Wednesday, November 02, 2022

Climate Change: Taxing the rich is a climate change policy

The Greens are often criticised by the right for linking social equality with environmental issues. But it turns out that they are deeply connected: the ultra-rich are responsible for a massive amount of climate pollution:

The top 1% of earners in the UK are responsible for the same amount of carbon dioxide emissions in a single year as the bottom 10% over more than two decades, new data has shown.

The findings highlight the enormous gaps between what have been termed “the polluting elite”, whose high-carbon lifestyles fuel the climate crisis, and the majority of people, even in developed countries, whose carbon footprints are far smaller.

It would take 26 years for a low earner to produce as much carbon dioxide as the richest do in a year, according to Autonomy’s analysis of income and greenhouse gas data from 1998 to 2018, which found that people earning £170,000 or more in 2018 in the UK were responsible for greenhouse gas emissions far greater than the 30% of people earning £21,500 or less in the same year.

Taxing this elite so that they are merely wealthy, and unable to afford private jets, multiple homes, and imported luxury goods would help eliminate this disproportionate pollution, while providing funds to reduce other sources and solve social problems. So it turns out that taxing the rich is in fact a climate change policy - and one we should pursue.