Governments can tackle the twin crises of inequality and climate change by targeting the excessive emissions of the super-rich, investing in public services and meeting climate goals
The world’s richest one per cent of people emitted as much carbon as the poorest 5 billion who make up 66 per cent of the global population, according to a new Oxfam report.
The report Climate Equality: A Planet for the 99%, stated that in 2019, the world’s one per cent super rich accounted for 16 per cent of global carbon emissions, the same caused by the world’s poorest 66 per cent.
The analysis finds that it would take about 1,500 years for someone in the bottom 99 per cent to produce as much carbon as the richest billionaires do in a year.
The super-rich are key to the climate story due to the carbon they emit in their daily lives, from their consumption and lifestyles to their investments and shareholdings in heavily polluting industries, which is much bigger than the rest of the population.
The report further stated that the countries that are least responsible for global warming, the low-emitting nations, are suffering the worst consequences of the climate crisis. They are also the least able to respond and recover.
More than 91 per cent of climate-related disasters of the past 50 years occurred in developing countries. The death toll from floods is seven times higher in the most unequal countries as compared to more equal countries.
The most vulnerable countries in the world are located in Africa, South Asia, Central and South America, Small Island Developing States and the Arctic.
Women and other groups are experiencing discrimination, especially those with fewer economic resources who tend to have less access to relief assistance. This leads to lower survival rates following a climate-related disaster.
Governments can tackle the twin crises of inequality and climate change by targeting the excessive emissions of the super-rich, investing in public services and meeting climate goals.
Taxes on the wealth and income of the rich could cut carbon emissions and raise over $9 trillion a year to invest in a green, equal future for all.
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