A new report said the contribution of fossil fuels to global warming had doubled, with 833 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent emitted in just 28 years since 1988, compared with 820Gt CO2e in the 237 years between 1988 and the birth of the industrial revolution.
China (coal) topped the list; followed by Saudi Arabian Oil Company, Russia’s Gazprom and National Iranian Oil Company.
ExxonMobil, Shell, BP and Chevron were also named among the highest emitting investor-owned companies since 1988.
According to the report, if fossil fuels continue to be extracted at the same rate over the next 28 years as they were between 1988 and 2017, global average temperatures would be on course to rise by 4C by the end of the century.
“This is likely to have catastrophic consequences including substantial species extinction and global food scarcity risks.
The Technical Director at the CDP, Pedro Faria, said, “Climate action is no longer confined to the direction given by policymakers; it is now a social movement, commanded by both economic and ethical imperatives and supported by growing amount of data. Those that ignore this reality do so at their own peril.”
He said fossil fuel companies would have to demonstrate leadership as part of the transition.
“They owe it to the millions of clients they serve that are already feeling the effects of climate change, and to the many millions more that require energy for the comfort of their daily lives but are looking for alternatives to their products,” he said.According to the report, fossil fuels are the largest source of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions in the world.
It said the fossil fuel industry and its products accounted for 91 per cent of global industrial GHGs in 2015, and over 70 per cent of all anthropogenic GHG emissions.