Just 90 companies have caused two-thirds of global warming emissions.

Guardian: “The climate crisis of the 21st century has been caused largely by just 90 companies, which between them produced nearly two-thirds of the greenhouse gas emissions generated since the dawning of the industrial age, new research suggests.” “The companies range from investor-owned firms – household names such as Chevron, Exxon and BP – to state-owned and government-run firms.
The analysis, which was welcomed by the former vice-president Al Gore as a “crucial step forward” found that the vast majority of the firms were in the business of producing oil, gas or coal, found the analysis, which has been published in the journal Climatic Change.
“There are thousands of oil, gas and coal producers in the world,” climate researcher and author Richard Heede at the Climate Accountability Institute in Colorado said. “But the decision makers, the CEOs, or the ministers of coal and oil if you narrow it down to just one person, they could all fit on a Greyhound bus or two.”
….Between them, the 90 companies on the list of top emitters produced 63% of the cumulative global emissions of industrial carbon dioxide and methane between 1751 to 2010, amounting to about 914 gigatonne CO2 emissions, according to the research. All but seven of the 90 were energy companies producing oil, gas and coal. The remaining seven were cement manufacturers.
The list of 90 companies included 50 investor-owned firms – mainly oil companies with widely recognised names such as Chevron, Exxon, BP , and Royal Dutch Shell and coal producers such as British Coal Corp, Peabody Energy and BHP Billiton.
….Meanwhile, Oreskes, who has written extensively about corporate-funded climate denial, noted that several of the top companies on the list had funded the climate denial movement.
“For me one of the most interesting things to think about was the overlap of large scale producers and the funding of disinformation campaigns, and how that has delayed action,” she said.
The data represents eight years of exhaustive research into carbon emissions over time, as well as the ownership history of the major emitters.
The companies’ operations spanned the globe, with company headquarters in 43 different countries. “These entities extract resources from every oil, natural gas and coal province in the world, and process the fuels into marketable products that are sold to consumers on every nation on Earth,” Heede writes in the paper.
The largest of the investor-owned companies were responsible for an outsized share of emissions. Nearly 30% of emissions were produced just by the top 20 companies, the research found.”
Guardian: “And so the smoke clears: just 90 companies produced two-thirds of the greenhouse gas emissions that have been smothering the planet since the dawn of the industrial revolution.” “….It is tempting to see the list as a rogues gallery, full of familiar names such as ExxonMobil who have lavishly funded campaigns to deny the role of fossil fuels in climate change. The prospect of legal challenges to extract damages from the titans of the extractive industry looks attractive, particularly as scientists get ever better at attributing extreme weather events to the heat trapped by carbon dioxide.
….You can fit 90 people on one London bus: the current bosses of those energy companies exploiting fossil fuels can be targeted. Appeals to their better natures are unlikely to be successful as their jobs are to maximise the profits of their companies.
But those very profits may turn out to be the most powerful lever of all. The world’s governments have pledged to limit climate change to 2C, which means two-thirds of all known fossil fuel reserves must be kept in the ground unburned.
This carbon bubble is starting to be taken seriously by the biggest financial institutions in the world, from Citibank to HSBC to Goldman Sachs. If you think the idea of a carbon bubble is far-fetched consider the fact that in 2012, far from reducing their efforts to develop fossil fuels, the top 200 companies spent $674bn (£441bn) to find and exploit even more.”