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Oxfam: Richest 1% Produces Twice the Carbon Emissions than the Global Poor

September 21, 2020, 03.09 PM

PARIS, – Oxfam found that the richest 1 percent of people are responsible for producing more than twice the carbon emissions linked to worsening climate change.

Carbon emissions by the world’s richest one percent overtook emissions produced by the poorest half of the world’s population of 3.1 billion people.

The research finding revealed on Monday showed that between 1990 and 2015, rich nations were responsible for depleting nearly a third of Earth’s carbon budget.

Read also: Multinational Companies Emit Nearly a Fifth of Global Carbon Emissions

That period was a time when annual emissions ballooned 60 percent.

Though the coronavirus pandemic triggered a sharp decline in carbon emissions, it has not stopped the world from warming several degrees this century.

Poor and developing nations are at threat of the severe impact of climate change that will bring about a full gamut of natural disasters and displacements.

Read also: This Year's Extreme Weather Consistent with Worsening Climate Change

The carbon budget is the limit of cumulative greenhouse gas emissions mankind may produce before rendering catastrophic temperature rises unavoidable.

Just 63 million people — the "one percent" — took up nine percent of the carbon budget since 1990, research conducted for Oxfam by the Stockholm Environment Institute found.

Highlighting an ever-widening "carbon inequality", the analysis said the growth rate of the one percent's emissions was three times that of the poorest half of humanity.

"It's not just that extreme economic inequality is divisive in our societies, it's not just that it slows the rate of poverty reduction," Tim Gore, head of policy, advocacy and research, told AFP.

"But there is also a third cost which is that it depletes the carbon budget solely for the purpose of the already affluent growing their consumption."

Read also: WFP Urges the Rich to Help Prevent a ‘Hunger Pandemic’

"And that of course has the worse impacts on the poorest and least responsible," Gore added.


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