A 2017 report found that 100 fossil fuel producers were responsible for 71 percent of industrial greenhouse gas emissions from 1988 to 2017.
For several years now, social media users have been claiming that 100 companies are responsible for 71 percent of global emissions. In light of a recent UN report, this particular claim is once again doing the rounds on Facebook and other platforms. Recently, Zara Sultana, a Member of Parliament for the U.K.'s Labour Party, tweeted: "Just 100 companies are responsible for 71% of global emissions. The climate crisis is a capitalist crisis. We need system change to avert climate catastrophe."
The figures in question come from a 2017 report by CDP, a not-for-profit charity that, according to its website, runs a global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states, and regions to manage their environmental impacts. The 2017 report showed that 100 fossil fuel producers, including ExxonMobil, Shell, BHP Billiton, and Gazprom, were linked to 71 percent of industrial greenhouse gas emissions from 1988 to 2017. State-owned corporations from China, Saudi Arabia, and Russia were among the worst offenders. As Wired reported in 2017, "China's coal manufacturers are responsible for a whopping 14 percent of the total between 1988 to 2015."
The recent UN report on climate change has also been widely commented on. As the BBC has stated, "Human activity is changing the climate in unprecedented and sometimes irreversible ways." As Vox has stated, "Far more aggressive action is needed to limit catastrophic climate change, and that time is running out."
Though it is now 2021 and not 2017, and the exact numbers may now be slightly different, as the 2017 report appears to be robust and the climate crisis has hardly been solved, we mark this claim true.