Heede’s research shows that nearly two-thirds of anthropogenic carbon emissions originated in just 90 companies and government-run industries. Among them, the top eight companies — ranked according to annual and cumulative emissions below — account for 20 percent of world carbon emissions from fossil fuels and cement production since the Industrial Revolution.
Heede concedes that the responsibility is shared. “I as a consumer bear some responsibility for my own car, etcetera. But we’re living an illusion if we think we’re making choices, because the infrastructure pretty much makes those choices for us.”
“Heede’s report is one of the bedrock pieces of science and research that helped form our campaign,” says Kristin Casper, litigation counsel for Greenpeace’s Global Climate Justice and Liability Project in Toronto, Canada.
The idea of climate justice?is an interesting one and I think it will be crucial to solving the issue of climate change. Lawsuits directly against these companies will be a effective way to change the mindset of those investing in them. As someone who tries to invest ethically, it is frustrating to see that the companies who typically do the best are the ones you’d rather not have anything to do with.