Australian mining giant BHP Billiton has been ranked 20th in a list of 81 major carbon emitters.
Australian mining giant BHP Billiton accounts for more than half of one per cent of all global greenhouse gas emissions, a report has found.
The Heinrich Boell Foundation, a German think tank, ranks BHP No.20 on its list of 81 major carbon emitters in its annual Carbon Majors Funding, Loss and Damage report.
The report calls on fossil fuel companies to take their share of the burden and pay into a fund for the victims of global warming.
BHP accounts for 0.52 per cent of emissions, which is far behind No.1 emitter Chevron Texaco at 3.51 per cent.
“The big oil and gas companies can no longer dodge their legal and moral responsibility to pay for climate change loss and damage their products have caused,” Heinrich Boll Foundation president Barbara Unmuessig said.
“Top international companies, such as Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Saudi Aramco, BP, Gazprom and Shell have made huge profits with fossil fuels while the victims of climate change, often in the poorest regions of the world, are faced with ruin.”
Report co-authors Julie-Anne Richards and Keely Boom of the Climate Justice Programme propose a levy on fossil fuel extraction.
“It could start at approximately $2 per tonne of CO2, which would raise $50 billion per year initially,” Ms Richards said.
The levy would be calculated against a company’s historic emissions and projected future extractions of coal, oil and gas.
Over time, it could be increased by five per cent to 10 per cent each year, the report says.
The money raised would be allocated to the world’s poorest communities and to those who have experienced the greatest effects of climate change.
The foundation’s report comes as Prime Minister Tony Abbott faces criticism from the US and Europe for not including climate change on the G20 leader’s agenda at November’s meeting in Brisbane.
Mr Abbott aims to repeal Labor’s carbon tax in July and replace it with a taxpayer-funded “direct action” policy.
Earlier in the week, the annual Lowy Institute Poll showed public concern over climate change has risen to 45 per cent of the population, after five years of steady decline.
Comment is being sought from BHP Billiton.