The Top 20 Global Emission Contributors that accounts for about a third of the world’s carbon footprint has been revealed.
The list was published based on the analysis of Richard Heede from the Climate Accountability Institute in the United States, which is the world’s leading authority on big oil’s role in the escalating climate emergency.
In the said analysis, it evaluated what global corporations have extracted from the ground, and the subsequent emissions these fossil fuels are responsible for since 1965 – the point at which experts say the environmental impact of fossil fuels was known to have started.
The global polluters’ list also uses company-reported annual production of oil, natural gas, and coal and then calculates how much of the carbon and methane in the produced fuels is emitted to the atmosphere throughout the supply chain, from extraction to end-use.
According to the report, the top 20 companies on the list have contributed to 35% of all energy-related carbon dioxide and methane worldwide, totaling 480bn tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (GtCO2e) since 1965.
It found that 90% of the emissions attributed to the top 20 climate culprits was from the use of their products, such as petrol, jet fuel, natural gas, and thermal coal. One-tenth came from extracting, refining, and delivering the finished fuels.
Those identified range from investor-owned firms – household names such as Chevron, Exxon, BP, and Shell – to state-owned companies, including Saudi Aramco and Gazprom.
Chevron topped the list of the eight investor-owned corporations, followed closely by Exxon, BP, and Shell. Together these four global businesses are behind more than 10% of the world’s carbon emissions since 1965.
Twelve of the Top 20 Global Carbon Emission Contributors are state-owned, and together, their extractions are responsible for 20% of total emissions in the same period. The leading state-owned polluter is Saudi Aramco, which has produced 4.38% of the global total on its own.
Along with the report, it also detailed that most of the companies mentioned explicitly said they accepted the climate science and claimed to support the targets set out in the Paris agreement to reduce emissions and keep global temperature rises to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.
All pointed out efforts they were making to invest in renewable or low carbon energy sources and said fossil fuel companies had an important role to play in addressing the climate crisis.
The comments resound similar to claims first given back in June, where oil executives gathered in Rome at the invitation of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Integral Human Development and Notre Dame University’s Mendoza College of Business, where the Pope himself urged big oil to create sustainable solutions with regard to global carbon emissions in attempt to curb the climate crisis.
Attendees of the said event were the CEOs of Royal Dutch Shell, Eni, BP, Repsol, Conoco Phillips, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and executives of investment funds.
Particularly, Pope Francis called for “open, transparent, science-based and standardized” reporting of climate risk and a “radical energy transition.” Furthermore, Francis encouraged the idea of carbon pricing.
By the end of the 2-day event, oil companies made pledges to take action to resolve the global crisis. However, there were no specific conversations on set dates nor concrete plans to achieve a solution.
On the question, if these oil executives ever decide to expedite and move to address the issue is a very vague reality, but with heating climate protests around the world, there may be concrete steps laid out in the near future.