Only 1% of the richest of the world’s population was found to be responsible for twice the amount of carbon dioxide emissions as the poorer half of the world between 1990 to 2015, according to a new report.
Titled Confronting Carbon Inequality, the report was compiled by Oxfam and the Stockholm Environment Institute, and assessed the emissions of different income groups over the 25-year period, during which the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is believed to have doubled. The results show that the richest 10% accounted for one-third of the carbon dioxide emissions, which scientists estimate will lead to temperature rises of more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, while the poorest half emitted just 4%. “A finite amount of carbon can be added to the atmosphere if we want to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis. We need to ensure that carbon is used for the best,” Tim Gore, head of policy, advocacy and research at Oxfam, told The Guardian. He added that, regrettably, the the global carbon budget has, so far, been “squandered to expand the consumption of the already rich, rather than to improve humanity.”