The richest 1% of humanity is responsible for more carbon emissions than the poorest 66%, with dire consequences for vulnerable communities and global efforts to tackle the climate emergency, according to the most comprehensive study of global climate inequality ever undertaken.
For the past six months, the Guardian has worked with Oxfam, the Stockholm Environment Institute and other experts on an exclusive basis to produce a special investigation, The Great Carbon Divide. It explores the causes and consequences of carbon inequality and the disproportionate impact of super-rich individuals, who have been termed “the polluter elite”.
The Oxfam report shows that that this elite group, made up of 77 million people including billionaires, millionaires and those paid more than US$140,000 (£112,500) a year, accounted for 16% of all CO2 emissions in 2019 – enough to cause more than a million excess deaths due to heat, according to the report.
The report shows that while the wealthiest 1% tend to live climate-insulated, air-conditioned lives, their emissions – 5.9bn tonnes of CO2 in 2019 – are responsible for immense suffering. Climate justice will be high on the agenda of this month’s UN Cop28 climate summit in the United Arab Emirates.
Twelve billionaires’ climate emissions outpollute 2.1m homes. Who are they? The tycoons include the Amazon boss, Jeff Bezos, the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, the tech billionaires Bill Gates, Larry Page and Michael Dell, the inventor and social media company owner Elon Musk and the Mexican business magnate Carlos Slim.
What is the great carbon divide? We are not equally to blame for rising temperatures, and recognising that is an important step in identifying possible solutions. Jonathan Watts explains.
Rosalynn Carter, wife of Jimmy Carter and former first lady, dies aged 96
Rosalynn Carter, wife of the 39th president Jimmy Carter, has died at the couple’s Georgia home aged 96.
Carter, who became one of the nation’s leading mental health advocates during and after her husband’s time in the White House, was diagnosed with dementia in May.
On Friday, her family announced she had entered hospice care at home, joining her 99-year-old husband in end-of-life treatment in the Plains one-story residence they shared since before Jimmy Carter was elected a Georgia state senator in 1962.
The former president has been in hospice care there since February after declining further medical intervention for his own health issues.
What has Jimmy Carter said about his wife’s death? “Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished,” he said in a statement. “She gave me wise guidance and encouragement when I needed it. As long as Rosalynn was in the world, I always knew somebody loved and supported me.”
Israel warns Gazans to leave Jabalia refugee camp as it ‘expands’ military operation
The Israeli military said it was expanding its operation in the Gaza Strip, Agence France-Presse is reporting.
Israel warned residents of Gaza’s largest refugee camp, Jabalia, and a nearby coastal camp to evacuate, while the military said on Sunday it was “expanding its operational activities in additional neighbourhoods” of Gaza.
After intense bombardment, an AFP journalist in the territory saw columns of smoke rising from Jabalia, in northern Gaza, yesterday.
A Hamas health official said more than 80 people were killed in twin strikes on Jabalia on Saturday, including on a UN school sheltering displaced people. Social media videos verified by AFP showed bodies covered in blood and dust on the floor of a building, where mattresses had been wedged under school tables.
What has happened to the 31 premature babies who were evacuated from al-Shifa hospital? Health officials say they are in “extremely critical condition”. The newborns had dehydration, hypothermia and sepsis in some cases, said Mohamed Zaqout, the director of Gaza hospitals. They are receiving urgent care in the southern Gaza city of Rafah and preparations are under way for them to enter Egypt.
In other news …
Javier Milei, a volatile far-right libertarian who has vowed to “exterminate” inflation and take a chainsaw to the state, has been elected president of Argentina, catapulting South America’s second largest economy into an unpredictable and potentially turbulent future.
Suzanne Shepherd, an actor who appeared in GoodFellas, The Sopranos, Mystic Pizza and Lolita, has died aged 89. Shepherd died at her home in New York City on Friday, her agent confirmed to the Hollywood Reporter. Sopranos actor Ray Abruzzo called her “a force of nature” in his tribute.
Microsoft has hired Sam Altman as head of new advanced artificial intelligence team after attempts to reinstall him as chief executive of OpenAI failed. The appointment was confirmed in a statement on X by the Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, today.
Donald Trump’s rhetoric on immigration, his plans for a second presidency and his description of political enemies as “vermin” reflect the language of 1930s Germany and the Nazis’ rise to power, a senior Democrat warned yesterday.
The Colombian singer Shakira has reached a settlement with prosecutors in Spain to avoid a trial over charges that she failed to pay €14.5m (£12.7m) in income tax between 2012 and 2014. As part of the deal, which puts an end to the trial in Barcelona, prosecutors swapped a potential prison sentence for the singer for fines.
Stat of the day: ‘Incredibly overdue’ – Minnesota library book returned more than 100 years later
The book on famous composers from the St Paul public library in Minnesota must have been a really good read. It was more than a century overdue when it was finally returned recently. Titled Famous Composers and exploring the lives of composers such as Bach, Beethoven and Mozart, the tome turned up while a Hennepin county resident was sorting through a relative’s belongings. The library checkout slip shows it was last borrowed in 1919, Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) reported. The St Paul digital library coordinator, John Larson, said it was the most overdue book he ever saw returned in his 25 years working for the library.
Don’t miss this: Can a socialist ex-marine fill Joe Manchin’s seat in West Virginia?
To launch his campaign for US Senate, Zach Shrewsbury chose the site of one of America’s most famous hangings, writes Chris Stein. Charles Town, West Virginia, was where state authorities executed the abolitionist John Brown after he led an attack on a federal armory a few miles down the road in Harpers Ferry, a pivotal moment in the lead-up to the civil war. One hundred and sixty four years later, Shrewsbury stood on the courthouse grounds where Brown’s hanging took place to announce that he would be the only “real Democrat” running to represent West Virginia in the Senate next year. “We need leaders that are cut from the working-class cloth. We need representation that will go toe to toe with corporate parasites and their bought politicians,” he told those gathered.
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Last thing: Republican-controlled school board votes against climate textbooks
Texas’s Republican-controlled education board voted Friday not to include several climate textbooks in the state science curriculum. The 15-member board rejected seven out of 12 for eighth-graders. The rejected textbooks included climate-crisis policy solutions, and conservative board members criticized them for being too negative about fossil fuels – a major industry in the state. Texas leads the nation in the production of crude oil and natural gas. Aaron Kinsey, a Republican board member and executive of an oilfield services company in west Texas, criticized photos in some textbooks as unduly besmirching the oil and gas industry during a discussion of the materials this week.
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