Should Carbon Majors contribute to loss and damage costs?

10 June 2014

Developed countries: do you often wonder how you can help vulnerable countries meet the mounting costs of climate change through loss and damage, given the fiscal challenges you’re facing at home?  

Vulnerable countries: do you despair that the costs of loss and damage will never be met by anyone other than those suffering the impacts?   

ECO understands that the answer to both of these questions could be addressed with the one proposal. Carbon Majors, or Carbon Criminals as some like to call them, the companies most responsible for greenhouse gas emissions, ought to pay a levy on their fossil fuel extraction into the Warsaw international loss and damage mechanism.

The ground breaking report released last November by Rick Heede of Climate Accountability Institute attributed 3.5% of global fossil fuel emissions, since the industrial revolution began, to Chevron’s products, 3.2% to ExxonMobil, 3.1% to Saudi Aramco, 2.5% to BP, 2.2% to Gazprom and 2.1% to Shell.  Altogether, an astounding 63% of global emissions are attributable to the coal, oil and gas extracted, and cement manufactured, by just 90 Carbon Majors.

These mammoth fossil fuel entities have made trillions in profits (Chevron, ExxonMobil and BP each made more than US$20 billion last year) whilst their products caused climate change.  International law, and common sense, says that they should pay for the damage their products have caused. Meanwhile, ECO knows we need a plan to phase out dangerous fossil fuel, and phase in 100% renewables.

Come along to Room Air at 15:00 today for a side event to learn about a proposal for developing an element of the 2015 Paris agreement whereby governments would be mandated to collect a specific levy on the extraction of fossil fuels and direct it to the international loss and damage mechanism.

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