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Carbon emission cuts in Europe were achieved by the poorest: report

(EurActiv, 8 Dec 2020) The poorest half of Europeans have cut emissions by almost a quarter, while emissions from the wealthiest 10% continue to rise, making tackling carbon inequality an essential part of EU climate targets, according to a new report by Oxfam and the Stockholm Environment Institute.

“EU carbon reductions have been delivered by poorer Europeans while the richest have had a free ride. But now everyone must pull their weight to achieve the deeper emission cuts needed over the next decade,” said Oxfam’s head of climate policy and report co-author, Tim Gore.

A stark carbon inequality between and within European countries is revealed by the Oxfam report, published on Tuesday (8 December).

It shows that the richest 10% of Europeans are responsible for over a quarter of emissions – the same as the poorest half combined – with the wealthiest 1% producing 7% of emissions.

Both the richest 10% and 1% have increased emissions, by 3% and 5% respectively.

Middle-income Europeans, who earn between €20,000 and €40,999 annually, were responsible for just under half of emissions, making cuts of 13%.

While the poorest half of Europeans have cut emissions by almost a quarter, they will be the hardest hit by climate change. Oxfam is calling for the EU to use the European Green Deal to redress this and fight inequality while cutting carbon emissions.

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EurActiv, 8 Dec 2020: Carbon emission cuts in Europe were achieved by the poorest: report