HomeNewsCarbon Footprint of the Richest 1% Is 17% of the Global Carbon Footprint
Carbon Footprint of the Richest 1% Is 17% of the Global Carbon Footprint

Carbon Footprint of the Richest 1% Is 17% of the Global Carbon Footprint

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Global atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration has increased by more than 40% since pre-industrial times, largely due to human activity. From an annual average of 280 ppm in the late 1700s, carbon dioxide concentrations rose to 414 ppm in 2021.

According to an analysis by, the richest 1% are responsible for the global carbon footprint of 17% – 110 tonnes per annum. The data indicate that the world’s wealthiest have significantly contributed to the climate crisis. CEO says,

It is interesting to see how much of an impact the world’s richest 1% have on the environment. We hope that this data will help people to understand the unequal distribution of carbon emissions and the need for everyone to play their part in reducing their own footprint.

Jonathan Merry

Global Carbon Emissions Inequality

The poorest 50% of the world’s population is responsible for 12% (1.6 tonnes) of emissions per annum. On the other hand, middle-income earners make up 40.4% (6.6 tonnes) of the total. The top 10% of earners are responsible for 47.6%( 31 tonnes) of emissions. 

The data shows a clear inequality in the distribution of carbon emissions. This inequality appears to be driven by several factors, including economic status and lifestyle choices. 

For example, the poorest 50% are more likely to live in developing countries with less access to clean energy and transport. They are also more likely to rely on subsistence agriculture, which results in a smaller carbon footprint.

In contrast, the richest 10% are more likely to live in developed countries and have greater access to resources and technology. They are also more likely to have lifestyles with higher consumption levels, such as flying and driving.

Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

There is a need for urgent action to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change. Individuals can play their part by reducing their carbon footprint. 

Some simple ways to do this include: Reducing energy consumption at home by making energy-efficient choices such as using LED light bulbs and investing in energy-efficient appliances, using public transport, walking, or cycling instead of driving. Additionally, people can avoid air travel where possible. Planting trees and composting food waste are other great ways to help offset carbon emissions.

It is important to remember that we all have a role to play in reducing our carbon footprint and combating climate change. Every little bit helps, and we can collectively make a big difference by making small changes in our daily lives.

Elizabeth Kerr
Elizabeth Kerr
Elizabeth is a financial content specialist from Manchester. Her specialities include cryptocurrency, data analysis and financial regulation.