Fossil Fuel Companies, Pay for Your Damages

Greenhouse gases, brought by the rolling of industrialization and continued misinformed human activities, cause catastrophic climate change, threatening human survival and environment and its effects being felt in every corner of the world.

Fossil fuel emission by companies is the single, biggest cause of this global environment concern, making it responsible for two thirds of climate change pollution. Climate change effects—droughts, tropical storms, sea-level rise, and increase temperature rise—are severe especially on the poorest countries and vulnerable people.

In 2013, the Philippines was hit by a super typhoon Haiyan that killed more than 6,000 people. Most affected were homeless, lost their love ones, and were trying to survive with no food, shelter, and clear drinking water. Support from the United Nations, US, Japan, and other countries came and the whole world saw the devastating effects of climate change, along with the joint camaraderie of each nation. Sadly, the following months, most affected regions of the Philippines were still in awe and devastated, most of the casualties are not rescued up until now and were buried by the overwhelming adverse effects of the typhoon.

One research published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports said that countries that produce more greenhouse gases tend to be more immune to climate change effects and two thirds of countries with low and moderate emissions are considered vulnerable.

Despite policy making and multilateral talks conducted in different parts of the world and on a local level, the imminent global threat by climate change is still confronting humans.

As we all know, greenhouse gases from combustion of oil, natural gas, and coal are in majority contributed by companies to produce their products. Despite their promise to share responsibility in the battle against climate change, they seem to contribute more damage than help to the environment.

One recent case reported is the decade public deception by ExxonMobil, and some other giant fuel companies, that made the public aware of the company’s shared social responsibility over pressing issues of climate change. The company still under investigation was believed to deceive the public and policymakers about the link between man-made emissions and greenhouse gases and climate change.

ExxonMobil together with other industries contributing much greenhouse gases into the air should take responsibility for their actions and pay for their damages, some of which are indefensible and unjustifiable.

These companies should fully disclose their contribution to the environment, as the public needs to know what actions they are doing to mitigate climate change effects.

They are expected for their full compliance of the environment protection policies by the government and align their business framework with the policies stipulated by the regional or international policies, such as the Pair Agreement, in support of the 2oC climate change target, agreed by the world leaders.

Lastly, they need to pay for their share of the costs and damages they brought to the environment.

Thus, government are putting price on carbon emissions like tax and regulations. But, would that be sufficiently control them from further environment destruction and resource exhaustion?

Cris Hope and his colleagues at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School computed the contribution of one company using its product and other health and other CO2 costs and it showed that most probably the top 20 fossil fuel companies do more harm to the environment.

Political leaders should stop any further fossil-fuel development or expansion, start looking for alternative energy sources, and be more serious over making fossil fuel companies more accountable of their caused environment damages.

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