In participation with Global Divestment Day, Fossil Free Indexes LLC just released an updated Carbon Underground list for the divestment movement to take forward. It’s now posted on

This is a list of the top 100 coal companies and the top 100 oil and gas companies by size of reserves converted to CO2 equivalent. These are the companies holding the bulk of the carbon risk to the planet and the portfolios.

With a new list comes new numbers, and the Carbon Bubble equation continues to shift. The arguably high ceiling, 2°C (3.6° F) of global warming, remains; but the carbon budget (80% probability of staying under 2 degrees) is shrinking as we burn somewhere around 35 to 40 GtCO2 (billion tons of CO2) per year; and the reserves keep growing. But before we dig into the numbers, it’s important to note that the heart of the divestment movement remains the moral argument; if If it’s wrong to wreck the climate then it’s wrong to profit from that wreckage.

It’s also important to add the context of the current market environment to the shifting Carbon Bubble equation. The growth of reserves over the last year came with a BIG price tag. According to Deutsche Bank, the oil industry spent $650 billion on exploration and development of new reserves in 2014. And that’s not the only catch around these reserves. According to Goldman Sachs, over the past two years no major [oil/gas] project has come on-stream below $70 per barrel, with most in the $80 – $100 per barrel range. That’s a troubling prospect for reserve holders looking at oil prices bounce around in the $50s.

Here are the two big takeaways from the new reserves report:

Reserves are getting bigger

The 200 list now represents 555 Gt of potential CO2 emissions – five times more than can be burned if global warming is to be limited to 2°C. That’s 9 Gt more than last year’s list. The report says, “[That growth] is equivalent to adding another PetroChina – the world’s third largest public oil and gas company – to the industry.” The oil and gas list reserves are scheduled to be exploited in the next 10-15 years. And that is just the emissions potential of the companies on these lists. There are still State owned fossil fuel reserves, and other GHG sources to consider.

Fossil Free Indexes thinks we will see a slow in reserve growth in 2015 as low oil prices have the industries cutting exploration spending. But, bottom line for this year’s list, reserves have grown (especially on the coal side) and the math is getting scarier.

Too Big to Fail

Just like banks, the fossil fuel industry is consolidating into a few companies at the top. Only 20 companies accounted for 95% of the growth of oil and gas reserve emissions during the past five years. Hyper-consolidation is not an unfamiliar redflag. Significant market risk signals (like high levels of debt) are easily hidden within the complicated balance sheets of giant firms (we experienced this with Banks in 2007). The fossil fuel business model isn’t even working for fossil fuel companies anymore, and only the largest corporations, with the most wiggle room in their budgets, can afford to carry on. This means they’re buying out their struggling little brothers, and doubling down on a doomed business model. The top five ranked oil and gas companies, Gazprom, Rosneft, PetroChina, ExxonMobil and LukOil account for over 50% of overall list emissions on the oil and gas 100.

Luckily, the divestment movement is growing too. With over 500 divestment campaigns globally, a power we will see flexed today, we are building a movement to take on the top 200. For more juicy information, read the report here.