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Climate change: Global 'elite' will need to slash high-carbon lifestyles

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The world's wealthiest 1% account for more than twice the combined carbon emissions of the poorest 50%, according to the UN.
2020/12/09 14:45
The study, compiled by the UN Environment Programme (Unep), underlines the chasm between the level of emissions consistent with keeping temperatures down and what's happening in the real world.
2020/12/09 14:45
The global top 10% of income earners use around 45% of all the energy consumed for land transport and around 75% of all the energy for aviation, compared with just 10% and 5% respectively for the poorest 50% of households, the report says.
2020/12/09 14:45
But for the richest 1%, it would mean a dramatic reduction."The wealthy bear the greatest responsibility in this area," Unep executive director Inger Anderson wrote in a foreword to the report. "The combined emissions of the richest 1% of the global population account for more than twice the combined emissions of the poorest 50%.""This elite will need to reduce their footprint by a factor of 30 to stay in line with the Paris Agreement targets," she wrote.
2020/12/09 14:45
Switching to renewable electricity by households could curb carbon by around 1.5 tonnes per capita, while embracing a vegetarian diet would save around half a tonne of carbon on average.
2020/12/09 14:45
"The UNEP report shows that the over-consumption of a wealthy minority is fuelling the climate crisis, yet it is poor communities and young people who are paying the price," said Tim Gore, head of climate policy at Oxfam, and a contributing author to the report.
2020/12/09 14:45
"It will be practically and politically impossible to close the emissions gap if governments don't cut the carbon footprint of the wealthy and end the inequalities which leave millions of people without access to power or unable to heat their homes."
2020/12/09 14:45
"The year 2020 is on course to be one of the warmest on record, while wildfires, storms and droughts continue to wreak havoc," said Inger Andersen."However, Unep's Emissions Gap report shows that a green pandemic recovery can take a huge slice out of greenhouse gas emissions and help slow climate change. I urge governments to back a green recovery in the next stage of Covid-19 fiscal interventions and raise significantly their climate ambitions in 2021."
2020/12/09 14:45
But to keep to the 2C goal, the level of ambition in the Paris agreement needs to be tripled. To keep under 1.5C, that ambition needs to increase five-fold."The life raft that we have is a green recovery," said Dr Kat Kramer from Christian Aid.
2020/12/09 14:46
"Combining post-Covid economic investment to accelerate the change to a zero-carbon world gives us real hope that we can limit global heating to the all-important 1.5C temperature increase. "Warming above that will lead to increasingly severe impacts on the planet and its people and could kick start feedbacks in the climate system that could lead to runaway climate change."
2020/12/09 14:46