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World’s Richest 1% Emit As Much Carbon As Bottom Two-Thirds, Report Finds – Slashdot


An anonymous reader quotes a report from Phys.Org: The richest one percent of the global population are responsible for the same amount of carbon emissions as the world’s poorest two-thirds, or five billion people, according to an analysis published Sunday by the nonprofit Oxfam International. […] Among the key findings of this study are that the richest one percent globally — 77 million people — were responsible for 16 percent of global emissions related to their consumption. That is the same share as the bottom 66 percent of the global population by income, or 5.11 billion people. The income threshold for being among the global top one percent was adjusted by country using purchasing power parity — for example in the United States the threshold would be $140,000, whereas the Kenyan equivalent would be about $40,000. Within country analyses also painted very stark pictures.

For example, in France, the richest one percent emit as much carbon in one year as the poorest 50 percent in 10 years. Excluding the carbon associated with his investments, Bernard Arnault, the billionaire founder of Louis Vuitton and richest man in France, has a footprint 1,270 times greater than that of the average Frenchman. The key message, according to Lawson, was that policy actions must be progressive. These measures could include, for example, a tax on flying more than ten times a year, or a tax on non-green investments that is much higher than the tax on green investments.

While the current report focused on carbon linked only to individual consumption, “the personal consumption of the super-rich is dwarfed by emissions resulting from their investments in companies,” the report found. Nor are the wealthy invested in polluting industries at a similar ratio to any given investor — billionaires are twice as likely to be invested in polluting industries than the average for the Standard & Poor 500, previous Oxfam research has shown.



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