The Carbon Underground 200TM2016 Edition

The World’s Top 200 Public Companies

Ranked by the Carbon Content of their Proven Fossil Fuel Reserves

The Carbon Underground 200TM identifies the top 100 public coal companies globally and the top 100 public oil and gas companies globally, ranked by the potential carbon emissions content of their proven reserves. The reserves of these companies total 474 gigatons (Gt) of potential CO2 emissions, almost five times more than can be burned for the world to have an 80% chance of limiting global temperature rise to 2°C (3.6° F).


The Carbon Underground 200 represents the top publicly-traded coal, oil, and gas reserve-owning companies globally, ranked by the carbon emission potential of their reported fossil fuel reserves. The total potential C02 emissions from these reserves now exceed 474 Gt, down almost 15% from our last report (published in February 2015) but still over 460% of the allocated CU200 carbon budget to 2050.

This report estimates an updated carbon budget based on the only IPCC climate scenario with a future less than 2° C above pre-industrial levels with >66% probability. These estimates broadly confirm growing research on the exposure of public fossil fuel companies, especially those in the coal sector, to potential constraints and revaluation based on stranded assets.

The Carbon Underground identifies the 100 largest public coal companies, and the 100 largest public oil and gas companies, based on estimates of the potential CO2 emissions of their reported reserves as of May 31, 2016. This report shows significant movement and changes in the companies on the 2016 list over the past 18 months. Merger and acquisition activity, bankruptcy, privatization, and nationalization, along with ongoing reserves discoveries, better reserves reporting, and extensive due diligence on reported reserves data, have all impacted the rankings. Since the last report, 35 companies have changed on the coal list, and 14 companies have changed on the oil and gas list.

Since the publication of our 2015 report on The Carbon Underground 200TM (CU200), market volatility, and an unprecedented level of climate policy initiatives have had a dramatic impact on companies in the CU200. The number of asset owners focusing on climate risk has grown significantly during this period, especially those focused on the risks associated with carbon emissions.

Statistical Highlights

The Carbon Underground 200 – Potential CO2 Emissions from the Reserves

2015 (Gt) 2016 (Gt) 1 Yr
Gt Chng
1 Yr
% Chng
Coal 402 321 -81 -20.2
Oil & Gas 154 153 -1 -0.7
Total 555 474 -81 -14.6

The potential CO2 emissions embedded in the reported reserves of The Carbon Underground 200 exceed the allocated carbon budget by almost 460%.

Methodology Highlights

Listed Companies

Companies on the list are investable as of July 11, 2016. Subsidiaries with their own exchange listings that report reserves separately from their parent are eligible for inclusion. Companies that publicly trade only a portion of their overall shares are also eligible for inclusion.


The rankings are based on calculated carbon emissions data using reserves reported as of May 31, 2016. The ranking are adjusted for company mergers and acquisitions through July 11, 2016.


Rankings are constructed using a reserves-based methodology with the underlying core data based on “reported” reserves. Coal reserves are the sum of proven and probable reserves based on the last reported reserves amount by mine. Reserves are allocated to listed companies based on percentage ownership of individual mines. Oil and gas companies are ranked on proven reserves (1P) net of royalty payments.

Emissions Calculations

The Carbon Underground 200 relies on the IPCC Revised 1996 Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories as a methodological framework. The calculation of CO2 emission potential requires several conversions to the raw reserves figures.

For detailed methodology, download The Carbon Underground 2016 full report.

2016 Top 10 Rankings

Rank Coal Company Coal Gt CO2
1 Coal India 43.104
2 Adani Enterprises 27.809
3 China Shenhua Energy 23.143
4 Inner Mongolia Yitai Coal 11.756
5 China Coal Energy 9.492
6 Mechel 9.483
7 Exxaro Resources 9.433
8 Public Power 9.339
9 Glencore 8.692
10 Peabody Energy 8.059

Rank Oil & Gas Company Oil & Gas Gt CO2
1 Gazprom 44.069
2 Rosneft 16.776
3 PetroChina 8.066
4 ExxonMobil 7.960
5 Lukoil 7.115
6 BP 6.388
7 Royal Dutch Shell 4.995
8 Petrobras 4.349
9 Chevron 4.045
10 Novatek 3.928

See below for information on receiving the full 2016 list of The Carbon Underground 200 companies.


The Carbon Underground 200 Reports and Data

We invite all registered users to download our latest annual report The Carbon Underground 2016 – Managing the Climate Risks of Fossil Fuel Companies in Investment Portfolios. You may also download past reports and other FFI research. Not registered? Click here.
The full 2016 public list of CU200 companies is available at no charge to asset owners, not-for-profit organizations and the media, and can only be used for non-commercial purposes, as outlined in our Terms of Use and FAQ. We invite qualified individuals and organizations to request the full CU200 list of companies. Once approved, the list will be emailed to you in an Excel file. The process may take up to 48 hours.

The Carbon Underground 200TM is updated on a quarterly basis for subscribing customers. The quarterly updates are available by paid subscription and may include tickers, primary exchanges, CUSIPs, and SEDOLs with individual issues and history dating back to 2004. A subscription to the full list of companies represented in the 2016 report is also available. For information on subscribing to an enhanced list with tickers, exchanges and updates click here or email us at

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