‘Luxury carbon consumption’ of top 1% threatens 1.5C global heating limit | Greenhouse gas emissions

The carbon dioxide emissions of the richest 1% of humanity are on observe to be 30 instances larger than what’s suitable with retaining global heating under 1.5C, new analysis warns, as scientists urge governments to “constrain luxurious carbon consumption” of non-public jets, megayachts and area journey.

In step with the Paris local weather targets, each particular person on Earth wants to scale back their CO2 emissions to a median of 2.3 tonnes by 2030, about half the typical of in the present day.

The richest 1% – which is a inhabitants smaller than Germany – are on observe to be releasing 70 tonnes of CO2 per particular person a yr if present consumption continues, according to the study. In complete they may account for 16% of complete emissions by 2030, up from 13% of emissions in 1990. In the meantime, the poorest 50% can be releasing a median of one tonne of CO2 yearly.

“A tiny elite seem to have a free cross to pollute,” mentioned Nafkote Dabi, local weather coverage lead at Oxfam, which commissioned the examine by the Institute for European Environmental Coverage (IEEP) and the Stockholm Atmosphere Institute (SEI). “Their outsized emissions are fuelling excessive climate around the globe and jeopardising the worldwide purpose of limiting global heating,” she mentioned.

'We're in this together': why I'm protesting at Cop26 – video
‘We’re on this collectively’: why I am protesting at Cop26 – video

The analysis comes as global leaders collect in Cop26 to debate methods to curb emissions and maintain the 1.5C goal on the desk, with a quantity of delegates arriving on the local weather convention by non-public jet, together with Boris Johnson, Prince Charles and Jeff Bezos. The charity is urging the richest residents to hurry up motion on global heating by slicing their very own CO2 emissions according to Paris targets, and utilizing their affect and monetary backing to drive a inexperienced economic system.

Jamie Livingstone, the pinnacle of Oxfam Scotland, mentioned Cop26 was a “second of fact within the struggle towards local weather change”. He mentioned: “Global leaders should agree methods to curb extreme emissions and limit global heating and so they should do it right here and now in Glasgow. Delay prices lives.”

Earlier this yr Bezos went to area in his New Shepard rocket, Sir Richard Branson went to the sting of area in his Virgin Galactic Rocket and Elon Musk’s firm guarantees to take people to Mars. The emissions from a single 11-minute area flight quantity to at the very least 75 tonnes, which would exceed the lifetime emissions of one of the poorest billion individuals on Earth.

The paper reveals that the struggle to maintain 1.5C inside attain just isn’t being hampered by the consumption of most individuals on the planet, however by the extreme emissions of the world’s richest residents, mentioned Tim Gore, writer of the briefing and head of the low-CO2 and round economic system programme on the IEEP.

Even the entire emissions produced by the richest 10% may very well be enough to exceed the quantity allotted for retaining inside the 1.5C targets by 2030 – regardless of what the opposite 90% of the inhabitants does.

Gore mentioned: “To shut the emissions hole by 2030, it’s essential for governments to focus on measures at their richest, highest emitters – the local weather and inequality crises needs to be tackled collectively. That features each measures to constrain luxurious carbon consumption like megayachts, non-public jets and area journey, and to curb climate-intensive investments like stock-holdings in fossil gasoline industries.”

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