Prepared by Arjun Makhijani for the United Nations Centre on Transnational Corporations

(Download the full report)

New York: United Nations, 1992 — 110 pages, paperback (Environment Series, no.2, ST/CTC/112
ISBN 92-1-103385-9)


In Economic and Social Council resolution 1989/25, the Council requested an analytic study of the main sectors of activity that have adverse effects on environmental preservation and the factors that determine the allocation of activities between developed and developing countries. The present report, entitled Climate Change and Transnational Corporations: Analysis and Trends, is in response to that request.

The problem of global warming and the dangers it presents to global survival are being given high priority by the United Nations. Discussions are under way leading to a convention on global climate change under the auspices of United Nations intergovernmental bodies. The study was designed as a contribution to that process. It focuses on six transnational energy-producing and energy-consuming industrial sectors, in which corporate practices have a direct and major impact on the problems associated with global climate change. The sectors are fossil fuel production, transportation, electricity-generation, energy-intensive metals production, chlorofluorocarbons and other ozone-depleting chemicals, and inorganic nitrogen fertilizers.

The study explores the relative differential impacts between industrialized and developing countries of each sector, and asks how each sector would have to be resurrected in order to limit global climate change and ozone depletion. It concludes that major changes int he technical processes and investment patterns of the transnational corporations in those sectors would be necessary if catastrophic environmental changes are to be avoided.

Dr. Arjun Makhijani, President of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research in Tacoma Park, Maryland, acting as consultant to the Centre, prepared this report. He was assisted by Dr. Ariane Van Buren, Amanda Bickel, and Scott Saleska.

Peter Hansen, Executive Director, United Nations Centre on Transnational Corporations
New York, December 1991

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