Sept. 21 (UPI) — In the last quarter-century, the wealthiest 1% of the world were responsible for more than twice the carbon pollution than were the poorest half, new research showed Monday.
The study from Oxfam and the Stockholm Environment Institute found that the world’s richest 10% were responsible for 52% of all carbon emissions between 1990 and 2015.
Further, the richest 1% accounted for 15% of emissions, it noted — more than all the citizens of the European Union, and more than twice that of the poorest half of the global population (7%).
The study examined emissions from different income groups over the 25-year period, during which it says man-made carbon dioxide levels doubled in the Earth’s atmosphere.
“The over-consumption of a wealthy minority is fueling the climate crisis yet it is poor communities and young people who are paying the price,” Tim Gore, study author and head of climate policy at Oxfam, said in a statement.
“Such extreme carbon inequality is a direct consequence of our governments’ decades-long pursuit of grossly unequal and carbon intensive economic growth.”
British lawmaker Caroline Lucas said the report illustrates how the world’s most vulnerable are exposed to severe environmental changes created by a small minority.
“[Britain] has a moral responsibility here, not only because of its disproportionately high historic emissions but as hosts of next year’s critical U.N. climate summit,” said Lucas, a member of Britain’s Green Party. “We need to go further and faster in reaching net zero.”