Roy Gilbert

Snowmass researcher Rick Heede’s work turns up heat on world’s largest carbon emitters

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Rick Heede runs the nonprofit Climate Accountability Institute from his home in Snowmass. His work identifying the world’s largest carbon producers could play a critical role in reducing emissions. In the battle to prevent humans from cooking Earth, Snowmass resident Rick Heede is playing a critical role as a foot soldier.

Heede, 67, a former employee of Rocky Mountain Institute and the founding director of Climate Accountability Institute, is receiving international recognition for groundbreaking work on sourcing carbon emissions. In painstaking research, Heede and assistants have identified the top 20 carbon producers worldwide between 1965 and 2017. It comes as no surprise that the troublesome 20 are oil, gas and coal companies. Combined, they produced 480 billion tons of carbon dioxide and methane, 35% of all fossil fuel emissions over that 53-year timeframe.

The work in 2013 gained attention after it was highlighted in thorough and aggressive reporting on climate change by a British daily newspaper.

“With the help of The Guardian it raised a ruckus,” Heede said. “They have the skills, the resources and, to my way of thinking, the moral obligation to correct the problem.” — Rick Heede He focused on top producers because he feels the corporations have a responsibility to the world at-large to prevent catastrophic climate change.

“They have the skills, the resources and, to my way of thinking, the moral obligation to correct the problem,” Heede told The Aspen Times.

Heede has spent his entire life interested in and concerned about the health of the planet. He spent […]

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