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Corporations agree to cut carbon emissions
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
February 20, 2006




More than 100 top executives from the private sector and leaders of international governmental and non-governmental organizations unveileved a plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions. They said governments need to take immediate steps to stop global warming.

"Failing to act now would lead to far higher economic and environmental costs and greater risk of irreversible impacts," warned the Global Roundtable on Climate Change in a statement issued Tuesday. "Long-term success will require a concerted effort to de-carbonize the global energy system."

The Roundtable put forth a series of recommendations for world governments to reduce the risk of climate change including setting "scientifically informed" targets for global CO2 concentrations, developing a carbon trading market, promoting energy efficiency and de-carbonization through the increased used of renewable energy, providing incentines to reduce deforestation and harmful land management practices, implementing adaption strategies to prepare populations for the impact of global change, and launching public awareness campaigns to inform citizens of the risks of and solutions to climate change.

"Cost-efficient technologies exist today, and others could be developed and deployed, to improve energy efficiency and to help reduce emissions of CO2 and other GHGs in major sectors of the global economy," stated the Roundtable. "Research indicates that heading off the very dangerous risks associated with doubling pre-industrial atmospheric concentrations of CO2, while an immense challenge, can be achieved at a reasonable cost."



Alcoa, Ford Motor, General Electric, Goldman Sachs, Toyota Motor North America, and Wal-Mart are among the corporations that signed off on the initiative.

With corporations now making up roughly two-thirds the world's 150 largest entities, the private sector is arguably as important as governments in directing policy on climate change. This new initiative will likely increase pressure on the world's largest polluters -- especially Europe and the United States -- to take action on the issue, which could have a devastating economic impact. A study released in October by the British government said that economic damage caused by global warming could rival that of the Great Depression.

Atmopheric concentrations of carbon dioxide -- the principal greenhouse gas produced by human activities -- currently stands at the highest levels in at least 650,000 years according to research published in 2005. Most carbon emissions result from power generation, responsible for more than 40 percent of energy-related emissions worldwide. Overall, industry accounts for more than 18 percent of emissions, transport 20 percent, and the residential and services sector 13 percent. The U.S. is the largest polluter, followed by China.

While the effects of higher CO2 levels are still poorly understood, scientists are concerned that climate change could have a major impact on weather patterns, the distribution of ice, ecosystems, and ocean currents and sea levels. During the past year alone studies have warned that climate change could result in the demise of coral reefs, the shutdown of the Gulf stream and related currents, melting Arctic ice and glaciers, emerging diseases, bitter winters and drought, changes in vegetation, stronger storms and hurricanes, and mass extinction.

The 187 largest global entities. The table below includes the largest economic entities on Earth as measured by GDP [Source: World Development Indicators database, World Bank, 20 Feb 2007] and Total Revenue [Source: Feb 20, 2007 Fortune Magazine]. Figures tabulated by Rhett A. Butler of mongabay.com.

United States; China; Japan; India; Germany; United Kingdom; France; Italy; Russia; Brazil; Korea, South; Canada; Mexico; Spain; Indonesia; Taiwan; Australia; Turkey; Iran; Argentina; Thailand; South Africa; Poland; Netherlands; Philippines; Pakistan; Saudi Arabia; Colombia; Ukraine; Exxon Mobil; Bangladesh; Belgium; Egypt; Wal-Mart Stores; Malaysia; Royal Dutch Shell; Sweden; Austria; BP; Vietnam; Algeria; Hong Kong; Switzerland; Greece; Czech Republic; Norway; Portugal; Chile; Denmark; Romania; General Motors; Chevron; Nigeria; DaimlerChrysler; Toyota Motor; Peru; Ford Motor; Ireland; Venezuela; Hungary; Finland; ConocoPhillips; Israel; General Electric; Total; Morocco; Kazakhstan; Singapore; ING Group; Citigroup; AXA; United Arab Emirates; Allianz; Volkswagen; Fortis; Crédit Agricole; American Intl. Group; New Zealand; Assicurazioni Generali; Siemens; Sinopec; Slovakia; Sudan; Nippon Telegraph & Telephone; Carrefour; Iraq; HSBC Holdings; Sri Lanka; ENI; Aviva; Intl. Business Machines; McKesson; Tunisia; Honda Motor; State Grid; Hewlett-Packard; BNP Paribas; PDVSA; UBS; Bank of America Corp.; Burma; Hitachi; China National Petroleum; Pemex; Nissan Motor; Berkshire Hathaway; Home Depot; Valero Energy; Belarus; J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.; Samsung Electronics; Matsushita Electric Industrial; Bulgaria; Deutsche Bank; HBOS; Verizon Communications; Syria; Libya; Cardinal Health; Puerto Rico; Prudential; Nestlé; Deutsche Telekom; Dominican Republic; Metro; Dexia Group; Credit Suisse; Ethiopia; Royal Bank of Scotland; Tesco; Peugeot; U.S. Postal Service; Altria Group; Zurich Financial Services; E.ON; Sony; Vodafone; Société Générale; Électricité De France; Nippon Life Insurance; Statoil; France Télécom ; LG; Guatemala; Kroger; Ecuador; Munich Re Group; Deutsche Post; Croatia; State Farm Insurance Cos; Ghana; Marathon Oil; Azerbaijan; BMW; Fiat; Hyundai Motor; Procter & Gamble; ABN AMRO Holding; Royal Ahold; Repsol YPF; Legal & General Group; Petrobrás; Toshiba; Dell; Lloyds TSB Group; ThyssenKrupp; Boeing; Uzbekistan; AmerisourceBergen; Lithuania; Santander Central Hispano Group; BASF; Costco Wholesale; Suez; Target; Morgan Stanley; Robert Bosch; Kuwait; Angola; Uganda; Renault; Costa Rica; Slovenia; Turkmenistan; Serbia; Congo, Democratic Republic of the; Cuba.
1United States$12,980,000
2China$10,000,000
3Japan$4,220,000
4India$4,042,000
5Germany$2,585,000
6United Kingdom$1,903,000
7France$1,871,000
8Italy$1,727,000
9Russia$1,723,000
10Brazil$1,616,000
11Korea, South$1,180,000
12Canada$1,165,000
13Mexico$1,134,000
14Spain$1,070,000
15Indonesia$935,000
16Taiwan$668,300
17Australia$666,300
18Turkey$627,200
19Iran$610,400
20Argentina$599,100
21Thailand$585,900
22South Africa$576,400
23Poland$542,600
24Netherlands$512,000
25Philippines$443,100
26Pakistan$427,300
27Saudi Arabia$374,000
28Colombia$366,700
29Ukraine$355,800
30Exxon Mobil$339,938
31Bangladesh$330,800
32Belgium$330,400
33Egypt$328,100
34Wal-Mart Stores$315,654
35Malaysia$308,800
36Royal Dutch Shell$306,731
37Sweden$285,100
38Austria$279,500
39BP$267,600
40Vietnam$258,600
41Algeria$253,400
42Hong Kong$253,100
43Switzerland$252,900
44Greece$251,700
45Czech Republic$221,400
46Norway$207,300
47Portugal$203,100
48Chile$203,000
49Denmark$198,500
50Romania$197,300
51General Motors$192,604
52Chevron$189,481
53Nigeria$188,500
54DaimlerChrysler$186,106
55Toyota Motor$185,805
56Peru$181,800
57Ford Motor$177,210
58Ireland$177,200
59Venezuela$176,400
60Hungary$172,700
61Finland$171,700
62ConocoPhillips$166,683
63Israel$166,300
64General Electric$157,153
65Total$152,361
66Morocco$147,000
67Kazakhstan$138,700
68Singapore$138,600
69ING Group$138,235
70Citigroup$131,045
71AXA$129,839
72United Arab Emirates$129,400
73Allianz$121,406
74Volkswagen$118,377
75Fortis$112,351
76Crédit Agricole$110,765
77American Intl. Group$108,905
78New Zealand$106,000
79Assicurazioni Generali$101,404
80Siemens$100,099
81Sinopec$98,785
82Slovakia$96,350
83Sudan$96,010
84Nippon Telegraph & Telephone$94,869
85Carrefour$94,455
86Iraq$94,100
87HSBC Holdings$93,494
88Sri Lanka$93,330
89ENI$92,603
90Aviva$92,579
91Intl. Business Machines$91,134
92McKesson$88,050
93Tunisia$87,880
94Honda Motor$87,511
95State Grid$86,984
96Hewlett-Packard$86,696
97BNP Paribas$85,687
98PDVSA$85,618
99UBS$84,708
100Bank of America Corp.$83,980
101Burma$83,840
102Hitachi$83,596
103China National Petroleum$83,557
104Pemex$83,382
105Nissan Motor$83,274
106Berkshire Hathaway$81,663
107Home Depot$81,511
108Valero Energy$81,362
109Belarus$80,740
110J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.$79,902
111Samsung Electronics$78,717
112Matsushita Electric Industrial$78,558
113Bulgaria$77,130
114Deutsche Bank$76,228
115HBOS$75,799
116Verizon Communications$75,112
117Syria$75,100
118Libya$74,970
119Cardinal Health$74,915
120Puerto Rico$74,890
121Prudential$74,745
122Nestlé$74,659
123Deutsche Telekom$74,062
124Dominican Republic$73,740
126Metro$72,814
125Dexia Group$72,814
127Credit Suisse$72,194
128Ethiopia$71,630
129Royal Bank of Scotland$71,164
130Tesco$71,128
131Peugeot$69,915
132U.S. Postal Service$69,907
133Altria Group$69,148
134Zurich Financial Services$67,186
135E.ON$66,313
136Sony$66,026
137Vodafone$65,314
138Société Générale$64,442
139Électricité De France$63,434
140Nippon Life Insurance$61,158
141Statoil$61,033
142France Télécom $60,933
143LG$60,574
144Guatemala$60,570
145Kroger$60,553
146Ecuador$60,480
147Munich Re Group$60,256
148Deutsche Post$59,990
149Croatia$59,410
150State Farm Insurance Cos$59,224
151Ghana$59,150
152Marathon Oil$58,958
153Azerbaijan$58,100
154BMW$57,973
155Fiat$57,834
156Hyundai Motor$57,435
157Procter & Gamble$56,741
158ABN AMRO Holding$56,615
159Royal Ahold$56,427
160Repsol YPF$56,424
161Legal & General Group$56,385
162Petrobrás$56,324
163Toshiba$56,028
164Dell$55,908
165Lloyds TSB Group$55,407
166ThyssenKrupp$55,261
167Boeing$54,848
168Uzbekistan$54,810
169AmerisourceBergen$54,590
170Lithuania$54,030
171Santander Central Hispano Group$53,849
172BASF$53,113
173Costco Wholesale$52,935
174Suez$52,743
175Target$52,620
176Morgan Stanley$52,498
177Robert Bosch$52,208
178Kuwait$52,170
179Angola$51,950
180Uganda$51,890
181Renault$51,365
182Costa Rica$48,770
183Slovenia$46,080
184Turkmenistan$45,110
185Serbia$44,830
186Congo, Democratic Republic of the$44,600
187Cuba$44,540




This article used quotes and information from "WSU Researcher Finds Population, Consumption Drive Global Climate Change and Environmental Degradation" by Robert Strenge and "Driving the human ecological footprint" by Thomas Dietz, Eugene A Rosa, and Richard York.


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