World’s richest 1% pollute more than the poorest two-thirds, Oxfam says

The world’s richest 1 percent generated as much carbon emissions as the poorest two-thirds in 2019, according to a new Oxfam report that examines the uber-wealthy’s lavish lifestyles and investments in heavily polluting industries.

The report paints a grave portrait as climate experts and activists scramble to curtail global warming that is devastating vulnerable and often poor communities in Southeast Asia, East Africa and elsewhere. This month marked a long-dreaded milestone for the planet, when scientists recorded an average global temperature that was more than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels on Friday.

“The super-rich are plundering and polluting the planet to the point of destruction, leaving humanity choking on extreme heat, floods and drought,” Oxfam International’s interim executive director, Amitabh Behar, said in a news release on Monday. He called for world leaders to “end the era of extreme wealth.”