The climate and inequality crises are closely interwoven. In 2020, Oxfam and the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) estimated that between the first Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report in 1990 and the 2015 Paris Agreement, the consumption of the world’s richest 1% drove twice the carbon emissions of the poorest half of the global population combined.
In that era of extreme carbon inequality in which the climate crisis accelerated, around a third of the global carbon budget for limiting global heating to the Paris Agreement’s 1.5⁰C goal was squandered just to expand the consumption of the richest 10% of the world population.
Now, at COP26 in Glasgow, the world is facing a looming gap between the level of expected global emissions in 2030 – based on the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of emissions reductions made by countries under the Paris Agreement – and the level needed in 2030 to keep alive the chance of limiting global heating to 1.5⁰C above pre-industrial levels.
Institute for European Environmental Policy