Climate accountability as a fulcrum
for climate stewardship.

Welcome to Climate Accountability Institute.

News Update - 14 July 2016

Chairman Lamar Smith of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology issued a subpoena to Climate Accountability Institute on 13 July, as well as to seven NGOs working on various aspects of corporate accountability for climate change by oil and gas companies (including potential fraudulent deception of investors, consumers, and the public by ExxonMobil), two charitable foundations funding accountability research, and the state Attorneys General for New York and Massachusetts who are investigating ExxonMobil for investor and consumer fraud.

CAI, other subpoenaed NGOs, and state AGs have all refused to provide the documents and communications requested by Chairman Smith on 18 May 2016, 17 June 2016, and 6 July 2016.

CAI responded on 13 July by declining to provide the requested documents on the basis of the Committee’s lack of jurisdictional and legislative authority over our First Amendment rights to protect private communications and freedom of assembly with scientists and thinkers. CAI will not be intimidated, and we stand with other colleagues at UCS, Greenpeace, 350, and other groups and funders to denounce the unconstitutional and abusive tactics of Chairman Smith.

Official documents:

Lamar Smith (2016) Letter to Climate Accountability Institute, 18 May 2016

Richard Heede (2016) Response by Climate Accountability Institute to Chairman Lamar Smith, 13 July 2016

Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson (2016) Letter to Honorable Lamar Smith, Chairman, USHR Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, 23 June 2016

Media Stories (selected):

Andrew Restuccia & Elana Schor (2016) Exxon scrambles to contain climate crusade, Politico, 9 May 2016.

Steve Horn (2016) Exxon, Koch Ties May Help Explain Rep. Lamar Smith's Probing Request of "Exxon Knew" Environmental Groups, DeSmog blog, 21 June.

McKenzie Funk (2016) Did Exxon Lie About Global Warming? Rolling Stone, 30 June 2016

David Hasemyer (2016) State Attorneys General Subpoenaed by Rep. Lamar Smith for Exxon Fraud ProbeInsideClimate News, 13 July 2016


Press Release 1 June 2016

The Climate Accountability Institute, on the advice of counsel and in cooperation with our colleagues at Union of Concerned Scientists and other collaborating organizations and charitable foundations, has declined the request from the U.S. House of Representatives’s Committee on Science, Space, and Technology to provide all documents and communications relating to certain projects and publications conducted by the Institute, by the State of New York Office of the Attorney General, other State Attorneys General, and other NGOs and foundations working on corporate accountability for climate change.

Response to USHR SST Committee on behalf of Union of Concerned Scientists

John Schwartz: State Officials Investigated Over Their Inquiry Into Exxon Mobil's Climate Change Research, New York Times, 19 May 2016.

Zahra Hirji: Group of Republicans Assail Climate Fraud Investigations, Inside Climate News, 19 May 2016.


The Institute was established by Richard Heede, Naomi Oreskes, and Greg Erwin as a non-profit research and educational organization.

The Climate Accountability Institute engages in research and education on anthropogenic climate change, dangerous interference with the climate system, and the contribution of fossil fuel producers' carbon production to atmospheric carbon dioxide content. This encompasses the science of climate change, the civil and human rights associated with a stable climate regime not threatened by climate-destabilizing emissions of greenhouse gases, and the risks, liabilities, and disclosure requirements regarding past and future emissions of greenhouse gases attributable to primary carbon producers.

Our vision is for a world protected from the social, economic, and environmental damages of climate change.

Our mission is to use climate accountability as a fulcrum for climate stewardship.

Our strategy is to leverage accountability by carbon producers into using their skills, capital, and resources to aid rather than oppose the transition to a low-carbon or zero-carbon energy future.

We are pleased to announce the publication of the Carbon Majors results. For more information please go here. For Publications go here.

"In my view, staying out of the fray is not taking the 'high ground'; it is just passing the buck."
—Steve Schneider Memorial Forum, Boulder, August 2011.

News Update 1 December 2015
The Climate Accountability Institute announces a new paper: Heede and Oreskes (2015) Potential emissions of CO2 and methane from proved reserves of fossil fuels: An alternative analysis, Global Environmental Change.

News Update August 2015
The Climate Accountability Institute announces a new paper by Frumhoff, Heede, & Oreskes: The climate responsibilities of industrial carbon producers.

A "powerful, and gutsy" paper — Denis Hayes, Bullitt Foundation

News Update December 3, 2014
The Climate Accountability Institute is today releasing an update of the
Carbon Majors Project — detailing the emissions traced to the major industrial carbon producers in the oil, natural gas, coal, and cement industries — through the year 2013
Papers and charts available here.

News Update December 15, 2014
The Climate Accountability Institute is today releasing an analysis of
global fossil fuel and cement emissions of CO2 since 1751 that calculates
the proportion emitted since 1988 ‹ when the evidence and risks of
human-caused warming first became widely known.
Papers and charts available here.


Banner image is of Cyclone Catarina in the southern hemisphere that later hit the Brazilian town of Torres. Catarina was the first hurricane-intensity tropical cyclone ever recorded in the Southern Atlantic Ocean. Photographed from the International Space Station on 26 March 2004.