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Richard Heede

Affiliate, Climate Litigation Accelerator


Richard (Rick) Heede leads Climate Accountability Institute’s “Carbon Majors” project, which traces carbon dioxide and methane emissions to the largest corporations that produce, refine, and market carbon fuels worldwide. The initial work was published in Climatic Change in 2013 with a lead story in The Guardian. Rick has analyzed potential emissions from oil, gas, and coal companies’ proven reserves vis-à-vis the remaining carbon budget. He and colleagues have also modeled the atmospheric CO2 concentration, temperature, sea level rise, and ocean acidification attributable to major carbon producers. He is now investigating how a responsible oil and gas company can align production and investment objectives with the ≤1.5°C pathway of the Paris Agreement and identifying perverse governance policies. CAI was founded in 2011 to provide the scientific basis for leveraging climate stewardship by oil, gas, and coal producers. Rick published his thesis A Geography of Carbon with NCAR in 1983, worked on energy efficiency and climate mitigation with the Rocky Mountain Institute from 1984 to 2001, and consulted on municipal, individual, and corporate emission inventories with Climate Mitigation Services from 2001 to 2011.