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07 October, 2016

The world’s worst corporate climate criminals

Across the board, these eight companies continue to disparage the science and undermine the urgency of action,” said Kathy Mulvey, lead author of the report.

A new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) ranks 8 leading fossil fuel companies according to their response to mitigating climate change. The in-depth investigation found that while the companies vary in their aggressiveness to combat carbon emissions, all of them “bear a particular responsibility for climate change”.

Indeed, the report authors say, all of the major corporations have “products (that) cause a buildup of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere”.

More significantly, “(all) of these companies have worked to systematically block laws or regulations that would reduce heat-trapping emissions, in some cases by spreading disinformation about climate science,” the authors say.

Assessing the companies' climate-related communications, positions, and actions, from January 2015 to May 2016, the report looked at whether they had renounced flawed climate science and policy, have taken steps to comply with the United Nations Paris accords, have supported fair and effective climate policies, and have disclosed climate risks to investors.

While BP and Shell fared relatively well in a couple of these areas, all of the companies did poorly in the report’s overall rubric.

Across the board, these eight companies continue to disparage the science and undermine the urgency of action—either directly or through the trade associations and industry groups they support,” said Kathy Mulvey, lead author of the report and Climate Accountability Campaign manager at UCS. “In the wake of numerous exposés that revealed companies’ records of working to deceive the public about global warming, many of the companies now insist that they no longer promote denial and accept the reality of climate change. This study belies those claims.

The report calls on these major fossil fuel producers to accept their role in the problem of climate change and take action in several areas, including planning for a world free from carbon pollution and stopping the spread of or supporting the spread of disinformation on climate science and policy.

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