Report shows 80 percent of recent CO2 emissions linked to 57 companies

A recent report by InfluenceMap sheds light on the major players driving climate change, revealing that just 57 fossil fuel and cement producers are responsible for a staggering 80% of global CO2 emissions since the Paris Agreement. The report highlights that despite commitments to reduce emissions, these companies have increased production in the years following the agreement.

The data, sourced from the Carbon Majors database, outlines the overwhelmingly unequal contribution of a small group of entities to the climate crisis. Key findings from the report include the dominance of both investor-owned and state-owned companies in the emissions landscape, with coal production notably shifting towards state-owned entities in recent years. Alarmingly, the majority of fossil fuel companies have ramped up production post-Paris Agreement, particularly in Asia, contributing to rising emissions levels.

The Paris Agreement, a landmark international treaty signed in 2015, aims to tackle climate change by reducing global warming to far below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, with efforts to reduce the temperature increase even lower to 1.5 degrees Celsius. It establishes a framework for countries to undertake voluntary efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change.

“It is morally reprehensible for companies to continue expanding exploration and production of carbon fuels in the face of decades of knowledge that their products are harmful,” said Richard Heede, who founded the Carbon Majors Database 11 years ago. “Don’t blame consumers who have been forced to be reliant on oil and gas due to government capture by oil and gas companies.”

The Carbon Majors dataset, established by the Climate Accountability Institute and now hosted by InfluenceMap, provides comprehensive data on the historical emissions of these entities. It reveals that over 70% of global fossil fuel and cement CO2 emissions since the Industrial Revolution can be attributed to just 78 corporate and state-producing entities. These entities, comprising mainly oil, gas, coal, and cement producers, have been linked to a substantial portion of emissions from 2016 to 2022.

China’s state-run coal production has been the biggest source of carbon emissions globally, contributing 25.79% from 2016 to 2022 and around 14% from 1854 to 2022. State-owned fossil fuel companies collectively released over 30,000 megatons of carbon dioxide during this recent period. Saudi Aramco, Gazprom, and Coal India also had significant emissions, with each accounting for over 3% globally.

Among investor-owned companies, ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, and Chevron have historically been major emitters, responsible for over 10% of emissions since 1854 and around 5% since the Paris Agreement in 2016. This trend is particularly prevalent in Asia, where all 5 Asian investor-owned companies and 8 out of the 10 Asian state-owned entities have contributed to higher emissions in 2016-2022 compared to 2009-2015, primarily due to rising emissions from Asian coal production.

“The Carbon Majors research shows us exactly who is responsible for the lethal heat, extreme weather, and air pollution that is threatening lives and wreaking havoc on our oceans and forests. These companies have made billions of dollars in profits while denying the problem and delaying and obstructing climate policy. They are spending millions on advertising campaigns about being part of a sustainable solution, all the while continuing to invest in more fossil fuel extraction. These findings emphasize that more than ever, we need our governments to stand up to these companies, and we need new international cooperation through a Fossil Fuel Treaty to end the expansion of fossil fuels and ensure a truly just transition.” ,” Tzeporah Berman, the international program director at Stand Earth and chair of the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, said in the report

The report indicated that coal mining and usage shifted the greatest after 2016. Not only did global consumption rise by 8%, hitting all-time highs in 2022, but production transferred considerably from private companies to state-controlled entities and nation-states—a trend that suggests a deliberate disregard for the Paris Agreement.

This report sheds light on the importance of holding these energy giants accountable for their contributions to climate change. By providing transparency and data-driven analysis, InfluenceMap’s Carbon Majors database enables stakeholders to advocate for climate action and push for meaningful change in corporate behavior.

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