Oxfam have done some eye-catching work on inequality over the last couple of years, and their latest report looks at inequality from a climate change angle. Responsibility for climate change isn’t evenly spread. Some have much higher carbon footprints than others, and it is the richest that have the highest emissions.
Here’s a graph of lifestyle consumption emissions – that’s the emissions we are personally responsible for, which make up about two thirds of the global total. (Government, infrastructure and international transport makes up the other third.)
The inequalities are striking. The richest 10% of the population are responsible for almost half of global emissions. And don’t think yachts and private jets. I’m in that 10%, and most of the readers of this blog will be too.
Unfortunately, the impact of climate change is unequal too. As Oxfam say, “The poorest half of the global population are responsible for only around 10% of global emissions yet live overwhelmingly in the countries most vulnerable to climate change.”
That’s why climate change is not just an environmental problem, but a major justice issue too.
- You can read the report and the technical briefing here.