We all know about the damage being done to the environment by industries, households, belching cows and the release of methane from permafrost. A new report highlights a source of CO2 emissions that few of us are aware of – billionaires. The British charity Oxfam has reported that the lavish lifestyles of the world's wealthiest create significantly more CO2 than the average person. It conducted an analysis of the investments and lifestyles of 125 of the world's richest billionaires. The conclusion was that the average billionaire is responsible for 3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. This is a million times more than the average person creates. Collectively, billionaires create as much CO2 as France.
The lifestyles of billionaires are damaging to the environment. Luxury yachts, extravagant mansions and private jets mean the super-rich have a huge carbon footprint. This is made bigger by the investments they make. Speaking at the COP 27 Climate Change Conference in Egypt, an Oxfam spokesperson provided details about CO2 and the super-rich. She said: "The major and growing responsibility of wealthy people for overall emissions is rarely discussed or considered in climate policy making. This has to change." She added: "These billionaire investors at the top of the corporate pyramid have a huge responsibility for driving climate breakdown. They have escaped accountability for too long."