Skip to content

Just 100 companies are responsible for 71pc of greenhouse gases since 1988, report finds

July 11, 2017

By Paul Homewood



From the Telegraph:


Just 100 companies are responsible for 71pc of greenhouse gases since 1988, report finds

Jon Yeomans 10 July 2017

Oil rig
The fossil fuel industry has expanded “prodigiously” since 1988, the CDP says


The Chinese coal industry and stock market debutant Saudi Aramco have been named as the world’s biggest emitters of carbon dioxide.

As new data claims to have identified the top 100 emitters of greenhouse gases over the last three decades, a leading NGO has warned that natural  resources companies need to transform their business models to adapt to a low-carbon future.

Just 100 firms are responsible for 71pc of carbon dioxide gases released into the atmosphere since 1988, the year that climate change was first recognised as an international problem, according a report by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).

Despite growing awareness of the role of fossil fuels in global warming, the CDP points out that the industry has “expanded prodigiously” since 1988, with coal use becoming even more prevalent. Approximately 833 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent were emitted between 1988 and 2015, compared to 820 gigatonnes between 1988 and the start of the industrial revolution in the 18th century.

The Chinese coal industry is by far and away the biggest culprit in CDP’s list, responsible for 14pc of emissions, followed by oil giant Saudi Aramco, on 4.5pc, and Russian company Gazprom, on 3.9pc. London-listed giants Shell and BP chart ninth and eleventh, with responsibility for 1.7pc and 1.5pc of emissions respectively.

The CDP is part-funded by private benefactors, governments and companies and counts former Financial Services Authority boss Lord Adair Turner as an advisor. To calculate its list, it used mostly publicly available data, and attributed all the fossil fuels burned in industry back to the producers that originally took them out of the ground.

China is now tackling air pollution

“Our purpose is not to name and shame firms, our purpose is to provide transparency and call attention to the quite extraordinary fact that just 100 companies played a crucial role in the problem,” said Pedro Faria, technical director of the Carbon Majors Database. “It’s obvious they have a share of responsibility in the solution.”

While corporate transparency and self-reporting around emissions had improved, Mr Faria said that oil giants and mining companies needed transition plans in place for the shift to a low-carbon economy.

The mining industry plays its part in emissions

“There will be a shock in demand for their products and they should be preparing for that,” Mr Faria said. He suggested that companies needed to think about diversifying their portfolios away from fossil fuels, adopt more renewable energy, and invest in carbon capture and storage facilities, which take harmful CO2 out of the air and trap it.

CDP’s warning comes as more and more countries consider carbon pricing systems that will charge companies for each unit of harmful gases they produce.

A spokesman for BP said that it was “determined to be part of the solution” to climate change.

De Beers wants to be carbon neutral within five to 10 years

“Specifically, we’re calling for a price on carbon, increasing the proportion of natural gas in our business, investing in renewables and low-carbon innovation, and pursuing increasing energy efficiency,” he said.

A spokesman for Shell said it backed the goal of a “net-zero emissions world by 2050”. “The greatest contribution we can make in the near term is providing more natural gas to replace coal in power generation, which reduces overall emissions in the global energy system,” he said.

Diamond giant De Beers, part of Anglo American – which charted 31st on CDP’s list – recently announced plans to be the world’s first carbon neutral miner within five to 10 years. It wants to use waste rock from mining to absorb carbon in the atmosphere through a process called mineral carbonation.

“Since the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, there has been a huge jump in carbon pricing schemes,” said Dr Evelyn Mervine, a geologist at De Beers. “What’s clear is there will be carbon pricing by 2030s – it will be a cost of doing business.”


The implication is clear -without this handful of wicked companies, we would all have lovely weather and live happily ever after.
But there is a slight problem.
Now you’re probably way ahead of me here, but the last time I checked, China’s coal industry did not burn all the coal it dug up, and Shell did not burn its oil.
It is in fact we consumers who do that, either directly, or by using electricity, or buying goods produced using fossil fuel energy.
The Telegraph might like to consider exactly where the energy comes from that produces the paper it needs, that powers its computers, heats and lights its buildings, and flies its correspondents around the world.


I would hesitate to call it an anti capitalist project, as it has to include China’s coal industry. But it is certainly anti industry, anti technology and anti consumer.

The Telegraph has plumbed new lows in publicising this one sided nonsense, without even attempting to challenge its obvious flaws.

  1. Joe Public permalink
    July 11, 2017 6:19 pm

    Those 100 companies are *merely* satisfying needs.

    A new report by a source recently quoted by Greenpeace (so it must be reputable) finds “Climate Change Caused By 7 Billion Key Individuals”

    • Curious George permalink
      July 12, 2017 3:25 pm

      Aramco produces oil, not CO2. I convert that oil to CO2 when I drive my car.

  2. July 11, 2017 6:59 pm

    Sheesh, this is even worse than Booker being relegated to the back page of the recipes section of the Sunday Telegraph. Sadly the MSM is now driven by clicks and keeping up with the pack, so this activist drivel will get copied and pasted, along with free marketing for Tesla and the Wind Power Subsidy Farming industry.

  3. July 11, 2017 7:15 pm

    According to the article “The CDP is part-funded by private benefactors, governments and companies and counts former Financial Services Authority boss Lord Adair Turner as an advisor.” Apart from Paul Simpson, the CEO, I cannot find who the people are running the CDP. It seems like one of those shadowy not-for-profit international oganisations with tentacles around the world. But with Turner advising it, it has to be a bit suspect.

    • Athelstan permalink
      July 11, 2017 9:23 pm

      A couple of sh((ehawks:

      Bath uni and some rot or other and BS green agenda begets BS reports and keeps the profile high and commission rolling in, and hey day, go day, it’s bloody pay day! and it’s not like working for a living………….. is it?

      From Wiki:

      CDP works with 3000 of the largest corporations in the world to help them ensure that an effective carbon emissions / reductions strategy is made integral to their business. The collection of self-reported data from thousands of companies is supported by 822 institutional investors with US$95 trillion under management.[4] CDP operates from Berlin, New York, London and has partners in 18 of the world’s major economies which help deliver the programme globally. It has:

      Established the world’s largest repository[citation needed] of GHG emissions and energy use data accounting for some 26% of global anthropogenic CO2
      Started to establish a globally used standard for emissions and energy reporting
      Examined the 250 major electric utilities globally (high GHG emitters)
      Obtained backing from blue chip investors including HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, American International Group, and State Street Corp.

      Nuff said.

    • Paddy permalink
      July 12, 2017 6:30 am

      Any organisation with “Red” Adair Turner in it is *highly* suspect. That man has form.

      • Athelstan permalink
        July 12, 2017 12:08 pm

        have a 1000 upticks.

  4. martinbrumby permalink
    July 11, 2017 7:24 pm

    Agree about the egregious Turner.

    Although as, (in his ‘day job’ at the FSA), he was famously ‘The Watchdog that Never Barked”, perhaps he’ll unfortunately forget to advise the crooks no doubt behind this Greenie Cabal about his findings, even ignoring whistleblowers’ revelations.

    A faint hope.
    A friend of Banksters. An enemy of ordinary folk.

    • July 11, 2017 7:39 pm

      He was also first chairman of the “independent” Committee on Climate Change, appointed by Ed Millipede. That says all you need to know about this establishment trougher.

      • Athelstan permalink
        July 11, 2017 9:26 pm

        Adair is perfect, he neither knows which way is up nor, who he is supposed to be shilling for.

  5. Svend Ferdinandsen permalink
    July 11, 2017 7:55 pm

    I have never been forced to use fossil fuel by any evil company, unless me and my family needed the benefits.
    I would have liked if they gave me that for free use, but i have allways had to pay for it.
    I appreciate they make it available, and in the end it is my own decison to use it.
    If no one would use it, no one would dig it up.
    Those that oppose fossil fuel most, would be outraged if the gas station was empty or the light went out and the stores empty.
    It must have been real haleluja when most of New York went dark after Sandy.

    • HotScot permalink
      July 11, 2017 8:28 pm

      I could have, and would have, chopped down every tree in sight if it kept my family warm.

      How devastating would that have been across the planet had fossil fuels not been discovered?

  6. Dave Ward permalink
    July 11, 2017 8:31 pm

    “And invest in carbon capture and storage facilities”

    Considering there hasn’t been a single one of these projects (to date) which actually works as planned and costed, I can’t see many companies pushing their investment portfolios in that direction…

    • Gerry, England permalink
      July 12, 2017 12:39 pm

      Shell stopped when the taxpayer cash stopped.

  7. HotScot permalink
    July 11, 2017 8:38 pm

    It will be such a laugh when these companies are lauded in the future for their contribution to CO2 fertilisation of the atmosphere, leading to ‘unprecedented’ crop growth, global prosperity and the elimination of famine and disease.

    I wonder what will happen to the 97% then? Does that mean they’re not invited to the party?

    I’m compiling the invitations right now 🙂

  8. July 11, 2017 11:00 pm

    Headline is “too wow to be true”
    I feel from a first glance.

  9. July 12, 2017 11:18 am

    If only half of this is true then we have a *much* more effective route open to work on constructive change, as with a significant reduction of emissions. Let’s ask these companies directly, instead of (or in addition to) our representatives, to cut emissions and act with more responsibility.

  10. Gerry, England permalink
    July 12, 2017 12:40 pm

    Is the Telegraph trying to become a profit making version of the Guardian? (that assumes the Telegraph does make one).

  11. Pat permalink
    July 12, 2017 7:34 pm

    This is obviously rubbish. Perhaps those companies’ customers could be blamed, if indeed there is anything to be blamed for, but the companies themselves simply did what their customers wanted.

  12. July 13, 2017 2:31 pm

    Hard ti believe that modern urban and industrial civilization relies on only 100 companies.

    Since our survival depends on fossil fuels, we ought to be shocked that to find our health and welfare rely on such a narrow fioundation.

Comments are closed.