We know who's profiting from emissions - let's bill them

● By Keely Boom, University of Technology, Sydney ● Research published last month in the journal Climatic Change may provide an essential building block in proving corporate liability for current and future climate change damage. Researcher Richard Heede found that 90 entities are responsible for an astounding 63% of global carbon emissions. Heede’s eight-year project discovered that Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell, BP and ConocoPhillips have contributed 12.5% of global carbon emissions. The research is the first time historic sources of greenhouse gas emissions have been analysed to identify the most significant contributors, named in the research as the “Carbon Majors”. Heede’s pioneering methodology focuses upon producers rather than emitters. “Producers” are those who extract and sell products (in this case, fossil fuels) whose normal use results in polluting greenhouse gas emissions. Overall, 10% of emissions attributed to the oil, natural gas, and coal producers are emissions from company operations. About 90% are embodied in products marketed to consumers worldwide. Identifying the big players Heede’s research debunks the myth that everyone (and therefore no one) is responsible for climate change. In fact, a few dozen entities are responsible for the lion’s share of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere. Historic or cumulative emissions drive climate change. Therefore, Heede’s analysis lays the groundwork for apportioning responsibility for climate change. Interestingly, around half of the emissions have occurred over the past 25 years. To put this in perspective, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was agreed to in 1992, which is now 21 years ago. Arguably, the Carbon Majors have accelerated their production and sale of products with the knowledge of their harmful effects on the global atmospheric commons ...Zum vollständigen Artikel

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