THE WORLD’S richest people emit huge and unsustainable amounts of carbon and, unlike ordinary people, 50 per cent to 70 per cent of their emissions result from their investments, says Oxfam America.
New analysis of the investments of 125 of the world’s richest billionaires shows that on average they are emitting 3 million tonnes a year, more than a million times the average for someone in the bottom 90per cent of humanity.
The analysis comes as COP27 meets in Egypt, struggling to achieve the urgent action needed by wealthy countries and companies to address the climate emergency, affect a just transition to a non-fossil fuel future, and provide loss and damage compensation to the poorest, who are impacted most by climate change.
The study also finds that billionaire investments in polluting industries such as fossil fuels and cement are double the average for the S&P 500 group of companies. Billionaires hold extensive stakes in many of the world’s largest and most powerful corporations, which gives them the power to influence the way these companies act.
Governments must hold these people and corporations to account, says the NGO, legislating to compel corporates and investors to reduce carbon emissions, enforcing more stringent reporting requirements and imposing new taxation on wealth and investments in polluting industries.
Source: Oxfam America