A Few Billionaires Have A Carbon Footprint Equal To France The Daily Financial Trends


Anti-poverty charity Oxfam revealed in a new study that the richest people in the world are releasing enormous and unsustainable amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, with 50% to 70% of their pollution arising from their investments.

According to the report on average, 125 of the world’s richest billionaires will release 3 million tons of CO2 each every year. That is more than one million times the average rate of CO2 release for a person in the lower 90% of humanity, wealth-wise. Together, the billionaires hold stakes in 183 companies with a total value of $2.4 trillion, according to the report.

Oxfam notes the actual pollution figure will likely be even higher given that it has been repeatedly shown the available data on corporate carbon emissions consistently underestimates the true impact of the pollution produced by these entities on the environment. Also the report notes that the billionaires who conceal or do not release information on their carbon emissions, and thus were not included in this study, are likely to be even worse climate-offenders.

Nafkote Dabi, Climate Change Lead at Oxfam said, “These few billionaires together have ‘investment emissions’ that equal the carbon footprints of entire countries like France, Egypt or Argentina.”

She emphasized, “These billionaire investors at the top of the corporate pyramid have huge responsibility for driving climate breakdown. They have escaped accountability for too long.”

She went on to point out that billionaire lifestyles, which include yachts and private jets, create emissions thousands of times those of the average person. However those emissions are dwarfed by the emissions of their investments, which are often over a million times higher.

The rates of emissions are also higher because billionaires often keep an average of 14% of their investments in such heavily polluting industries as cement and energy companies. That is twice the percentage found in S&P 500 companies.

The report noted that only a single billionaire included in the study had investments in a renewable energy company.

Dabi concluded, “The super-rich need to be taxed and regulated away from polluting investments that are destroying the planet.”

The Daily Financial Trends