20 companies are responsible for 35 percent of carbon emissions in the modern era, study shows

Tim O'Donnell

A new study put 20 of the world's biggest fossil fuels in the spotlight, The Guardian reports. Unsurprisingly, it's not for a very flattering reason.

The analysis by Richard Heede at the Climate Accountability Institute reveals that the 20 companies have contributed to 35 percent of all energy-related carbon emissions since 1965. Among the firms are Chevron, ExxonMobil, and BP, which contributed the second, fourth, and sixth most tonnage of carbon dioxide, respectively. Meanwhile, 12 of the 20 companies are state-owned entities, including Saudi Aramco, Russia's Gazprom, and the National Iranian Oil Company. Aramco leads the pack by a good amount — alone it accounts for more than 4 percent of emissions.

The Guardian reached out to the companies, and several of them replied. Most of them reportedly said they accepted the science of climate change and that they were attempting support the 2016 Paris Agreement, while still dodging around their past roles in creating the current climate crisis.

"These companies and their products are substantially responsible for the climate emergency, have collectively delayed national and global action, and can no longer hide behind the smokescreen that consumers are the responsible parties," Heede wrote. Read more at The Guardian.