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  • Which 100 Companies Are Responsible for 71% of Greenhouse Gas Emissions?

Which 100 Companies Are Responsible for 71% of Greenhouse Gas Emissions?

Jun 16 2019 Read 1207 Times

There is no doubt that climate change is a global problem that affects us all of us - and which we must all take responsibility for when it comes to limiting our own greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, there are undoubtedly some amongst us who wield greater power than others and a new map has been causing controversy by naming and shaming those who can but choose not to make a larger contribution.

Created by The Decolonial Atlas, the map lists not only the top 100 GHG-producing companies in the world, but also the names of their CEOs and the cities in which they reside. It is an attempt to strip away some of the anonymity with which these people shroud themselves and guilt them into taking action to curb the irrevocable damage their companies are doing to the planet.

A roll call of pollution

According to the map’s creator, the companies named have been responsible for over two-thirds (71%) of all GHG emissions in the period between 1988 and 2015. Unsurprisingly, fossil fuel companies dominate the list, with the Chinese state-owned coal business top of the pile. They were responsible for a whopping 14.32% of the global total over that time period, far ahead of their nearest competitors.

Silver medal on the list went to Saudi Aramco, who contributed 4.5% of the global total, just ahead of third-placed Gazprom with 3.9%. Other household names further down the field of candidates include Exxon Mobil (fifth place, 2.0%), Shell (ninth place, 1.7%) and BP (eleventh place, 1.5%). The full list of contaminating candidates can be viewed on The Decolonial Map’s website. Meanwhile, the city which plays host to the most CEOs of those companies is Houston, with seven, while Jakarta (five), Beijing, Calgary and Moscow (all four) follow.

Collective responsibility?

Those playing devil’s advocate (as well as the companies themselves) may well argue that they only exist to meet a demand, and that their GHG-emitting activities would not take place at all if not for the global populace which depends on them for all of its energy-consuming habits. However, the disproportionately negative impacts of fossil fuels like coal as a fuel source - including its ability to influence extreme weather phenomena – is now almost universally accepted as fact.

With that in mind, it’s high time that energy companies began the difficult but desperately needed transition from fossil fuels to cleaner, renewable sources of energy. The Decolonial Atlas map is an attempt to shame those entities into doing so, but thankfully such confrontational tactics might not be necessary for too much longer. With renewables fast overtaking traditional forms of energy generation in terms of affordability, it should soon make economic as well as environmental sense to leave fossil fuels in the ground, once and for all.

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