The richest 1% of the world’s population, consisting of 77 million people, produces as much carbon pollution in 2019 as the poorest 5 billion people, who make up two-thirds of humanity. This is according to a report by Oxfam, which was released on Monday ahead of the United Nations climate summit in Dubai.
According to Oxfam International’s interim director, Amitabh Behar, this gap between the rich and poor is only widening as a result of the climate crisis. He stated that it is clearer than ever that ending the era of extreme wealth is necessary if we are to save millions of lives and our planet.
The report titled “Climate Equality: A Planet for the 99%” was developed in collaboration with a Swedish research institute, the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), and assesses consumption emissions by different income groups in 2019. According to Oxfam Belgium, this study shows the deep gap between the carbon footprint of the super-rich and the majority of people around the world. The top 10% were reportedly responsible for half of CO₂ emissions. Each year, their emissions would wipe out the carbon dioxide savings of nearly a million wind turbines.
The SEI reports that an individual from the bottom 99% emits an average of 4.1 tons of carbon per year, while a survey conducted by them shows that a person from