As the world grapples with the dual crises of inequality and climate change, a new report has found the richest 1 percent of the global population is generating the same amount of carbon emissions as the five billion people who make up the poorest two-thirds.
Analysis published Sunday by the charity Oxfam International concluded that the 77 million people who comprised the wealthiest 1 percent of the world's population in 2019 were responsible for 16 percent of all global emissions that year.
That is more than all car and road transport emissions combined.
The report found that emissions caused by the consumption habits of the richest 1 percent would cause 1.3 million heat-related excess deaths between 2020 and 2030 – roughly the population of Milan.
Based on research compiled by the Stockholm Environment Institute, the report also showed that in 2019 the richest 10 percent of the world’s population accounted for half of all planet-harming emissions.
Entitled "Climate Equality: A Planet for the 99 Percent", the report said inequality and climate change were inextricably linked. As long as the ultra-rich continued to focus on profits rather than creating a more sustainable world, it warned, both inequality and climate threats would grow to catastrophic levels.
“The super-rich are plundering and polluting the planet to the point of destruction, leaving humanity choking on extreme heat, floods and drought,” said Amitabh Behar, Oxfam’s interim executive director.
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