According to a report published on Sunday by the non-governmental organization Oxfam International, in 2019 the richest 1 percent people accounted for 16 percent. CO2 emissions worldwide. That’s the same amount emitted by approx 5 billion poorest people in the world, that is 66 percent all of humanity.
For years we have been fighting to end the era of fossil fuels to save millions of lives on our planet. It is now more obvious than ever that this will be impossible until we also end the era of extreme wealth, wrote Amitabh Behar, executive director of Oxfam International, in a commentary to the publication.
The report, titled “Climate equality: A planet for the 99%.“, is based on research results collected by the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI). On their basis, the Emission Inequality Table was created. It describes the global emissions of greenhouse gases in relation to various groups of people, divided by their income. The data covers the years 1990-2019 and comes from a total of 172 countries.
The richest pollute the most
According to the report’s authors, since the 1990s, the richest people have been responsible for twice as much emissions as the poorest half of humanity on the entire planet. Approximately 77 million people are considered the richest, representing between one and 10 percent of the world’s population. the entire world population.
As we read in the publication, “the super-rich and the rich” (1% and 10% of humanity) are responsible for the largest CO2 emissions for three main reasons:
- by consumptive emissions in everyday life, including, but not limited to, those caused by use yachts, private jets and lavish lifestyle;
- because of them investment and shares held in industries that pollute the climate;
- by influencesthat they have in the media, economy and politics.
As a result – as Oxfam International claims – the richest people in the world “rob the rest of humanity from living on a healthy, friendly and equal planet”.
Oxfam proposes changes
Published data shows that in many countries, the wealthiest members of society are responsible for most of the pollutants emitted. In France, the top 1 percent emits as much CO2 per year as the poorest 50 percent. society for 10 years. For example: the richest Frenchman, Bernard Arnault (founder of the Louis Vuitton brand), leaves a carbon footprint 1,270 times larger than the carbon footprint of the average French person – and that’s not counting emissions related to his investments.
As co-author of the study, Max Lawson, told AFP, not everyone is equally responsible for global warming, and the policies of individual governments must be adjusted accordingly:-
We believe that until governments implement progressive climate policies that push those who emit the most to make the greatest sacrifices, we will never be able to create good climate policy, Lawson said.
Possible tools of this policy, according to the authors of the work, may include, among others tax regulationsfor example taxing those who fly more than 10 times a year or imposing much higher taxes on investments that burden the natural environment.
As Oxfam claims, taxing the wealth and income of the richest people could potentially raise more than $9 trillion a yearthat can be invested in a “green and equal future for all”.
According to previous research by Oxfam, billionaires are twice as likely as average to invest in industries that destroy the natural environment.
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