Washington, D.C. July 28, 2023 - As Chevron and Exxon announce combined profits of $31.9 billion so far in 2023, new Global Witness analysis reveals that the oil giants are among the world’s top carbon emitters, producing over 1,700 tonnes of carbon every minute, a critical factor in the extreme heat waves affecting millions across the U.S.
Chevron and Exxon have jointly released an estimated 445 million tonnes of carbon during the first half of this year alone, based on oil and gas production forecasts by energy data firm Rystad. These emissions, equivalent to the combined weight of nine Boeing 747s every minute, put the companies among the world's top contributors to climate change.
The sheer volume of emissions from Chevron and Exxon is so immense that if they were classified as a country, they would rank as the sixth highest polluting nation in the world. This positions them ahead of Germany, the UK, and France, known for their substantial industrial sectors.
Emissions from burning fossil fuels accounts for 90 percent of the carbon released into our atmosphere and are a leading cause of the devastating heatwaves, dangerous wildfires, and catastrophic floods, both in the U.S. and globally.
Jonathan Noronha-Gant, Global Witness, Senior Campaigner, said:
"It's both shocking and revealing that while millions of Americans suffer under the weight of record-breaking heatwaves, Chevron and Exxon continue to fan the flames of this climate crisis. Their combined profits of $31.9 billion are being made on the back of over 1,700 tonnes of carbon emissions every minute, a direct contributor to these deadly temperature spikes.
"If Chevron and Exxon were a nation, they'd be the sixth largest carbon polluter globally, outpacing countries like Germany, the UK, and France. Their pursuit of profit, despite the clear and present dangers of carbon emissions, is beyond irresponsible - it's playing with fire on a global scale.
"As we experience unprecedented heatwaves, wildfires, and floods, we must demand greater accountability from these petroleum giants. Their actions are a stark reminder that profit cannot and should not come at the expense of our planet and the well-being of its inhabitants."
Exxon’s second quarter profits, announced today, were $7.9 billion, bringing its 2023 total to $19.3 billion. Chevron announced its full second quarter results today, but had announced its $6 billion second quarter profits on 23 July, bringing its 2023 total to $12.6 billion.
Note to Editors:
Carbon calculations are based on oil and gas production estimates from Rystad, an industry leading energy data firm. Calculations assume that oil and gas produced is burned but does not account for other possible emissions, including during the production or transport of the fuels. Underlying data and calculations available upon request.