- 122 Companies Responsible for Nearly 80 Percent of World's
Fossil-Fuel Carbon Pollution, the Main Cause of Global Warming
- Efforts to reduce carbon emissions must overcome resistance
by fossil fuel producers, says new report
- The world's major energy companies contribute more to
global warming than many developing countries, according to a report released
today by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Union of Concerned
Scientists, and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund.
The report, Kingpins of Carbon: How Fossil Fuel Producers Contribute to
Global Warming, provides the first-ever company-by-company tabulation of
carbon pollution based on fuel production. Previous analyses of global
warming have largely focused on the issue of fossil fuel consumption, ignoring
the critical role played by the producers of carbon-based fuels.
- "There are no mandatory sentences for carbon pushers,
but we can expose them in the court of public opinion," said U.S.
PIRG Education Fund's Katherine Silverthorne. "This report puts the
polluting behavior of companies like Shell, Exxon, BP Amoco, and Chevron
front and center in the debate over how to reduce global warming pollution."
- The report analyzed the 1997 production of the world's
top 122 producers of coal, oil, and natural gas. It found that
- Nearly 80 percent of the fossil carbon released into
the atmosphere as manmade carbon dioxide is produced by these 122 companies.
- Twenty-two percent of the world's carbon-based fuels
are produced by only 20 private companies, including Russia's Gazprom,
Shell, Exxon, Peabody, BP Amoco, ARCO, Chevron, and Mobil.
- If BP Amoco succeeds in acquiring ARCO, BP Amoco's combined
production of carbon-based fuels would amount to 3 percent of 1997 world
fossil fuel emissions, making it the second largest privately owned carbon
producer and the fourth largest carbon producer overall.
- During the months leading up to the December 1997 climate
treaty negotiations in Kyoto, Japan, industries opposed to strong treaty
provisions launched a $13 million ad campaign to try to undermine the talks.
They ran television and print ads claiming that the Kyoto agreement would
be unfair to the United States because it did not require developing countries
to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. According to Kingpins of Carbon,
many of the companies participating in the ad campaign, such as Exxon,
Mobil, Chevron, and the Peabody coal company, each produce fuels that emit
more carbon pollution than many developing countries. For example
- The combined annual carbon production of Exxon and Mobil
exceeds the collective annual carbon emissions of Indonesia, Malaysia,
Thailand, and the Philippines.
- Shell's yearly carbon production exceeds the combined
annual carbon emissions of Mexico, Argentina, and Chile.
- Peabody's annual carbon production exceeds Brazil's annual
- "It is time for fossil fuel producers to take responsibility
for the global warming pollution they cause," said NRDC's Dan Lashof.
"They can no longer get away with driving a wedge between developed
and developing countries by labeling the world's poorest countries as the
obstacle to curbing global warming."
- Fossil fuel companies invest hundreds of billions of
dollars in coal mines, onshore and offshore oil and natural gas production
facilities, and pipelines and tankers. They also provide substantial sums
to political candidates in both U.S. parties. This all adds up to enormous
economic and political power, which the companies use to perpetuate global
over-reliance on carbon-based fuels.
- NRDC, UCS, and U.S. PIRG Education Fund urge the Clinton
administration and Congress to take a stand against fossil fuel producers
and protect the planet.
- "Not only are these companies big polluters, they
are major hypocrites," said Alden Meyer of UCS. "The president
and Congress should reject their attempt to stall progress on addressing
global warming. Rather than providing additional tax breaks to the Kingpins
of Carbon, Congress should provide incentives for clean cars, renewable
energy, energy efficient homes and other technologies that would reduce
U.S. dependence on fossil fuels." __________
- Kingpins of Carbon is released by the Natural Resources
Defense Council, Union of Concerned Scientists, and U.S. PIRG Education
Fund in support of the Earth Day 2000 Campaign and Clean Energy Agenda
of Earth Day Network.
- Read the report.
- Contacts: Elliott Negin, NRDC, 202-289-2405 Katherine
Silverthorne, U.S. PIRG Education Fund, 202-546-9707 Paul Fain, Union of
Concerned Scientists, 202-332-0900
- Union of Concerned Scientists 2 Brattle Square, Cambridge,
MA 02238-9105 617-547-5552, firstname.lastname@example.org