Billionaires cause more emissions than poorest 66%: study reveals

A new report reveals the “obscene inequality” fueling global warming and claims “super-rich” billionaires are “burning our planet.”

Oxfam’s recent research indicates that the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of the wealthiest one percent are equivalent to those of the impoverished two-thirds of the world’s population.

The paper calls Larry Ellison, Carlos Slim, and Elon Musk plutocrats.

It states that “white male billionaires are the big winners” while “indigenous people, women, and people of color are on the receiving end of climate breakdown.”

The ‘immense’ and ‘shocking’ emissions produced by these individuals, among others, stem from their vast portfolio of investments, private superyachts, aircraft, and residences.

The authors note that many of the world’s ultra-wealthy are prepared to evacuate a climatic collapse.

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, SpaceX, and X (formerly Twitter), for instance, is contemplating Mars colonization.

Disparities in Carbon Footprints

The findings of the study emphasize the disparity in carbon footprints between the carbon-intensive investments and lifestyles of the ultra-wealthy and the rest of the globe.

Chiara Liguori, Oxfam’s senior climate justice policy adviser, said the ultra-wealthy “plunder the planet” while the poor suffer.

“The report exposes a significant degree of climate inequality, which underscores the interconnectedness of the two crises and the critical necessity to ensure that the escalating expenses associated with climate change are borne by the most accountable and financially capable individuals,” she continued.

A sharp contrast exists between the ultra-wealthy and the general populace. The lowest 99 percentile might emit as much carbon as the wealthiest millionaires in 1,500 years in a year.

“This is inherently unjust.”

Estimated net worth $1 million, Greta Thunberg, a 20-year-old Swedish climate activist, authored one of the report’s prefaces.

Despite 2023 being “the hottest on record,” Greta Thunberg says “the world’s richest continue to get richer.” They exploit people and the planet for their own gain.

She stated, “What we are currently witnessing is merely the onset of climate change brought about by human emissions of greenhouse gases.”

We cannot be held equally accountable for both these emissions and the resulting damage.

They have appropriated the resources of our planet to finance their opulent lifestyles.

“A brief private jet flight generates more carbon dioxide than the average person emits in an entire year.”

“We are being sacrificed to satisfy their greed.”

Calculating the Mortality Cost

The team of researchers, advisors, and politicians assessed the consumption emissions of various income categories for the report. They used prior studies on national emissions and expenditure data.

These groups comprised the ultra-wealthy and the wealthy (the top 1% and 10% of the income distribution, respectively), the middle-income (the top 40%), and the impoverished (the bottom 50% of the income distribution).

Researchers employed a ‘mortality cost’ formula to determine the peril to national citizens of each country resulting from global warming. It amounted to 226 additional fatalities per million tonnes of carbon emitted on an international scale.

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