The richest 1% of humanity is responsible for more carbon emissions than 66% of the poorer population, according to a report by Oxfam. This elite group, which includes billionaires, millionaires, and those paid more than $140,000 a year, accounts for 16% of all CO2 emissions worldwide in 2019. These emissions are enough to cause more than a million additional heat-related deaths.
The study shows that while the richest 1% tend to live climate-insulated, air-conditioned lives, their emissions of 5.9 billion tonnes of CO2 in 2019 are responsible for immense suffering. Calculating a “mortality cost” of 226 dead in excess worldwide for every million tons of carbon, the report calculates that emissions from just 1% would be enough to cause the related deaths of 1.3 million people over the next few decades.
Over the period from 1990 to 2019, the accumulated emissions of just 1% were equivalent to wiping out last year’s crops of European corn, US wheat, Bangladesh e Chinese soybean. According to research by Oxfam, suffering falls disproportionately on people living in poverty, marginalized ethnic communities, migrants and women and girls who live and work outside or in homes vulnerable to extreme weather conditions. These groups are less likely to have savings or insurance and social protection measures putting them at greater risk economically and physically from floods, droughts