According to a survey by Oxfam, 125 billionaires’ investments result in 393 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year.
According to the global poverty charity, that is the same amount of CO2 produced as the entire country of France, making the average billionaire’s annual emissions a million times higher than those of a person in the poorest 90% of the world’s population.
The study’s billionaires own a combined $2.4 trillion worth of stock in 183 firms, which equates to 3 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emitted annually per billionaire, on average. 2.76 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide are emitted annually on average by people who don’t live in the top 10% of income brackets.
In their analysis, Oxfam examined the carbon emissions produced by the investments made by 125 of the world’s wealthiest people.
The study found that around 14% of the billionaires’ investments were in “polluting industries,” such as non-renewable energy and materials such as cement, while the average investor has half that amount invested in those sectors.
Danny Sriskandarajah, chief executive of Oxfam GB, called for world leaders at the COP27 climate summit to “expose and change the role that big corporates and their rich investors are playing in profiting from the pollution that is driving the climate crisis.”
“The role of the super-rich in super-charging climate change is rarely discussed,” Sriskandarajah said in the report’s press release, “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.”
Delegates from around 200 nations have gathered in Egypt’s Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh for the COP27 meeting, which officially began on Sunday, to discuss how to deal with the climate catastrophe.
The subject of climate justice and how to persuade wealthy nations to pay reparations are among the contentious topics to be explored.