Just 90 companies are responsible for two-thirds of man-made global warming emissions, according to a report by the Climate Accountability Institute. The report, “Tracing Anthropogenic Carbon Dioxide and Methane Emissions to Fossil Fuel and Cement Producers, 1854 – 2010,” is a “quantitative analysis of the historic fossil fuel and cement production records of the 50 leading investor-owned, 31 state-owned, and 9 nation-state producers of oil, natural gas, coal, and cement from as early as 1854 to 2010.”

According to the study, “current climate change is primarily driven by historic emissions, and the parties responsible for the dominant sources of historic emissions are not necessarily the same as those responsible for the dominant share of current emissions.” Which means that the current global warming crisis is primarily the result of just 83 oil, coal, and gas companies along with 7 cement companies.

Chevron, ExxonMobil, BP, Royal Dutch/Shell, and ConocoPhillips are among the top 20 highest-polluting companies in terms of industrial emissions, with Chevron at the top of the list, ExxonMobil in second place, and BP in fourth.

“There are thousands of oil, gas, and coal producers in the world, 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,” study author Richard Heede told the Guardian.

Half of the cumulative amount of emissions has been emitted in the last 27 years, a time during which humans have been well-aware of the damaging effects of carbon emissions on global climate. The study also states that the 90 “carbon major” entities also “possess fossil fuel reserves that will, if produced and emitted, intensify anthropogenic climate change.”

“This is a crucial step forward in our understanding of the evolutions of the climate crisis,” former Vice President Al Gore told the Guardian. “Those who are historically responsible for polluting our atmosphere have a clear obligation to be part of the solution.”

Just 90 energy companies produced 63 percent of the cumulative global emissions of industrial carbon dioxide and methane between 1751 and 2010. However, companies like Exxon and BP seem to have no intention of altering their practices. The dirty energy industry continues to cut corners, fight regulations, and manipulate lawmakers into doing their bidding.


1. Chevron, USA

2. ExxonMobil, USA

3. Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia

4. BP, UK

5. Gazprom, Russian Federation

6. Royal Dutch/Shell, Netherlands

7. National Iranian Oil Company

8. Pemex, Mexico

9. ConocoPhillips, USA

10. Petroleos de Venezuela

11. Coal India

12. Peabody Energy, USA

13. Total, France

14. PetroChina, China

15. Kuwait Petroleum Corp.

16. Abu Dhabi NOC, UAE

17. Sonatrach, Algeria

18. Consol Energy, Inc., USA

19. BHP – Billiton, Australia

20. Anglo American, United Kingdom

Alisha is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. Follow her on Twitter @childoftheearth.