The inequality of climate change, according to a new study from the University of Brussels, children born in high-income countries will experience twice as many extreme weather events as their grandparents.
But for children in low-income countries, the situation will be worse. According to researchers from the University of Brussels, they will see three times as much!
What does this report say?
The report says that the world’s wealthy need to radically change their lifestyles to fight climate change.According to the report, the world’s richest 1% produce twice as much carbon emissions as the poorest 50%, according to the UN.
The richest 5% alone – the “polluter elite” – contributed 37% of the growth in emissions between 1990 and 2015.
The report’s authors want to dissuade SUV drivers and frequent travellers – and persuade the rich to insulate their homes properly.
But what can we do about it?
Professor Newell from Sussex University said that in order to tackle climate change, everyone needs to feel that they are part of a collective effort, which means that the rich need to consume less to set an example for the poorest.
He continued: “Rich people who fly a lot may think they can offset their emissions through tree-planting schemes or projects to capture carbon from the air. But these projects are highly controversial and unproven over time.
The rich, he added, “simply need to fly less and drive less. Even if they have an electric SUV, it’s still a drain on the energy system and all the emissions created by the manufacture of the vehicle in the first place.
If you want to go further and calculate your carbon footprint to reduce it we invite you to click on the article written by our friends at EasyEcoTips “Calculate your carbon footprint“.
What is the impact on poor countries?
A 2013 assessment found that many low-income countries are experiencing (and will continue to experience as the climate changes) rising sea levels, higher temperatures, unpredictable rainfall and other extreme weather events. Combined with Oxfam’s data (Oxfam is a global movement of people fighting inequality to end poverty and injustice), this means that the people most vulnerable to the threats of climate change are also those least responsible for it. Oxfam researchers concluded that “climate change and economic inequality are inextricably linked.”
“Climate change is a crisis driven by the “haves”, hitting the “have-nots” hardest,” the report states. “For there to be any justice in the Paris agreement, governments must offer something to the poor, wherever they live.” The central objective of the Paris Agreement is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping the global temperature increase well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to continue efforts to further limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Developing countries argue that they should not have as large an emissions reduction obligation as developed countries, which have been able to emit carbon for several decades. However, some developed countries point to the danger of allowing countries that are not as developed as the US and other Western nations, but are still large emitters, to continue to emit without committing to reducing their carbon output.