Global Elites Emit Equal Carbon to Bottom Two-Thirds

A new report by the nonprofit Oxfam International has revealed that the world’s richest one percent emit the same amount of carbon as the poorest two-thirds of the planet’s population. The report, titled “Climate Equality: A Planet for the 99%”, was based on research compiled by the Stockholm Environment Institute and highlights the stark inequality in carbon emissions between the global elite and the rest of the world.

According to the report, the top one percent, consisting of 77 million people, were responsible for 16 percent of global emissions related to their consumption. This is the same amount as the bottom 66 percent of the global population, which constitutes 5.11 billion people. While claiming to care about the environment, the wealthy few have been found to emit the same amount of carbon as the poorest majority.

The report also looked at individual countries and found that in France, the richest one percent emit as much carbon in one year as the poorest 50 percent do in 10 years. The income threshold for being among the global top one percent was adjusted by country using purchasing power parity, showing that even in wealthier nations, the richest individuals are responsible for a disproportionate share of emissions.

But it’s not just personal consumption that is driving this inequality in emissions. The report found that the personal consumption of the wealthy is dwarfed by the emissions resulting from their investments in polluting industries. And unfortunately, the wealthier an individual is, the more likely they are to be invested in industries that contribute to climate change. For example, billionaire founder of Louis Vuitton, Bernard Arnault, has a carbon footprint 1,270 times greater than that of the average French citizen.

The report’s authors stress the need for progressive climate policies that demand the largest sacrifices from those who emit the most. This would require governments to enact policies that hold the wealthy and their investments accountable for their contribution to the climate crisis.

With the COP28 climate conference set to take place in Dubai from November 30 to December 12, this report sends a clear message to world leaders that urgent action is needed to address the unequal distribution of carbon emissions. The conference will see more than 70,000 people, including activists, world leaders, and business executives, come together to discuss measures to combat climate change.

While Dubai is a major oil and gas producer, it is also a fitting location for the conference as it demonstrates the need for all countries, regardless of their wealth or resources, to take responsibility and work towards a more sustainable future.

The report serves as a reminder that climate change is a shared challenge, but not everyone is equally responsible for its solutions. It is time for the world’s wealthiest to lead by example and drastically reduce their emissions and investments in polluting industries. As the report states, a fairer and more equal world is not only desirable, but also necessary for the survival of our planet.