New CDP Report Reveals Where Emissions Mostly Come From
(3BL Media/Justmeans) - The genesis of the human-caused global warming goes back to the Industrial Revolution, with 1751 as the “official" year it began. Fast forward 237 years and we arrive at 1988, the year when climate change was officially recognised and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was created. Since then, humanity has clogged up the atmosphere with more emissions than it had between 1751 and then.
There is a new angle to the story, as revealed by one of the latest reports compiled by CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project). Called Carbon Majors, the research reveals that 71 percent of all GHG emissions since 1988 can be traced to just 100 fossil fuel producers.
To arrive at this revealing data, the researchers drew on what they say is the most comprehensive dataset of historic company-related greenhouse gas emissions ever produced.
The amount of carbon emissions since 1988 is truly staggering: 833 GtCO2e in the 28-year period from 1988 to 2015, compared with 820 GtCO2e in those 237 years. Including all historical years of data, the database captures nearly one trillion tonnes (923 billion) of GHGs from the 100 producers, which amounts to 52 percent of all industrial GHGs ever emitted.
If the trend in fossil fuel extraction continues over the next 28 years in the same way as it has over the last 28, then global average temperatures are likely to rise by 4ºC by the end of the century. The consequence of that: animal extinction and food scarcity all over the world, besides other unpredictable problems.
The data also shows that 32 percent of these legacy emissions come from companies that are public investor-owned, highlighting the power of investors in the transition to a sustainable economy. Among the public investor owned companies are ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, Chevron, Peabody, Total, and BHP Billiton. State-owned entities include Saudi Aramco, Gazprom, National Iranian Oil, Coal India, Pemex, CNPC and Chinese coal, of which Shenhua Group & China National Coal Group.
"This ground-breaking report pinpoints how a relatively small set of just 100 fossil fuel producers may hold the key to systemic change on carbon emissions. We are seeing critical shifts in policy, innovation and financial capital that put the tipping point for a low carbon transition in reach, and this historic data shows how important the role of the carbon majors, and the investors who own them, will be,” said Pedro Faria, a technical director at CDP.
The good news is that an increasing number of companies is taking action to mitigate the environmental impact and the amount of emissions they produce. According to this Guardian report, major companies such as Apple, Facebook, Google and Ikea have committed to 100% renewable power under the RE100 initiative. Oil and gas companies are also making investments in green energy. And As we recently reported, Volvo is moving towards a 100 percent electric fleet by 2019.
To read the full CDP report, follow the link.
Image: CDP (screen grab)