Oil and gas supermajors and the national coal industries of three of the world’s biggest countries are among the top contributors to climate change, according to a new report.
More than half of global industrial emissions can be traced back to just 25 corporate and state producing entities, the report says.
China, India and Russia’s coal industries and major oil and gas players like Saudi Aramco, Gazprom, ExxonMobil, BP and Shell are among those named in the paper from CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project.
The research found that 100 active fossil fuel producers were linked to 71% of global industrial greenhouse gases since 1988.
Almost a third of historic emissions come from publicly-listed, investor-owned companies, 59% from state-owned companies, and 9% from private investment.
The highest emitting companies over the period include listed companies such as ExxonMobil, Shell, BP and Total.
State-owned entities such as Saudi Aramco, Gazprom, the National Iranian Oil Company, Coal India, Pemex, and CNPC are also on the list.
The report also points towards a doubling in the contribution of fossil fuels to climate change since 1988.
All fossil fuel company operations and products worldwide have released more emissions in the last 28 years than in the previous 237 years.
The report claims that if the trend in fossil fuel extraction continues over the next 28 years, global average temperatures would be rise by 4 degrees Celsius.
This could lead to “substantial” species extinction and food scarcity risks worldwide.
CDP technical director Pedro Faria said: “This ground-breaking report pinpoints how a relatively small set of just 100 fossil fuel producers may hold the key to systemic change on carbon emissions.
“We are seeing critical shifts in policy, innovation and financial capital that put the tipping point for a low carbon transition in reach, and this historic data shows how important the role of the carbon majors and the investors who own them will be.”
In May this year, ExxonMobil shareholders called on the firm to act on climate change.
Earlier this year, Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden has hailed “significant steps” taken to combat global climate change.
He said progress made in recent years, such as the Paris Agreement, marked a worldwide change in attitude in moving towards a low carbon economy.
Last year, Shell created a New Energies business to continue to explore investment opportunities in areas including biofuels, hydrogen and renewable energy.
BP said it recognised the need to address climate change and was actively lowering emissions while increasing sustainability.
French oil giant Total previously voiced support for a variety of measures to combat climate change.
CDP is the leading global platform for environmental disclosure, insight and action for investors, companies, cities, states and regions.