Are these hundred people responsible for climate change?

Credit: Atlas Décolonia

A controversial map has pointed the finger at the CEOs of the top 100 companies producing 71% of the world’s greenhouse gases.  Where are these companies and are they the only ones to blame for climate change? 

Do you use reusable bags and a bamboo toothbrush?  Do you use your car less for small journeys?  In short, do you do as much as you can to combat global warming? These are excellent efforts which more people should be doing.  However when it comes to a global problem like climate change, a systematic approach from global leaders would be more effective.  Many businesses and political leaders have the power to contribute a lot more in the prevention of global warming than everyday citizens… at least this is what the controversial map below is aiming to highlight!

Are these 100 companies responsible?

A controversial map created by tlas Décolonia, is based on data from the Carbon Majors 2017. It highlights the name and location of a hundred CEOs and their businesses which produce the most industrial greenhouse gas emissions.  According to this map, these hundred organisations combined are responsible for 71% of all emissions released into the atmosphere between 1988 and 2015. Above you will see a deformed map of the world.  The biggest countries (on the map) are those that produce the most green house gas emissions since the start of the industrial revolution.

From this map we can see that a state-owned coal production company in China is the largest producer of industrial greenhouse gases. This company alone is responsible for 14.32% of this type of pollution. Following that comes the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, Gazprom, or Shell. In the UK, only Rio Tinto and BP have been highlighted.

réchauffement climatique
The greatest contributor to climate change in North America. Credits : Atlas Décolonia
réchauffement climatique
The greatest contributors to climate change in Europe. Credits : Atlas Décolonia

“Everyone” is responsible

The map in intentionally bold as the map creators aim to name and blame the main people responsible for climate change.  The ultimate goal is to encourage these companies to invest in renewable energy rather than fossil fuels. According to this report, if we continue to extract fossil fuels for the next 25 years in the same way as we do currently, global temperatures could increase by 4°C.

This map is controversial as it directly names the CEO of each company.  However we can’t solely blame the heads of these businesses. The map doesn’t take into consideration that consumers are the main people who drive these businesses. In fact it is the investors, who often come from public institutions, that seem to have a greater influence on decision making process regarding these businesses.


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