The richest people are releasing vast amounts of carbon dioxide compared with lower-income people, according to a new report.
This idea of “emissions inequality” underscores how nations that are contributing to climate change the most are disproportionately affecting regions that produce far less greenhouse gases. But the report by the World Inequality Lab also shows that the wealthiest citizens of the U.S. and other countries are more responsible for rising temperatures than people who earn less money in those same nations.
In North America, the top 10 percent of people by income produce nearly 73 tons of carbon dioxide per person annually. In Europe and East Asia, the top earners release 29 tons and 39 tons, respectively.
At the other end of the income spectrum, however, the bottom 50 percent of North Americans emit 10 tons per person annually. In Europe and East Asia, the same category of earners release 5 tons and 3 tons, respectively.
“It is striking that the poorest half of the population in the US has emission levels comparable with the European middle 40 percent, despite being almost twice as poor,” the
— source scientificamerican.com | Sara Schonhardt | Dec 8, 2021