Few private equity tycoons have bought as much influence - and are as waist deep in dirty fossil fuels - as billionaire David Rubenstein, the Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of The Carlyle Group.
Carlyle is one of the world’s largest private equity firms, with $293 billion assets under management and among the biggest portfolios of fossil fuel companies. Rubenstein uses his billions to hide behind philanthropy while their firm ravages the earth and fuels climate chaos.
While other Wall Street actors like asset managers and big banks have come under intense criticism for their roles in bankrolling climate catastrophe, private equity firms and the billionaires and multi-millionaires who lead them have largely escaped scrutiny.
This needs to change.
The Carlyle Group Is Risking Its Reputation...
Investors, politicians, and the public agree - no new fossil fuels. Can Carlyle afford to ignore them?
Read the press release, Private equity firm Carlyle Group’s fossil fuel investments draw protest, to learn more.
Carlyle's Fossil Fuel Footprint:
Carlyle has one of the largest portfolios of fossil fuel companies among the diversified private equity firms, with roughly $24 billion invested in fossil fuels. The Private Equity Climate Risks Scorecard ranks Carlyle, along with its subsidiary NGP, the worst fossil fuel backers of the eight large private equity buyout firms analyzed.
Carlyle's Net Zero by 2050 announcement earlier this year masked the corporation's significant and ongoing fossil fuel investments.It lacked specifics and did not commit to transparency around Carlyle’s fossil fuel holdings or emissions.
Carlyle is among the large private equity firms that “conspicuously” skipped out of a pledge by global financial institutions, the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), to eliminate CO2 emissions at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference. The GFANZ members represent $130 trillion in assets.
Carlyle also has a significant ownership stake in Texas-based energy specialist NGP Energy Capital, which boasts a large portfolio of oil and gas companies.
Carlyle's Investments Hurt
Communities & the Environment
The Carlyle Group is heavily invested in fossil fuel projects that drive climate change. They have among the largest fossil fuel portfolios and their energy portfolio fuels major environmental problems. In 2020 alone, its downstream power plants emitted over 10.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.
Carlyle had a joint venture partnership with Hilcorp Energy, the dirtiest private oil company in the US. Hilcorp was found to be the country’s largest known emitter of methane, reporting nearly 50% more emissions from its operations than the nation's biggest fossil fuel producer, ExxonMobil.
Hilcorp bought $3 billion in assets from oil giant ConocoPhillips, and all of BP’s operations and interests in Alaska. The state, warming twice as fast as the global average, suffers under Hilcorp, whose leaky underwater oil pipeline in Alaska threatens precious wildlife. Hilcorp has also contributed to oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico, spilling 4,200 gallons of oil in the waters of Louisiana. Even with Hilcorp’s track record, Carlyle said it was “thrilled” to partner with the company in a joint drilling venture.
Carlyle has been tied to even more environmental injustices. Rubenstein’s firm is the former majority stakeholder of the Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) refinery, a now shuttered oil refinery standing over the predominantly Black neighborhood of Grays Ferry in South Philadelphia. The struggle of Grays Ferry residents to hold the refinery to account was documented in a July 2020 front-page New York Times Magazine investigation entitled “Pollution Is Killing Black Americans. This Community Fought Back.”
Carlyle’s partnership with companies like Hilcorp, PES, and NGP, which have poor environmental track records, raises serious concerns about the firm’s commitment to its green energy goals.
Read the Report: PRIVATE EQUITY’S DIRTY DOZEN
12 Firms Dripping In Oil And The Wealthy Executives Who Run Them
Researched and written jointly by LittleSis and the Private Equity Stakeholder Project.
David Rubenstein, the Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of The Carlyle Group, is fueling the climate crisis.
Private equity funds, sensing profit in tumult, are propping up oil
New York Times | Oct. 13, 2021