"The world’s corporations produce so much climate change pollution, it could eat up about 44% of their profits if they had to pay damages for it, according to a study by economists of nearly 15,000 public companies.
The “corporate carbon damages” from those publicly owned companies analyzed — a fraction of all the corporations — probably runs in the trillions of dollars globally and in the hundreds of billions for American firms, one of the study authors estimated in figures that were not part of the published research. That’s based on the cost of carbon dioxide pollution that the United States government has proposed.
Nearly 90% of that calculated damage comes from four industries: energy, utilities, transportation and manufacturing of materials such as steel. The study in Thursday’s journal Science by a team of economists and finance professors looks at what new government efforts to get companies to report their emissions of heat-trapping gases would mean, both to the firm’s bottom lines and the world’s ecological health."