A non-profit organization, Oxfam International released a report analysis that exposes the carbon emission by the wealthiest 1% population. As per their analysis there is a stark contrast between the two-third poorest population and the wealthiest 1% in the world in carbon emission. The report states that the wealthiest 1% emit carbon equal to the poorest two-third population comprising of five billion people.
The report stressed the need for specific custom government policies that address these disparities that will help in the fight against climate change. The report by Oxfam is titled, “Climate Equality: A Planet for the 99%” that draws its research from SEI (Stockholm Environment Institute) research.
SEI research highlighted the unequal distribution of carbon emission from different income groups till 2019. This report sheds light on critical role of different income level that is shaping environmental impact.
Oxfam reports takes this reports point and expands on its own analysis of different income groups’ effects on climate change. Here are the key findings of the Oxfam report.
- The Oxfam study reveals that the world’s 1% of the wealthiest population, comprising of 77 million people, responsible for the world’s 16% carbon emissions. This percentage of carbon emission is equal to the emission recorded from the global 66% of the world’s population in lower income group that accounts for 5.11 billion people.
- The income threshold of the wealthiest 1% varies from country to country around the world, factoring in purchasing power of the country. When this comparison is made within-country, the analysis highlights the disparities in carbon emissions.
Like in France its seen that the wealthiest 1% is responsible for a year worth’s carbon emission equal to 10 years worth carbon emissions from the 50% of poor population. The disparity is as shocking to read, especially when climate change effects are rapidly showing its signs globally.
You might have heard about the luxury brand, Louis Vuitton founded by Bernard Arnault who is among the richest people in France have left a huge carbon footprint. Her left 1,270 times larger carbon footprint than an average French citizen excluding emissions from his investments in other sectors.
- Co-author of the Oxfam report, Max Lawson emphasized the necessity of creating and implementing progressive climate policies specific to the wealthiest income group. In the report Lawson suggested inclusion of taxes for non-green investments, taxes on frequent air travel and different taxes for green and non-green investments.
The report argues that policies should be created to ensure that those who have higher emissions sacrifice the most. While at present government policies seem to treat the wealthiest 1% equal to the rest of the lower income group, which isn’t fair.
- This study focused only on carbon emissions from individual consumption. It furthers states that the richest 1% personal carbon emission from consumption overshadowed the emission from their investments.
Billionaires are more likely to invest in polluting industries as they have the means to invest than an average investor says the research by Oxfam.