by Friends of the Earth / USA –
WASHINGTON, DC (January 29, 2004) — For the first time, the historic contribution of one company to global climate change has been calculated. The assessment findings of ExxonMobil’s historical emissions, released by Friends of the Earth (FoE), has significant implications for the company’s legal exposure and for its shareholders.
The new research could prove vital in paving the way for compensation claims against companies by victims of climate change brought about by man-made pollution.
Friends of the Earth commissioned two studies that showed ExxonMobil, including its predecessors, caused 4.7 to 5.3 percent of the world’s manmade carbon-dioxide emissions between 1882 and 2002 by burning its products.
Carbon dioxide emissions are the principal cause of global warming. Despite UN scientists finding, in 1996, that man-made pollution is having a discernible influence on the global climate, seven out of the 10 worst years for ExxonMobil’s emissions climbed to the highest points after 1996.
Jon Sohn, Sr. Policy Analyst from Friends of the Earth US said:
ExxonMobil is sticking its head in the sand just like tobacco companies that knew the harmful impacts of their product and ultimately paid the price. ExxonMobil’s greenhouse-gas contribution is staggering and shareholders can vote for resolutions that force the corporation to take action now. We believe that ExxonMobil is at risk of litigation and other companies would also be well-advised to consider whether they face similar risks.
Roughly 70 percent of the company’s emissions have been since 1967, when scientists produced what has been described as “the first reasonably solid evidence of global warming.”
Friends of the Earth chose ExxonMobil for an assessment because it has repeatedly attempted to undermine the scientific consensus on climate change and actively resisted attempts to limit carbon dioxide emissions through law. ExxonMobil is also the world’s largest oil company.
Independent experts in the United States and New Zealand carried out the research. It involved adding up data from company annual reports and other sources on fossil fuels used and sold, calculating the emissions generated and feeding the results into an internationally recognized computer model.
The research also shows the impact ExxonMobil-related emissions have had on global temperatures and the rise in sea level.
Via EON – The Ecological Options Network: “What’s Working Where, Worldwide.” www.eon3.net