According to data analyzes by the development organization Oxfam, the extreme consumption of the rich and super-rich is accelerating global warming to an almost obscene extent. The richest one percent of the world's population produced as many climate-damaging greenhouse gases in 2019 as the five billion people who make up the poorer two-thirds, according to an Oxfam report released Monday.
The report "Climate Equality: A Planet for the 99 Percent" is based on the scientific knowledge that people's greenhouse gas emissions increase with private income and wealth. The reasons include more frequent air travel, larger houses and more climate-damaging consumption overall - in extreme cases in the form of luxury villas, mega yachts and private jets. The basis is figures from the Stockholm Environment Institute, which is based on data from the Global Carbon Atlas, the World Inequality Database, the Penn World Tables on Income (PWT) and figures from the World Bank.
Oxfam speaker Manuel Schmitt said of the results: "Through their extreme consumption, the rich and super-rich are fueling the climate crisis, which is threatening the livelihoods of billions of people with heat waves, droughts and floods, especially in the low-income countries of the Global South." Some results:
In 2019, the richest percent of the world's population included people with an annual income of over 140,000 US dollars, and the richest percent of the German population included people with an annual income of over 280,000 US dollars.
Oxfam explained that new taxes were now needed on climate-damaging corporations and the assets and income of the super-rich. This would significantly increase the financial scope for the transition to renewable energies. Ultimately, however, there is also a need to “overcome the current economic system and the fixation on profit-making, exploitation of natural resources and consumer-oriented lifestyles”.
The Oxfam data corresponds to a “taz” data analysis published in March. According to this, the richest people in Germany emit tens of times as many climate-damaging greenhouse gases as the average person. While the poorest emitted just over three tons of CO2 per year in 2019, the richest one percent emitted around 105 tons - almost 35 times as much, according to the newspaper, citing data from the World Inequality Lab, a think tank led by economist Thomas Piketty. reported.