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Published on November 4th, 2017 | by James Ayre


World’s 250 Largest Firms Account For 1/3 Of All Anthropogenic Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Few Have Real Emissions Reduction Goals

November 4th, 2017 by  

The 250 largest listed companies in the world account for around one-third of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, and yet despite this reality, these firms generally don’t have serious goals as regards greenhouse gas emissions reductions, according to the new Thomson Reuters Financial & Risk white paper.

The top of the list was unsurprisingly dominated by fossil fuel firms, such as ExxonMobil, Coal India, and Gazprom — unsurprising because essentially every part of the industrial and agricultural systems that the modern world is dependent upon are based around the aggressive use of fossil fuel reserves.

The new list calculates placement based around the greenhouse gases emitted directly by the firm in question, as well as the consumers using their products, it should be noted.

“Without continual reduction in emissions from this group of companies, effectively mitigating the long-term risks of climate change is not possible,” the study authors argue.

Reuters provides more: “In the past three years, emissions from the group of 250 had been flat ‘when they should have been going down by roughly three percent per year’ to limit temperatures in line with goals set by the 2015 Paris climate agreement, it said.”

“The report, written in collaboration with Constellation Research & Technology, emissions tracking group CDP and BSD Consulting, found the group emitted a third of world carbon emissions and that only about 30% of the 250 firms had set strong goals to curb them. … Tim Nixon, a co-author at Thomson Reuters, said the study found ‘no evidence’ that companies adopting stronger policies to reduce their carbon emissions paid a penalty in terms of shareholder returns, profits, or employment.”

I’m not quite sure what to make of that assertion, though, as how could a company based around fossil fuel extraction and sale not face a “profit penalty” by greatly reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that its responsible for? That assertion may be true for some countries, and even to a degree for fossil fuel firms investing in renewables, but as a blanket statement it doesn’t sound believable.

One of the co-authors of the new report, David Lubin, commented: “250 CEOs — that’s a relatively small auditorium if you can bring together the leaders who really have a significant impact on the fate of the planet.”

An interesting comment, but something tells me that many of them already know each other to some degree or other, and are already well aware of the situation as regards anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

Related: The Totally Insane Carbon Bubble 
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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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