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Reduce Harmful Emissions by Wealthy Individuals

Posted by feww on July 7, 2009

Why Wealthy Individuals Allowed to Produce More Climate-Changing Emissions?

More than half the planet’s greenhouse gasses emissions come from less than a billion of the population

In Carbon Footprint of Your Dollar our colleagues at CASF and EDRO calculated how much carbon dioxide (CO2), the main greenhouse gas, your money made.

Our colleagues at MSRB and CASF showed the amount of CO2 made by the world richest individuals in The Billionaires’ contribution to CO2 pollution.

The Moderators emphasize that it’s the total wealth of the individual which is responsible for the amount of CO2e emissions, not necessarily the individual’s  lifestyle. For example, while Richard Branson’s personal lifestyle is responsible for up to a 1,000 times more harmful emissions than Bill Gate’s  and Warren Buffet’s put together, the total harmful emissions generated as a result of the combined assets of the world’s richest duo is about 40 times more than the airline owner’s.

In a new report submitted to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers wrote that it makes sense to track the these rich individuals when setting national targets to reduce CO2 emissions.

Here’s the Report’s Abstract:

Sharing global CO2 emission reductions among one billion high emitters

We present a framework for allocating a global carbon reduction target among nations, in which the concept of ‘‘common but differentiated responsibilities’’ refers to the emissions of individuals instead of nations.We use the income distribution of a country to estimate how its fossil fuel CO2 emissions are distributed among its citizens, from which we build up a global CO2 distribution. We then propose a simple rule to derive a universal cap on global individual emissions and find corresponding limits on national aggregate emissions from this cap. All of the world’s high CO2-emitting individuals are treated the same, regardless of where they live. Any future global emission goal (target and time frame) can be converted into national reduction targets, which are determined by ‘‘Business as Usual’’ projections of national carbon emissions and in-country income distributions. For example, reducing projected global emissions in 2030 by 13 GtCO2 would require the engagement of 1.13 billion high emitters, roughly equally distributed in 4 regions: the U.S., the OECD minus the U.S., China, and the non-OECD minus China. We also modify our methodology to place a floor on emissions of the world’s lowest CO2 emitters and demonstrate that climate mitigation and alleviation of extreme poverty are largely decoupled.

“You’re distributing the task of doing something about emissions reduction based on the proportion of the population in the country that’s actually doing the most damage,” said one of the study’s authors, Shoibal Chakravarty of the Princeton Environment Institute.

“As countries develop—India, China, Brazil and others—over time, they’ll have more and more of these individuals and they’ll have a higher share of carbon reductions to do in the future,” he said.

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2 Responses to “Reduce Harmful Emissions by Wealthy Individuals”

  1. […] Reduce Harmful Emissions by Wealthy Individuals […]

  2. […] original here:  Reduce Harmful Emissions by Wealthy Individuals « Fire Earth Related […]

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