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Most fossil fuel companies accelerated production after the 2016 Paris Agreement

A report by InfluenceMap, using the Carbon Majors database, considers how the major emitters of CO2 around the world have performed since the  commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions was made in the Paris Accord

The report found that 80% of the global emissions from fuel and cement production since then, can be traced to 57 corporate and state producing entities.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signs the Paris Climate Accord in 2016

The Carbon Majors database traces cumulative historical CO2 emissions from 122 industrial producers between 1854 – roughly the start of the second industrial revolution, from which point emissions began to rise in earnest – to 2022

The database looks at emissions from three entities:

  1. Investor-owned companies such as BP and Shell who have been responsible for 2.2% and 2.1% of global CO2 emissions since 1854 respectively.
  2. State-owned companies such as Saudi Aramco and Gazprom (3.6% and 2.3%)
  3. Nation-states such as China whose coal industry is responsible for 14% of global CO2 emissions but whose cement production also factors in at 1.32%

Compared to the 1854-2022 figures, the percentage contribution from the majority of the investor-owned companies has fallen since 2016 (BP and Shell have both dropped to 1.2%) but that is not to say their emissions have similarly fallen. The report finds that most of these companies stepped up production after the Paris Agreement, with 55% of those active between 2009 and 2022 being linked to increased emissions.

Since 2016, 65% of state-owned companies have increased production, leading to an overall increase in emissions of 10%. 

Nation states were responsible for 5% more CO2 in the seven years after they had collectively signed the Paris Agreement than in the seven years preceding it. However this is exclusively down to two actors as, other than China and Russia every other nation state saw emissions decrease. 

China’s coal production rose 4.4% and Russia’s 31%. China’s cement production also rose 8%.

Historically, China has been responsible for 14% of all global emissions since 1854,m followed by the former Soviet Union (6.8%) and  Saudi Aramco (3.6%).

Tzeporah Berman, International Program Director at and Chair at Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty said: ‘The Carbon Majors research shows us exactly who is responsible for the lethal heat, extreme weather, and air pollution that is threatening lives and wreaking havoc on our oceans and forests.

‘These companies have made billions of dollars in profits while denying the problem and delaying and obstructing climate policy. They are spending millions on advertising campaigns about being part of a sustainable solution, all the while continuing to invest in more fossil fuel extraction.

‘These findings emphasize that, more than ever, we need our governments to stand up to these companies, and we need new international cooperation through a Fossil Fuel Treaty to end the expansion of fossil fuels and ensure a truly just transition.’

The full report can be found here



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