Want to personally thank those largely responsible for putting greenhouse gases into the air? Fewer than 100 phone calls will do the trick. According to new research, 90 companies have produced 63% of the emissions of carbon dioxide and methane since the dawn of the industrial age. Chevron, BP, and Exxon together caused more than 9% of emissions alone, the Guardian reports. All but seven offenders on the list are oil, gas, and coal producers—roughly 30% are state-owned—while half the emissions were produced in the last 25 years, the analysis shows.
"There are thousands of oil, gas, and coal producers in the world," says a climate researcher. "But the decision makers, the CEOs, or the ministers of coal and oil, if you narrow it down to just one person, they could all fit on a Greyhound bus or two." Al Gore calls the research a "crucial step forward," one that he sees as spreading the onus of taking action from governments to corporations. "Those who are historically responsible for polluting our atmosphere have a clear obligation to be part of the solution," he says. The analysis will be published in Climatic Change. (Read more climate change stories.)