The carbon emissions of the richest one percent equate to the total emissions of the bottom 50 percent of Filipinos, according to a study released by Oxfam.
According to the report, excessive carbon emissions of the richest Filipinos are accountable for the 18, 584 deaths due to heat in 2019.
Globally, the wealthiest one percent produced as much carbon as the poorest two-thirds of humanity in 2019. The rich’s carbon emissions are enough to cause 1.3 million excess deaths due to heat, the study said.
Amitabh Behar, interim executive director of Oxfam International, said the super-rich are “plundering and polluting the planet to the point of destruction, leaving humanity choking on extreme heat, floods, and drought.”
He said, “For years, we’ve fought to end the era of fossil fuels to save millions of lives and our planet. It’s clearer than ever this will be impossible until we, too, end the era of extreme wealth.”
The report noted that the carbon emissions of the richest 1 percent “surged to 16 percent of the world’s total CO2 emissions in 2019”
In a statement, Oxfam Pilipinas said the relationship between climate breakdown and inequality continues to fuel a destructive cycle.
It underscored the unequal impact of climate change on those in poverty, women, girls, Indigenous communities, and nations in the Global South, exacerbating pre-existing disparities.
“The inequality of the climate crisis is more obvious when poorer communities in the Philippines are being made to bear the harshest burden of more severe and frequent disasters due to the climate crisis despite having minute carbon emissions compared to the 1% richest,” said Erika Geromino, executive director of Oxfam Pilipinas.
She added that even with the best intentions to prepare for disasters, “we are constantly dealing with further damage and loss”.
“We may not be able to keep up if we are not more committed and ambitious with our climate actions,” she said.