MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Investments in polluting industries by the richest billionaires annually produce 3 million tonnes of greenhouse gases per person, which is a million times higher than what investments of an average person create, international non-governmental organization Oxfam said on Monday.
"Emissions from billionaire lifestyles, their private jets and yachts are thousands of times the average person, which is already completely unacceptable. But if we look at emissions from their investments, then their carbon emissions are over a million times higher," the Climate Change Lead at Oxfam, Nafkote Dabi, said.
Investments account for 70% of total emissions of the world’s richest billionaires, an Oxfam study found.The study evaluated the impact of 125 of the riches people who have over 10% stake in corporations of polluting industries by calculating their share in company’s pollution proportioned to their investments. The study also showed that billionaires had an average 14% of their total investments in polluting industries like fossil fuels or cement. Only one investor of 125 acquired stock in renewable energy.The authors of the study believe that real numbers can be even higher since corporations tend to underestimate volumes of their carbon dioxide emissions with some of them not publishing this information at all.”Investment emissions” of billionaires can be reduced four times if they are held to “stronger environmental and social standards,” the study found.
"The super-rich need to be taxed and regulated away from polluting investments that are destroying the planet. Governments must put also in place ambitious regulations and policies that compel corporations to be more accountable and transparent in reporting and radically reducing their emissions," Dabi said.
The study also indicated that a great number of companies are not particularly keen on fixing their negative climate impact and, instead, present ambitious but often unrealistic or unreachable plans of going green. Less than a third of the 183 corporations studied by Oxfam collaborate with the Science Based Targets Initiative, an international partnership between CDP (former the Carbon Disclosure Project), the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute and the World Wide Fund for Nature.