Non-profit

Climate Accountability Institute

Website:

www.climateaccountability.org

Location:

Snowmass, CO

Tax ID:

45-3193449

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2021):

Assets: $18,050

Type:

Environmental Advocacy Group

Formation:

2011

Director:

Richard Heede

Budget (2023):

Revenue: $144,145
Expenses: $91,921
Assets: $115,916 1

References

  1. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990EZ). Climate Accountability Institute. 2023.

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The Climate Accountability Institute is an environmentalist organization that publishes data on carbon emissions by conventional energy companies and uses the data to advocate for requiring such companies to fund initiatives to reduce atmospheric carbon. 1 2

Climate Accountability Institute advocates for requiring conventional energy companies to pay “reparations” for the quantity of carbon emissions they have produced, claiming they are responsible for environmental disasters and should be held liable. The organization desires that such companies pay for the reduction atmospheric carbon to an extent that is likely to cause the companies to become insolvent. 3

Background

Climate Accountability Institute is an environmentalist advocacy organization that was founded in 2011 by Richard Heede, Naomi Oreskes, and Greg Erwin. It criticizes “carbon producers” and claims they should be held accountable for social, economic, and environmental damages. 4

The Climate Accountability Institute provides research into how much carbon conventional energy companies produce and uses the data to blame the companies for climate catastrophes. The institute also argues the carbon emissions area human rights violation. As a result, it advocates for eliminating use of conventional energy and relying on weather-dependent energy instead. 5

Publications

In April 2023, Climate Accountability Institute director Richard Heede published a paper with Marco Grasso arguing that conventional energy companies should pay “reparations” for the amount of carbon emissions they have produced and that the Climate Accountability Institute’s data can be used to calculate the appropriate amount. It advocates for requiring the highest producing conventional energy companies to “gorge out” payments to fund carbon capture programs and other carbon reduction efforts starting in 2025, and it stated that this should be done in a manner to maximize the payments made before such companies become insolvent. ­6

In 2022, Heede published a paper titled, “The Evolution of Corporate Accountability for Climate Change.” The paper discusses Climate Accountability Institute’s data on carbon emissions produced by private conventional energy and cement companies and uses the data to argue that the more carbon emissions a company has historically produced, the more it should be held liable to pay for environmentalist efforts to reduce carbon in the atmosphere. Heede advocates for companies to follow the leadership of the Paris Climate Agreement to both reduce activities that produce carbon emissions and pay for carbon capture technology. 7

Carbon Majors

Since its founding, Climate Accountability Institute has published its Carbon Majors research, which tracks carbon emissions dating back to 1751 and lists the top 20 companies with the most carbon emissions. In April 2024, it announced that the London-based InfluenceMap would begin updating the Carbon Majors dataset annually. 8

The Carbon Majors data and research published by Climate Accountability Institute is used to blame large companies for so-called global warming dating back to the industrial revolution. It claims that two-thirds of carbon emissions have been produced by the 90 largest conventional energy and cement production companies. On the Climate Majors webpage, it states that it produces data exclusively related to private conventional energy and cement companies to support its advocacy of sanctioning, boycotting, and regulating them. 9

Financials

In 2023, Climate Accountability Institute reported $144,145 in total revenue, $89,775 of which came from program service revenue and $51,957 from contributions. 10 It also reported $91,921 in expenses, $85,853 of which were fees or payments made to independent contractors. 11

 Leadership

Richard “Rick” Heede is the cofounder and director of Climate Accountability Institute. Since 2003, Heede worked as the principal of Climate Mitigation Services, a consulting firm that that advises government organizations and private businesses on how to identify the carbon emissions they are responsible for and how they can reduce emissions. 12

References

  1. “Carbon Majors.” Climate Accountability Institute. Accessed June 2, 2024. https://climateaccountability.org/carbon-majors/.
  2. Heede, Richard. “The Evolution of Corporate Accountability for Climate Change (Chapter 12) – Litigating the Climate Emergency.” Cambridge Core, 2022. https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/litigating-the-climate-emergency/evolution-of-corporate-accountability-for-climate-change/00302994B38B7DFB4A77842210882E04.
  3. Grasso, Marco, and Richard Heede. “Time to Pay the Piper: Fossil Fuel Companies’ Reparations for Climate Damages.” One Earth 6, no. 5 (May 2023): 459–63. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oneear.2023.04.012.
  4. “Climate Accountability Institute.” Climate Accountability Institute. Accessed June 2, 2024. https://climateaccountability.org/.
  5. “Climate Accountability Institute.” Climate Accountability Institute. Accessed June 2, 2024. https://climateaccountability.org/.
  6. Grasso, Marco, and Richard Heede. “Time to Pay the Piper: Fossil Fuel Companies’ Reparations for Climate Damages.” One Earth 6, no. 5 (May 2023): 459–63. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oneear.2023.04.012.
  7. Heede, Richard. “The Evolution of Corporate Accountability for Climate Change (Chapter 12) – Litigating the Climate Emergency.” Cambridge Core, 2022. https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/litigating-the-climate-emergency/evolution-of-corporate-accountability-for-climate-change/00302994B38B7DFB4A77842210882E04.
  8. “Carbon Majors.” Climate Accountability Institute. Accessed June 2, 2024. https://climateaccountability.org/carbon-majors/.
  9. “Carbon Majors.” Climate Accountability Institute. Accessed June 2, 2024. https://climateaccountability.org/carbon-majors/.
  10. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990EZ). Climate Accountability Institute. 2023. Part I, Lines 1-9.
  11. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990EZ). Climate Accountability Institute. 2023. Part I, Lines 13-17.
  12. “Curriculum Vitae for Richard Heede.” Climate Accountability Institute, February 2024. https://climateaccountability.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/Heede-CV-Feb24.pdf.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: August 1, 2012

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2021 Dec Form 990EZ $0 $0 $18,050 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
    2020 Dec Form 990EZ $0 $0 $88,468 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2019 Dec Form 990EZ $0 $0 $20,337 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2018 Dec Form 990EZ $0 $0 $39,974 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2017 Dec Form 990EZ $0 $0 $15,265 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990EZ $0 $0 $29,621 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2015 Dec Form 990EZ $160,972 $133,576 $28,607 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990EZ $93,569 $123,937 $1,211 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990EZ $22,414 $1,914 $20,500 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Climate Accountability Institute

    1626 GATEWAY RD
    Snowmass, CO 81654-9214