Climate Nexus: Rich People Will Cause A Million Deaths This Decade As They Ruin The Planet: The world’s richest 1% created more carbon emissions than 66% of the rest of the world’s population in 2019, a new analysis from Oxfam finds. The report, which analyzes the lifestyles and emissions of the wealthiest people on Earth— a cohort of about 77 million people making over US$140,000 a year—finds that emissions from this group will have major impacts on the rest of the world’s population, as their pollution was 16% of all CO2 emissions in 2019, a quantity sufficient to raise the temperatures enough to spur over a million deaths from excess heat. During this decade, emissions from the world’s wealthiest 1% alone will cause at least 1.3 million more additional deaths due to heat stress, while activities from these wealthy people in 2019 were enough to cancel out the benefits of 1 million wind turbines. (At the start of the year there were around 400,000 wind turbines installed around the world.) This cohort is also notoriously slow to act on climate, despite gobbling up disproportionate amounts of the world’s carbon budget. “None of this is surprising, but, you know, it’s crucial,” said David Schlosberg, director of the Sydney Environment Institute at the University of Sydney, who told the Washington Post that this report could offer a new way to look at the conversation around wealth and climate impacts. “That’s been a huge issue in climate justice — countries don’t want to pay for what they have done in the past. So the interesting thing here is, okay, let’s not talk about historic responsibility, but current responsibility.” (The Guardian, Washington Post $)
Authored by Tom Ozimek via The Epoch Times
Critics who rail against the hypocrisy of wealthy global elites jet-setting on carbon-spewing private planes while pontificating about the need for the rest of us to cut our climate footprints just got a boost from a new study.
Jets airplanes are parked at the Dubendorf Air Base, east of Zurich on Jan. 18, 2023. (Sebastien Bozon/AFP via Getty Images)
It turns out that the world’s richest 1 percent emit about the same amount of carbon as the world’s poorest two-thirds, according to an analysis from the nonprofit Oxfam International.
This means that a small sliver of global elites, or 77 million people, have produced as much carbon as the 5 billion people that make up the bottom 66 percent by wealth, per the study.
The study also estimates that it would take roughly 1,500 years for someone in the bottom 99 percent to produce as much carbon as the wealthiest billionaires do in just one year.
The study was based on research compiled by the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and examined the emissions of various income groups up to 2019. In summary, it suggested that the private jet-setting class of global leaders and policymakers, who take private planes to lead summits addressing the assumed dangers of climate change, may warrant charges of hypocrisy.
The analysis was published as global leaders prepare to meet for climate talks at the COP28 summit in Dubai later in November, where, much like other climate conferences, some elite participants will likely pontificate on the need for ordinary folk to end their reliance on cheap fossil fuel energy to make their ends meet.
Global leaders and policymakers fixated on fighting the supposed ills of carbon emissions because of models predicting dangerous climate change have often drawn criticism for their use of carbon-spewing private jets.
For instance, private jet use during last year’s meetings in Davos, Switzerland, pushed up carbon emissions by four times over the average week.
During the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos between May 22, 2022, and May 26, 2022, 1,040 private jets flew in and out of airports serving Davos, according to a January report by Greenpeace.
The number of jets going in and out of Davos doubled during that week, resulting in 9,700 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, which is equivalent to roughly 350,000 average cars.
The majority of these jets were attributed to private flights undertaken by participants for the WEF meeting.