In France, in 10 years, the richest 1% made annual emissions equal to those of the poorest 50%
1% of the richest countries on the planet emits the same amount of greenhouse gases as the two-thirds of the world’s poorest population, more than five billion people, according to a report by the non-governmental organization Oxfam released on Sunday.
Although the fight against climate change is a shared challenge, some are much more to blame than others and government policies must adapt to this fact, Max Lawson, one of the authors of the text released by the anti-poverty organization, told AFP. .
“The richer you are, the easier it is to reduce your personal emissions and those associated with your investments,” he explained.
“You don’t need a third car, a fourth vacation, nor (…) to invest in the cement industry.”
The report, entitled Climate Equity: A Planet for the 99%, is based on data collected and analyzed by the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) on consumption-related emissions per income category until 2019.
Among its key findings: the world’s richest 1% (ie 77 million people) are responsible for 16% of global emissions, due to their consumption.
This is an amount equal to that emitted by 66% of the poorest, or 5.11 billion people.
The income threshold to be included in the top 1% is adjusted by country, depending on purchasing power: for example, in the US the threshold is $140,000 (€128,000), while in Kenya it is $40,000.
In France, in 10 years, the richest 1% made annual emissions equal to those of the poorest 50%.
Even excluding those due to his investments, Bernard Arnault, the chairman and chief executive of luxury goods group LVMH and France’s richest man, has a carbon footprint 1,270 times that of the average Frenchman.
“We think that if governments don’t adopt a climate policy that will be progressive, that is, it will predict that the people who make the biggest emissions will be asked to make the biggest sacrifices, we will never get good policies,” concluded Mr. Lawson.
It could, for example, impose a special fee on those who take more than ten flights a year, or impose a tax on non-green investments that is much higher than that on green investments, Oxfam noted.
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