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Debunking climate change myths

Common climate myths

The richest 10% cause over 50% of emissions

This is a commonly quoted statistic from an Oxfam report from 2020.

While true, what is often mis-understood is just who the richest 10% are... This is not the private-jet loving billionaires causing 50% of the emissions (yes - they definitely do have a much higher footprint than you or I), this is most likely the majority of people in the developed/Western world.

  • Globally, the richest 10% are those with incomes above $35,000 a year;
    • This is about 630 million people;
    • Over 25 years this 10% resulted in 52% of global emissions;
  • Globally, the richest 1% are those with incomes above $100,000 a year;

There is no denial that consumer behaviours drive up emissions. The trouble is the framing of this statistic and the subsequent use to shift blame from individuals. We are all in this together and have a moral responsibility to do something about it. Not stand-back, finger point and delay essential actions.

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