‘Luxury carbon consumption’ of top 1% threatens 1.5C global heating limit


    ‘Luxury carbon consumption’ of top 1% threatens 1.5C global heating limit

    Greenhouse gas emissions

    ‘Luxury carbon consumption’ of top 1% threatens 1.5C global heating limit

    Richest 1% will account for 16% of total emissions by 2030, while poorest 50% will release one tonne of CO2 a year

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    The research comes as global leaders gather in Cop26 to discuss ways to curb emissions and keep the 1.5C target on the table, with a number of delegates arriving at the climate conference by private jet, including Boris Johnson, Prince Charles and Jeff Bezos. The charity is urging the richest citizens to speed up action on global heating by cutting their own CO2 emissions in line with Paris targets, and using their influence and financial backing to drive a green economy.

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    Jamie Livingstone, the head of Oxfam Scotland, said Cop26 was a “moment of truth in the fight against climate change”. He said: “Global leaders must agree ways to curb excessive emissions and limit global heating and they must do it here and now in Glasgow. Delay costs lives.”

    Earlier this year Bezos went to space in his New Shepard rocket, Sir Richard Branson went to the edge of space in his Virgin Galactic Rocket and Elon Musk’s company promises to take humans to Mars. The emissions from a single 11-minute space flight amount to at least 75 tonnes, which would exceed the lifetime emissions of one of the poorest billion people on Earth.

    The paper shows that the fight to keep 1.5C within reach is not being hampered by the consumption of most people on the planet, but by the excessive emissions of the world’s richest citizens, said Tim Gore, author of the briefing and head of the low-CO2 and circular economy programme at the IEEP.

    Even the total emissions produced by the richest 10% could be sufficient to exceed the amount allocated for keeping within the 1.5C targets by 2030 – regardless of what the other 90% of the population does.

    Gore said: “To close the emissions gap by 2030, it is necessary for governments to target measures at their richest, highest emitters – the climate and inequality crises should be tackled together. That includes both measures to constrain luxury carbon consumption like megayachts, private jets and space travel, and to curb climate-intensive investments like stock-holdings in fossil fuel industries.”


    • Greenhouse gas emissions
    • Climate crisis
    • Cop26
    • Jeff Bezos
    • Richard Branson
    • Boris Johnson
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    Published at Fri, 05 Nov 2021 12:09:23 +0000


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