10 Julio 2017 17:11
The whole world suffers while big businesses make even bigger wads of cashIt should come as no surprise that large investment-led companies have contributed vastly to climate change. The fact that will probably shock you is that 71% of global emissions are caused by just 100 companies, according to a new report. Use of fossil fuels in the earth’s atmosphere has had adverse effects on the planet’s species’, temperatures and natural resources. Experts predict that if fossil fuels continue to be extracted at the same rate as they are now, average global temperatures could rise by 4C before 2050, leading to irreversible consequences such as high sea levels, diminished food stocks and extreme weather patterns. I think we can all agree that sounds fucking terrifying. While (some) nation states scramble to propose an effective plan to tackle climate change without impacting the economy, the answer is that truly reducing emissions will cost big bucks to oil companies. The Carbon Majors Report has revealed that a relatively small number of companies are responsible for our dying planet, and until they switch to clean energy, global warming is here to stay. Pedro Faria, technical director at non-profit organisation CDP, which published the report alongside the Climate Accountability Institute, said: ‘(The report) pinpoints how a relatively small set of fossil fuel producers may hold the key to systemic change on carbon emissions.” Findings show that more than half of global industrial emissions since 1988 have come from just 25 corporate and state-owned institutions. ExxonMobil, Shell, BP and Chevron are some of the highest emitting investor-owned companies since the inception of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. These fat cats that dominate the industry, however, do risk losing hoards of cash in the future as attention turns to clean and renewable energy. According to Faria, the problem with reducing fossil fuel emissions lies in the desire for quick cash. Capitalism works to make money at the expense of nearly everything else, therefore a financial argument must be made for abandoning fossil fuels. Executive director of US environmental organisation the Sierra Club, Michael Brune, suggests that investing in the industry is now 'not only morally risky, it’s economically risky. The world is moving away from fossil fuels towards clean energy and is doing so at an accelerated pace.’ If money makes the world go round, let’s hope and pray that alternative energy sources become the chief supplier.