The rich 1% of the world reportedly emits more than half of the world’s carbon load than the poorer half comprising of three billion people, Oxfam report says, published on Monday, ahead of the 75th UN General Assembly.
The report titled “Confronting Carbon Inequality” traces the critical 25-years period, where unprecedented growth (60%) in global emission took place.
The report, based on the Stockholm Environment Institute research assessed the emission of different income groups between 1990 and 2015 – a time-rame when the emission rates doubled.
It found, the richest 10 percent (people with net income over $38,000), comprising of approximately 630 million people, emitted over half (52%) the carbon dioxide in the world.
Citizens in the richest 10 percent group were linked to citizens in the US and the EU and around a fifth with citizens of China and India.
The richest 1 percent (people with net income over $109,000) accounted for 15 percent of the global emissions during the observed period, which is more than double than the poorest half (7%), the report states.
In fact, emissions of the richest 1 percent – citizens linked to the US, Middle East, and China, were three times more than the total emission load of the poorer half of the population.
Also, the richest 10 percent accounted for one-third of the total emission, as compared to just 4% of the poorer half, which could spike the temperatures by 1.5C, ushering catastrophic climate changes, scientists estimate.
The report predicted, is the skyrocketing emission changes are not checked, by 2030 the world could reach the tipping point of 1.5C rise in global temperatures and gradually touch the grim 2C mark.
Oxfam, launched in 1942, is a global humanitarian and poverty-eliminating society is a confederation of 20 independent charitable organizations, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya.
“Carbon inequality is so stark the emissions of just the richest 10 percent would trigger catastrophic climate change by 2033 even if all other emissions were cut to zero,” the report mentions.
Oxfam has called for governments around to world to levy ‘wealth tax’ on polluting vehicles like superyachts, full-size SUVs, private jets, and other carbon-intensive transportations.
Instead, the revenue generated should be channeled in helping the vulnerable communities to fight climate change, invest in greener infrastructure, and create low-Carbon jobs.
Oxfam called on people to take action to stop the bane of throwaway fashion on people and the planet.
“(…)the rapidly accelerating growth in total emissions – and the attendant rise in climate crisis risks and damage – has categorically not occurred to the benefit of the poorer half of the world’s population,” the report said.
The textile industry surprisingly emits more greenhouse gas than the shipping and aviation industries combine, the reports stated.
It adds that for every one minute new clothes are bought in the UK, emissions are equal to driving a car six times around the world, which is alarming.
“The over-consumption of a wealthy minority is fuelling the climate crisis and putting the planet in peril. No one is immune from the impact but the world’s poorest are paying the heaviest price despite contributing least emissions as they battle floods, famines, and cyclones,” said Oxfam GB chief executive Danny Sriskandarajah.
“Addressing the disproportionate carbon emissions from the wealthiest in society must be a key priority as part of this collective commitment,” Deputy Chair of The Elders, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon said in a media statement.