Fossil fuel: Negative Environmental Impact


While corporations take advantage of the recent advancements in technology since they have made work easier and efficient, the increased rate of gas emission has been linked to unprecedented implications for societies. Research indicates that just 100 companies are responsible for 71% of the gas emission (Griffin, 2017). Companies have a huge role to play in curbing adverse effects of climate change and they are torn in between achieving short-term profitability and the urgent need to reduce emissions. According to a new report on climate change, about 100 companies have contributed in approximately 71% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions (Griffin, 2017). The organizations and their investors have played a significant role in climate change. Some of these corporations such as Saudi Aramco, Russian gas giant Gazprom, and Exxon Mobil have produced about 925 billion tons of carbon dioxide (Griffin, 2017). In addition, coal producing companies in China and India feature in the top 10 together with other enterprises such as Mexican oil produce Pemex and the National Iranian Oil Corporation. Although only 100 big corporations are responsible for spurring economic development by creating massive job opportunities, the companies contribute 71% of the carbon emission into the atmosphere causing adverse effects on the environment and human health.

The protection of society from harmful gas emissions is one of the ethical responsibilities of companies. The corporations have an obligation to balance between profitability and the impact on the environment to avoid making massive profits at the expense of the atmosphere. When people die due to the emission of harmful gases into the atmosphere, the number of customers that consume products from these organizations will reduce (Menarndt & Menard, 2018). Today, companies must focus on avoiding environmental liabilities. The objective of this paper is to prove that C-level executives must enforce positive environmental changes that could keep them from the crisis to protect the image of the company and assure the executives their jobs. This topic is having an impact on my daily life negatively since I am one of the victims of adverse effects of climate change. Business ethics refers to the form of applied moral codes that examine the ethical problems that may arise in a business environment. The ethical environmental issues are the problems that arise due to the release of harmful chemicals into the environment (Pratik, 2017).

Effects of Carbon Emission

Water and air pollution, the depletion of natural resources, and destruction of ecosystems are part of the issues that make up environmental ethics debate. The debates entail an evaluation of the impact of environmental degradation on people’s lives; the debate sparks diverse viewpoints from people. Even though people have engaged debates on the environmental ethical issues for many years, they have found out that human values are a critical factor when looking at environmental ethics. The values entail the important behavioral characteristics that they can use to evaluate actions or events (Riley, 2017). For instance, the decision to use solar energy as opposed to diesel is one action that can help to alleviate environmental contamination. Basically, human beings assign a value to certain things and then use this assigned value to make crucial decisions regarding whether something is right or wrong. Most of global organizations have made positive efforts towards eliminating harmful emissions by investing in green energy.

The manufacturing industry contributes to the direct and indirect carbon emission into atmosphere. Direct emissions the emissions that emanate from sources that are owned by a reporting entity. For example, direct emission occurs when the Russian gas giant Gazprom releases carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The company’s activities contribute to atmospheric contamination due to the release of gases that deplete the ozone layer. Indirect emissions are the discharges that are a consequence of the activities of an industry but occur at sources owned or controlled by another organization. For example, an organization that manufactures batteries may contribute to indirect emissions when their customers dump the batteries elsewhere after use (Pratik, 2017). Human activities such as burning fossil fuels for electricity, heat, and transportation are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. In the US for example, transportation, electricity production, industry, commercial and residential, agriculture, as well as land use and forestry are the primary sources of greenhouse gas emissions.

The transportation sector contributes about 28% of the total gas emissions. It plays a major role in gas emissions due to burning fossil fuels from cars, trucks, ships, trains, and planes. About 90% of the energy used in transportation comes from fuel, and includes petroleum, gasoline, and diesel (Shewan, 2017). On the other hand, electricity production contributes to slightly lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to transportation. About 70% of the electricity available for industries and households comes from burning fossil fuels, primarily coal and natural gas. At the same time, industries contribute to about 22% of total greenhouse gas emissions since most industrial activities entail burning of fossil fuels for energy. Other emissions emanate from chemical reactions of various components that companies use to produce goods. For commercial and residential which contributes to about 11% of gas emissions, the primary cause is the burning fossil fuels to produce heat for various household roles such as warming and cooking (Shewan, 2017). Agriculture, as well as land use and forestry, also contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions from livestock, agricultural soils, and rice production have an influence on the quality of atmospheric air. Some managed forests absorb more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than they emit.

The coal production company in China, Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Aramco), National Iranian Oil Co, ExxonMobil Corp, and Coal India are examples of the 100 companies that are responsible for 71% of gas emissions. Most of them emit the gases through the burning of coal and petroleum products to provide energy for the product (Chen, 2017). A company such as Aramco is responsible for the gas emission through the production of oil which is used in vehicles and other industries. Vehicles release the gases in the form of exhaust fumes. The companies emit the gases in the home countries but the effect is felt elsewhere as depletion of the ozone layer causes climate change (Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions. 2018). The corporations have been involved in the gas emissions since their inception and will continue to impact the environment negatively unless something is done regarding the emissions.

The concept of harmful gas emissions has elicited heated debates as environmental conservatisms as people are concerned about their safety more than ever. In this case, new trends in ethical issues in big corporations have emerged. One of them is an investment in training of employees. Many big corporations have shifted their attention to training their members of staff on the importance of sustaining the environment to respond to concerns about environmental destruction. Another emerging trend is water conservation. Most corporations are taking part in water conservation by minimizing wastage and advising members of staff to recycle and reuse water. In addition, most companies have shifted their attention to chemical management where they are striving to use green cleaning products and non-chemical products for pest control and weed management (Gomez‐Casanovas et al., 2016). Companies respond to the consumers’ demand for sustainability by investing more in green energy and reducing dependency on fossil fuels. They also take part in environmental conservation activities such as planting of trees and promotion of organic farming.

Most businesses that use environmental technologies which improve human and environmental living standards receive grants to continue investing in such technologies (Shewan, 2017). The Carbon Majors Database report from 2017 shows that fossil fuel companies and their products have released more emissions for the last 28 years than in the last 238 years before 1988.

Risk management departments are becoming increasingly popular for small and big industries to assess the threats that may occur due to the use of some of these energy sources. From the scientific point of view, agriculture is the third largest contributor to global emission. Reports indicate that nitrous oxide contributes to 36 percent while carbon dioxide contributes about 14 percent. Consequently, there are various economic factors associated with gas emissions. They lead to low productivity levels as some people who constitute the human capital may suffer from diseases caused by prolonged exposure to polluted water or air. Laws and legality come in as the government formulates rules to make sure that all companies comply with sustainability efforts (Khan et al., 2014). For instance, the U.S. government requires all manufacturing companies to take part in environmental conservation as a way of reducing the negative consequences of emissions.

Considering the severe consequences that emanate from a polluted environment, most specifically climate change, countries have discussed possible solutions and alternatives while implementing some of them. One of the recommended solutions is foregoing fossil fuels. The concept appears to be the most logical answer to the problem of emissions but it is too challenging. The reason is that almost everyone in the universe eats, wear, work, play and even sleep on the products made the help of fossil fuels. Another solution is infrastructure upgrade since buildings worldwide contribute to about a third of all greenhouse gas emissions (Gomez‐Casanovas et al., 2016). Conservation groups feel that investing in new infrastructure or upgrading the existing highways and transmission lines can cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Aramco has had a great advance by investing in solar energy as a way of over-relying on energy from fossil fuels. In another instance, CoStar partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy to commit itself entirely on responsible business practices. Sustainability increases business profitability by reducing overdependence on expensive energy sources and focusing on cheap renewable sources such as solar (CoStar group announces a partnership with the U.S. Department of energy. 2016). Companies can develop various strategies to become environmentally friendly. An example is an investment in alternative energy sources such as wind and solar.

The government has always said to protect the environment by creating laws and regulations that emphasize conservation efforts. However, this year, president Trump cabinet has signed a bill to undo or delay more than 30 environmental rules and regulations. The move could impact negatively on the environment because most companies would ignore their role in environmental protection to focus more on business. Moreover, most organizations would not view global warming as a threat to the U.S. national security. In this case, they will continue releasing harmful gases to the atmosphere to the disadvantage of future generations (Khan et al., 2014). It is a high time that governments across the globe join hands with other agencies to find a long-lasting solution to the effects of greenhouse emissions. While it is practically impossible to get rid of all emissions, administrations can come up with innovative ideas such as those involved with embracing green and renewable energy.


In conclusion, statistics across the globe reveal that only 100 companies are responsible for 71% of the gas emission. Companies that engage in environmental compliance are said to have a better brand image, attracts employers, and avoids environmental destruction. The greenhouse gas emission has elicited major debates currently due to the negative effects it has on the environment. The top 100 companies such as National Iranian Oil Co, ExxonMobil Corp, and Coal India that contribute to most of the emissions serve a lot of people locally and globally. They contribute to both direct and indirect emissions. The major causes of emissions include transportation, electricity, industries, and agriculture, commercial and residential. An investment in renewable sources of energy can help to reduce the number of emissions.