Photo of Richard Heede

Richard Heede

Climate Accountability Institute
United States
Email: heede [at] climateaccountability [period/dot] org

Richard (Rick) Heede leads Climate Accountability Institute’s “Carbon Majors” project that attributes emissions to the corporations that extract and market the lion’s share of carbon fuels worldwide. CAI was founded in 2011 to provide the scientific basis for leveraging climate stewardship by oil, gas, and coal producers. Rick honed his interest in energy and climate policy at Rocky Mountain Institute (1984-2002), his carbon inventory expertise with Climate Mitigation Services (2002-2011), and his advocacy by holding fossil fuel companies accountable. Rick published his thesis A Geography of Carbon (1984) and has pursued effective and ethical action on climate ever since.

Richard Heede’s website.


Kenner, Dario, & Richard Heede (2021) White Knights, or Horsemen of the Apocalypse? Prospects for Big Oil to align emissions with a 1.5°C pathway, Energy Research & Social Science, online 15 April.

Licker, Rachel, Brenda Ekwurzel, Scott C. Doney, Sarah R. Cooley, Ivan D. Lima, Richard Heede, & Peter C. Frumhoff (2019) Attributing ocean acidification to major carbon producers, Environmental Research Letters, vol. 14(12); online 11 December.

Heede, Richard (2019) Carbon Majors: Accounting for carbon and methane emissions 1854-2010 Methods & Results Report, ISBN 978-3-659-57841-0, OmniScriptum, Riga, 148 pp.

Ekwurzel, B., J. Boneham, M. W. Dalton, R. Heede, R. J. Mera, M. R. Allen, & P. C. Frumhoff (2017) The rise in global atmospheric CO2, surface temperature, and sea level from emissions traced to major carbon producers, Climatic Change, vol. 144:579-590; online 7Sep. DOI 10.1007/s10584-017-1978-0.

Heede, Richard, & Naomi Oreskes (2016) Potential emissions of CO2 and methane from proved reserves of fossil fuels: An alternative analysis, Global Environmental Change, vol. 36:12-20. DOI: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2015.10.005.

Frumhoff, Peter C., Richard Heede, & Naomi Oreskes (2015) The climate responsibilities of industrial carbon producers, Climatic Change, vol. 132:157-171; early edition, 23 July, DOI: 10.1007/s10584-015-1472-5.

Heede, Richard (2014) Tracing anthropogenic CO2 and methane emissions to fossil fuel and cement producers 1854-2010, Climatic Change, vol. 122(1): 229-241; doi:10.1007/s10584-013-0986-y.

Media Coverage

Watts, Jonathan (2021) Oil firm bosses’ pay ‘incentivises them to undermine climate action,’ The Guardian, 15 April.

Cunningham, Nick (2021) Oil Industry ‘Net-Zero’ Pledges are an Attempt to Delay Climate Action, New Paper Warns, DeSmog, 15 April. 

Joselow, Maxine (2021) Are automakers the next climate target in court? E&E News, 23 March.

Mahmood, Basit (2020) There Are 100 Companies Responsible for Climate Change, Activist Says, Newsweek International, 8 September 2020.

Mitchell, Natasha (2020) Climate in the Courtroom Part 2: A fossil fuel company is sued. Now it speaks. ABC Radio National, Australia / Science Friction, August.

Heede, Richard (2020) Fossil fuel producers and the climate: responsibilities and opportunities, (Spanish: Los productores de combustibles fósiles y el clima: responsabilidades y oportunidades, Arabic: منتجو الوقود الأحفوري والمناخ: المسؤوليات والفرص ), In: Litigating the Climate Emergency, Global Rights, 23 July.

Richter, Wolfgang (2020) Die Klima Ermittler: Beweise fur Schadenerschatz-Klagen, Technology Review (Germany), July, pp. 76-81.

Taylor, Matthew, & Jonathan Watts (2019) Revealed: the 20 firms behind a third of all carbon emissions, The Guardian, 9 October.

Colman, Zack (2019) The new science fossil fuel companies fear, Politico, 22 October 2019.

Jarvis, Brooke (2019) Climate Change Could Destroy His Home in Peru. So He Sued an Energy Company in Germany, New York Times Magazine, online 9 April.