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Richard Heede

Climate Accountability Institute

Based in

United States
North America

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.

Country(ies) of Specialty

United States Norway Uganda

Focus areas of expertise

History Scientific assessments Fossil fuels

How to Connect



Schleussner, Carl-Friedrich, Marina Andrijevic, Jarmo Kikstra, Richard Heede, Joeri Rogelj, Holly Simpkin, and Sylvia Schmidt (2023) Carbon majors’ trillion dollar damages: The case for contributions from fossil wealth to loss and damage finance, Climate Analytics, Berlin, 36 pp. https://climateanalytics.org/publications/carbon-majors-trillion-dollar-damages# (not peer reviewed).

Rekker, Saphira, Guangwu Chen, Richard Heede, Matthew Ives, Belinda Wade, & Chris Greig (2023) Evaluating fossil fuel companies’ alignment with 1.5°C climate pathways, Nature Climate Change, vol. 13:927-934, online 14 August. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-023-01734-0 https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-023-01734-0

Grasso, Marco, & Richard Heede (2023) Time to pay the piper: fossil fuel companies’ reparations for climate damages, One Earth, online 19 May. https://www.cell.com/one-earth/fulltext/S2590-3322 (23)00198-7

Kenner, Dario, & Richard Heede (2021) White Knights, or Horsemen of the Apocalypse? Prospects for Big Oil to align supply chain emissions with a 1.5°C pathway, Energy Research & Social Science, vol. 79 article #102049: online 15 April, 12 pp. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214629621001420

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. https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/ab5abc

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; https://link.springer.com/article/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. www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378015300637

Frumhoff, Peter C., Richard Heede, & Naomi Oreskes (2015) The climate responsibilities of industrial carbon producers, Climatic Change, vol. 132:157-171; 23 July, DOI: 10.1007/s10584-015-1472-5. URL: https://link.springer.com/article/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. URL: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10584-013-0986-y?view=classic