The climate crisis is the defining challenge of our time. Our planet is facing unprecedented levels of carbon emissions, leading to rising temperatures, sea-level rise, and extreme weather conditions. This crisis is not only an environmental issue but a social and economic one that affects everyone on this planet.
In this newsletter, we will explore how corporate greed is fueling the climate crisis some incredible people driving change and what we can do to stop it.
Failed Climate Policies
Over the years, there have been numerous attempts to address the climate crisis. However, most of these policies have failed to achieve their intended goals. For instance, the Paris Agreement, signed in 2015, aimed to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. However, the world is still on track for a temperature rise which would have catastrophic consequences.
Moreover, despite the signing of the Paris Agreement, global carbon emissions have continued to rise. In 2020, the world emitted a record-breaking 40.1 billion tons of CO2, despite the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns.
One of the main drivers of the climate crisis is corporate greed. Companies prioritize profit over the environment, leading to high levels of carbon emissions. According to a report by the Carbon Majors Database, only 100 companies are responsible for more than 70% of global emissions since 1988.
The fossil fuel industry is the main contributor to carbon emissions. The top five fossil fuel producers – BP, Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Total – have contributed to over 10% of global emissions. These companies have continued to invest in fossil fuels, despite knowing the consequences of their actions.
However ExxonMobil recently made an announcement about its efforts to accelerate the world’s path to net-zero emissions. Their latest step involves a CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) agreement with Linde. This agreement will involve the transportation and permanent storage of up to 2.2 million metric tons a year of CO from Linde’s clean hydrogen plant in Beaumont, Texas, which is set to begin operations in 2025. According to ExxonMobil, this is their largest project of this kind to date, and is equivalent to the emissions from nearly half a million cars.
In addition to this, ExxonMobil is also expanding their carbon capture and storage activity along the U.S. Gulf Coast. Their low-carbon hydrogen project in Baytown, Texas will capture more than 7 million metric tons a year of CO2, while their CCS project in Louisiana will store up to 2 MTA for CF Industries, a leading maker of agricultural fertilizer.
All of these projects demonstrate ExxonMobil’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions and working towards a more sustainable future.
As we contemplate the future of Africa, it is crucial to consider what adaptive measures have been put in place to combat the looming threat of climate change.
With data indicating that Africa is among the regions most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, it is disconcerting to note that despite the focus of the last COP on Africa, significant corporations responsible for over 10% of global emissions have failed to incorporate Africa in their commitments.
This raises the question: How can we ensure that Africa is not left behind in the fight against climate change, and what steps must be taken to achieve this goal?
The agriculture and food industry is also a significant contributor to carbon emissions. The meat industry alone produces more greenhouse gasses than all of the world’s transportation combined. This industry is also responsible for deforestation, leading to the destruction of carbon sinks and biodiversity loss.
What Can We Do?
It is clear that corporate greed is destroying our planet. However, there are actions we can take to stop it. We can divest from fossil fuels and support clean energy alternatives. We can also demand that our governments take urgent action to address the climate crisis, including implementing policies to reduce carbon emissions and holding corporations accountable for their actions.
Moreover, we can also make individual changes, such as reducing meat consumption and opting for sustainable products. These small changes can have a significant impact on reducing our carbon footprint.
Despite this, policies to reduce meat consumption and promote plant-based diets have been met with resistance from powerful lobby groups. In fact, in 2018, the European Parliament rejected a proposal to reduce the use of meat and dairy products in public canteens, despite evidence that reducing meat consumption is one of the most effective ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
It’s clear that we need to take action to address the root causes of climate change. However, many of the policies that have been implemented have been ineffective or even counterproductive. For example, the European Union’s emissions trading system, which was intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has actually led to an increase in emissions in some cases.
We need to develop policies that are effective in reducing emissions while also promoting social justice and equity. This means addressing the root causes of climate change, including the concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a small elite.