The wealthiest 1 percent of the world’s population, consisting of 77 million people, generated as much carbon pollution in 2019 as the poorest 5 billion people, who make up two-thirds of humanity. This information was announced by Oxfam on Monday in a report that will be published ahead of the United Nations climate summit in Dubai.
Amitabh Behar, interim director of Oxfam International, stated that it is clearer than ever that ending the age of fossil fuels is impossible until we also end the era of extreme wealth. The report “Climate Equality: A Planet for the 99%” assesses consumption emissions among different income groups in 2019 and shows a significant gap between the carbon footprint of the super-rich and the majority of people worldwide.
The richest 10 percent were responsible for half of CO₂ emissions, and each year their emissions wipe out the carbon dioxide savings of nearly a million wind turbines. People in developing countries are particularly affected by this gap as they feel the consequences of climate change more acutely than those in developed nations.
Oxfam calculated that a 60 percent tax on the incomes of the richest 1 percent would reduce CO₂ emissions by more than UK’s total emissions and raise $6.4 trillion annually to support renewable energy initiatives. The organization believes that addressing climate inequality is crucial to finding a comprehensive solution to mitigate global warming.