I’m so just as shocked as you are. A billionaire is responsible for a million times more greenhouse gas emissions than the average person… And now these same billionaires, CEOs and politicians are currently discussing at GOP27 in Egypt, how they could tax us more to fund their CO2 diminution plans… How ironic, isn’t it? FY!
The below article shows that the richest are more toxic and destructive to the environment than regular people through their investments and oh so secret ways of life. Runaway capitalism is in full swing and the lifestyles, ways of life, and total debauchery will lead to the destruction of the Earth.
Oxfam has reported that the wealthiest people are responsible for about a million times more emissions than the worlds lowest earners, when taking into the account their investments. In other words the 125 wealthiest people-Musk, Walton, Buffet, and Gates included, have a combined carbon footprint that is equivalent to the entire country of France. The investments themselves continue dirty industries and lead to the creation of more emissions added to the existing whole.
Oxfam first pulled together a list of the world’s 220 people, identified the corporations that they hold investments in and currently have a 10% equity stake in. Naturally, it should be known that most of the research itself may not be accurate. Reason being there is an overall lack of transparency that has come from the world of the billionaires.
The transparency comes to down the wealthiest actual investments and additionally a lack of transparency around corporate emissions, meaning that the numbers are likely way higher than reported by Oxfam. Based on the research this means 3.3 million tons for the richest people, followed by about 25.4 for an average person in the UK, and then followed by the world’s 10% poorest at around 3 tons per person.
The influence of the few and the wealthy continues to show the runaway effects of capitalism and continues to sow the world’s destruction. The numbers themselves reported here aren’t accurate and are way higher. It also isn’t a final list, no mention of Bezos etc.
According to the Oxfam website:
Billionaire investments in polluting industries such as fossil fuels and cement double the average for the S&P 500
The investments of just 125 billionaires emit 393 million tonnes of CO2e each year – the equivalent of France – at an individual annual average that is a million times higher than someone in the bottom 90 percent of humanity.
Carbon Billionaires: The investment emissions of the world’s richest people, is a report published by Oxfam today based on a detailed analysis of the investments of 125 of the richest billionaires in some of the world’s biggest corporates and the carbon emissions of these investments. These billionaires have a collective $2.4 trillion stake in 183 companies.
The report finds that these billionaires’ investments produce an annual average of 3m tonnes of CO2e per person, which is a million times higher than the average for people living in the bottom 90 percent (2.76 tonnes of CO2e).
The actual figure is likely to be higher still, as published carbon emissions by corporates have been shown to systematically underestimate the true level of carbon impact. Further, billionaires and corporates who do not publicly reveal their emissions (and are therefore not included in the research), are likely to be those with a high climate impact.
“These few billionaires together have ‘investment emissions’ that equal the carbon footprints of entire countries like France, Egypt or Argentina,” said Nafkote Dabi, Climate Change Lead at Oxfam. “The major and growing responsibility of wealthy people for overall emissions is rarely discussed or considered in climate policy making. This has to change. These billionaire investors at the top of the corporate pyramid have huge responsibility for driving climate breakdown. They have escaped accountability for too long.”
“Emissions from billionaire lifestyles – due to their frequent use of private jets and yachts – are thousands of times the average person, which is already completely unacceptable,” said Dabi. “But if we look at emissions from their investments, then their carbon emissions are over a million times higher.” said.
Contrary to average people, studies show the world’s wealthiest individuals’ investments account for up to 70 percent of their emissions. Oxfam has used public data to calculate the “investment emissions” of billionaires with over 10 percent stakes in a corporation. The study allocates billionaires a share of the reported emissions of the corporates in which they are invested, in proportion to their stake.
The study also found billionaires had an average of 14 percent of their investments in polluting industries such as energy and materials like cement. This is twice the average for investments in the S&P 500. Only one billionaire in the sample had investments in a renewable energy company.
“We need COP27 to expose and change the role that big corporates and their rich investors are playing in driving the climate crisis by profiting from pollution,” said Dabi. “They can’t be allowed to hide or greenwash. We need governments to tackle this urgently by publishing emission figures for the richest people, regulating investors and corporates to slash carbon emissions and taxing wealth and polluting investments.”
The choice of investments billionaires make is shaping the future of our economy, for example, by backing high carbon infrastructure – locking in high emissions for decades to come. The study found that if the billionaires in the sample moved their investments to a fund with stronger environmental and social standards, it could reduce the intensity of their emissions by up to four times.
“The super-rich need to be taxed and regulated away from polluting investments that are destroying the planet. Governments must put also in place ambitious regulations and policies that compel corporations to be more accountable and transparent in reporting and radically reducing their emissions,” said Dabi.
Oxfam has estimated that a wealth tax on the world’s super-rich could raise $1.4 trillion a year, vital resources that could help developing countries – those worst hit by the climate crisis – to adapt, address loss and damage and carry out a just transition to renewable energy. According to the UNEP adaptation costs for developing countries could rise to $300 billion per year by 2030. Africa alone will require $600 billion between 2020 to 2030. Oxfam is also calling for steeply higher tax rates for investments in polluting industries to deter such investments.
The report says that many corporations are off track in setting their climate transition plans, including hiding behind unrealistic and unreliable decarbonization plans with the promise of attaining net zero targets only by 2050. Fewer than one in three of the 183 corporates reviewed by Oxfam are working with the Science Based Targets Initiative. Only 16 percent have set net zero targets.
Prepare now! Stock up on Iodine tablets for the next nuclear disaster…
Ahead of the deliberations at COP27, Oxfam is calling for the following actions:
- Governments to put in place regulations and policies that compel corporations to track and report on scope 1, scope 2 and scope 3 GHG emissions, set science-based climate targets with a clear road map to reducing emissions, and while at it ensuring a just transition from the extractive, carbon intensive economy by securing the future livelihoods of workers and the affected communities.
- Governments should implement a wealth tax on the richest people and an additional steep rate top-up on wealth invested in polluting industries. This will reduce the numbers and power of rich people in our society, drastically reduce their emissions. It will also raise billions that can be used to help countries cope with the brutal impacts of climate breakdown and the loss and damage they incur and fund the global shift to renewable energy.
- Corporations must put in place ambitious and time-bound climate change action plans with short-to-medium term targets in line with global climate change objectives in a view to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.