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  • 20 Firms Contributing Massively to Carbon Emissions

20 Firms Contributing Massively to Carbon Emissions

Nov 28 2019 Read 510 Times

A recent report has revealed that just a handful of oil and gas companies are behind over a third of all global warming emissions since 1965. Conducted by Richard Heede from the Climate Accountability Institute and commissioned by the Guardian newspaper, the exposé found that the 20 firms were responsible for 480 billion tonnes of carbon and methane emissions.

Heede hopes that his analysis will help to highlight the damaging role that these companies are playing in the climate change currently facing our planet and create enough pressure from environmentalists and politicians to change their ways. It also challenges the notion that individual habits are more culpable than corporate concerns when it comes to our carbon footprint.

The terrible 20

Heede reached his conclusions by analysing the amount of resources which the companies have extracted from the ground since 1965, which is generally regarded as the date at which both big business and politicians became aware of the industry’s detrimental environmental impact. He then evaluated the emissions that those extractions have entailed. The results are as follows:

  1. Saudi Aramco, 59.26 billion tonnes, Saudi Arabia
  2. Chevron, 43.35 billion tonnes, USA
  3. Gazprom, 43.23 billion tonnes, Russia
  4. ExxonMobil, 41.9 billion tonnes, USA
  5. National Iranian Oil Company, 35.66 billion tonnes, Iran
  6. BP, 34.02 billion tonnes, UK
  7. Royal Dutch Shell, 31.95 billion tonnes, the Netherlands
  8. Coal India, 23.12 billion tonnes, India
  9. Pemex, 22.65 billion tonnes, Mexico
  10. Petróleos de Venezuela, 15.75 billion tonnes, Venezuela
  11. PetroChina, 15.63 billion tonnes, China
  12. Peabody Energy, 15.39 billion tonnes, USA
  13. ConocoPhillips, 15.23 billion tonnes, USA
  14. Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, 13.84 billion tonnes, UAE
  15. Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, 13.48 billion tonnes, Kuwait
  16. Iraq National Oil Company, 12.6 billion tonnes, Iraq
  17. Total SA, 12.35 billion tonnes, France
  18. Sonatrach, 12.3 billion tonnes, Algeria
  19. BHP Billiton, 9.8 billion tonnes, Australia
  20. Petrobras, 8.68 billion tonnes, Brazil

Together, the companies have been responsible for approximately 480 billion tonnes of CO2 and methane emissions, which is roughly equivalent to around 35% of all global emissions since 1965. Clearly, much work is needed in terms of environmental housekeeping around the refinery in order to clean up their operations and curb their harmful habits.

Geographical indicators

It’s telling that only one nation featured companies on the list more than once – and the USA actually appears four times, with Chevron (second most polluting), ExxonMobil (fourth most polluting), Peabody Energy and ConocoPhillips (12th and 13th most polluting, respectively). All four of those concerns are investor-owned, while 12 of the top 20 are state-owned interests, laying the blame squarely at the feet of national governments for much of the emissions.

The report provides yet more evidence (if any was needed) that the industry requires greater regulation to prevent billions of people suffering at the expense of a few. As well as restricting the polluting practices of these 20 companies, politicians everywhere must encourage a transition to more sustainable forms of energy generation, such as biogas plant optimisation, solar panel technology, large-scale wind farms and perhaps nuclear.

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