large scale producers and the funding of disinformation campaigns, and how that has delayed action,” she added.

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