The wealthiest 10-percent of the people on the planet are causing half of the world’s carbon emissions. While world leaders gather in Paris to figure out who should carry the burden of reducing global warming, Oxfam has released numbers that show that the wealthy are using more than their fair share of our resources. Meanwhile, the poorest half of the planet – the half who will suffer the consequences of climate change the most – produce a paltry 10-percent of the emissions.
According to the new report from Oxfam, the average one-percenter produces 175 time more emissions than an individual in the bottom 10-percent. “[I]t’s easy to forget that rapidly developing economies are also home to the majority of the world’s very poorest people and while they have to do their fair share, it is rich countries that should still lead the way,” said Oxfam climate policy head Tim Gore.
Oxfam released the report as debates continue in Paris about who is responsible for reducing carbon emissions. The issue has been a contentious one for years, as countries like the US argue against shouldering a larger piece of the responsibility. This report perfectly illustrates just how much the wealthier countries of the world have contributed to our current predicament.