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Corporations

Accountability and Responsibility

The current approach to climate change is one where the burden is placed on individual consumers. However, a few oligarchic corporations have played an influential role in the creation of climate change and preventing action. The system of capitalism has allowed for industries like the fossil fuel industry and others to have a large impact on politics, negotiations, and the environment. In order to address the climate crisis justly, corporations must be held accountable for their actions, and people must be put ahead of profits. In this section, you will learn about corporations' roles in climate policy decisions, their role in the creation of climate change, and why system change is vital.

Introductory

Intermediate

Jane Mayer, The New Yorker. June 5, 2017
Article, 3 pages

In this article, Jane Mayer explains how large corporations, namely the Koch Brothers, influenced the Trump Administration’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement - showing how oligarchic corporations have astounding influence over U.S. climate-change legislation.

Tags: Corporations, oligarchy, Paris Agreement 

Kenny Bruno, Joshua Karliner, China Brotsky. Published by the Transnational Resource and Action Center (TRAC), nov 1999
Paper, 32 pages

In this overview of the oil industry's role in climate change, TRAC authors explain how the oil industry needs to be held accountable for their role in climate change, and why climate justice is the platform for changing the corporate systems we have in place. The paper dives deep into the injustices performed by the oil industry over decades, and provides pathways for change.

Tags: Corporations, fossil fuel

Banking on Climate Change: Fossil Fuel Report Card 2019

The Indigenous Environmental Network, in partnership with Rainforest Action Network, Banktrack, Sierra Club, Oil Change International

This report "totals the lending and underwriting from 33 global banks to 1,800 companies across the fossil fuel industry as a whole. Given that there is no room for new fossil fuels in the world’s carbon budget, this report also documents the funding of fossil fuel expansion by aggregating data on which banks are financing 100 top companies that expanding the fossil fuels sector."

Tamar Lawrence-Samuel, Rachel Rose Jackson, Corporate Accountability International, Nathan Thannki, Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice; ‘Spotlight on Sustainable Development’, 2017

IIn this article, specific examples are given of big-oil’s indirect impact upon communities via their climate change policy. The paper also looks at the institutions which big-oil use to do affect climate policy globally, and the inability of the UN to affect change in this area.

Tags: Corporations, sustainable development goals

Union of Concerned Scientists, September 7, 2017.

In this article, an analysis is given of the actual impact which big-oil is having upon climate change. The article discusses a recent study, which found that the 90 largest carbon producers are responsible for nearly 50 percent of the rise in global average temperature, and 30 percent of global sea level rise.

Tags: Corporations, fossil fuel