OXFAM recently published “Survival of the Richest” — definitely a “must read” with its shocking statistics of wealth inequality and of the billionaire-class contributions to pollution and climate change.

The richest one percent of people in the world captured 54 percent of new global wealth over the past decade! Not to be outdone, during the pandemic years 2020-21, they increased their share to 63 percent — they took home $26 trillion of the $42T of new wealth, leaving $16T for all the rest of us. The billionaire class is $2.7T richer than before the pandemic. Elon Musk paid a “true tax rate” of just 3.27 percent from 2014 to 2018. In striking contrast, in 2020, world poverty increased for the first time in 25 years. Billionaire fortunes are increasing at a rate of $2.7T a day, while at least 1.7 billion workers live in countries where inflation is outpacing wages.

Little wonder that a significant majority of citizens of all major developed countries in the world support raising taxes on the rich, largely to no avail. Witness the continual efforts of U.S. conservatives to gut the IRS. Perhaps voters might be outraged enough to demand the rich pay their share if they realized that the rich not only took more wealth than they deserved — they also contributed much more to pollution and the climate change crisis.

The richest billionaires, through their polluting investments, each emit a million times more carbon than the average person. The wealthiest one percent of humanity are responsible for double the emissions of the poorest 50 percent, and by 2030 their carbon footprints are set to be 30 times greater than the level compatible with the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement.


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.