The carbon footprint of the world’s wealthiest individuals has already been emphasized in reports.
The world’s wealthiest individuals have a disproportionately large impact on the economy and produce unsustainable levels of carbon, which has been highlighted in a new report as yet another reminder of their carbon footprint. The study emphasizes that between 50% and 70% of the emissions produced by the richest people in the world “are the result of their investments” and continues, “They hold substantial stakes in many of the largest and most powerful corporations in the world – large enough stakes to influence the actions taken by these corporations.”
The most recent Oxfam report, “Carbon billionaires,” is available here. The top five points are as follows:
1) The investments of 125 of the richest billionaires in the world were examined as part of the study. It was discovered that they emit 3 million tones annually on average, which is more than a million times the amount that someone in the bottom 90% of humanity would emit.
2) According to Oxfam, “billionaire investments in polluting industries like cement and fossil fuels are double the average for the Standard & Poor 500 group of corporations.” They invest, on average, 14% of their total capital in polluting sectors.
3) The emissions produced by millionaires’ lifestyles, such as owning private aircraft and yachts, are thousands of times higher than those of the average individual.
4) The intensity of emissions could be lowered by up to four times if the world’s wealthiest people made a conscious decision to direct their investments toward higher environmental and social standards.
5) Citing a study from 2021, the paper stressed that the richest 1% (about 63 million people) alone were accountable for 15% of all emissions. It notes that “another analysis used publicly available data to estimate that emissions from the private yachts, jets, helicopters, and homes of 20 billionaires generated on average roughly 8,194 tones of carbon dioxide in 2018.”
It’s not the first time Oxfam has brought up the subject. The richest 10% of people were responsible for more than half (52%) of the emissions between 1990 and 2015 (25 years during which humanity doubled the quantity of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere), according to a report by the non-profit organization “Confronting Carbon Inequality” published in 2020.