The Oxfam report highlights the disproportionate impact that the richest 1 percent of humanity has on carbon emissions and global efforts to address the climate emergency. This elite group, composed of 77 million people including billionaires, millionaires and people paid more than $140,000 a year, accounted for 16 percent of all CO2 emissions worldwide in 2019 – enough to cause more than a million additional heat-related deaths, according to the report.
The study shows that while the richest 1 percent tend to live climate-insulated, air-conditioned lives, their emissions – 5.9 billion tonnes of CO2 in 2019– are responsible for immense suffering. Calculating a “mortality cost” Of 226 dead in excess worldwide for every million tons of carbon, the report calculates that emissions of just 1 percent would be enough to cause the related deaths of 1.3 million people over the next few decades.
Over the period from 1990 to 2019, the accumulated emissions of 1 percent were equivalent to wiping out last year’s crops of European corn, US wheat, Bangladesh e Chinese soybean. According to the research, suffering falls disproportionately on people living in poverty, marginalized ethnic communities, migrants and women and girls, who live and work outside or in homes vulnerable to extreme weather conditions. These groups are less likely to have savings, insurance or social protection, putting them at greater risk both economically and physically from floods, droughts