The year 2023 has made it abundantly clear how climate change and its global effects are worsening. However, the responsibility and impact are very unevenly distributed. One decisive factor is wealth: in the period 1990-2019, the richest one percent of the world's population was responsible for twice as many CO2 emissions as the poorer half . However, the super-rich and wealthy are not only fueling the climate catastrophe with their excessive consumption, but also with climate-damaging investments and their influence on political and economic decisions.
Although they have contributed little to the climate crisis, poor people, particularly in low-income countries in the Global South, are the ones bearing the heaviest burden: They are disproportionately affected by the consequences of climate change and are less able to protect themselves from it compared to the wealthy. This is true not only globally, but now also in Germany.
Interestingly, since the 1990s, CO2 emissions have fallen significantly more among people with low and middle incomes in Germany than among the rich (top 10 percent) and super-rich (top 1 percent). In the recently published study "Climate Equality: A Planet for the 99%, Oxfam analyzes the effects of this imbalance and comes to the conclusion that greater taxation, along with redistribution of extreme wealth, and the transformation to a socially just economy are necessary.
Is the concept of climate (in)equality and the consideration of those who cause it and those who are affected by it helpful in understanding the current inequality? How serious is the situation in Germany really and what are the perspectives from civil society, business, politics and science? Which instruments can help to reduce the gap between rich and poor and counteract the progression of climate change?
We will discuss this together with representatives from civil society, business, politics and science in a digital event on March 6, 17:30-19:00.
Emily Ghosh, staff scientist in the equitable transitions programm at Stockholm Environment Institute
Anisha Nazareth, associate scientist in the equitable transitions programm at Stockholm Environment Institute
Daniel Mittler, Managing Director at Bürgerbewegung Finanzwende e.V.
Katharina Beck, Member of the German Parliament and financial policy spokeswoman for Bündnis90/The Greens
tbd, Oxfam Deutschland
Henry Borrmann, Head of Energy and Education Policy at "Die Familienunternehmer",
Moderation: Sarah Ribbert, Senior Programme Officer on debt relief and climate change.
The event will be held on Zoom with simultaneous German-English translation.
Project Officer Globalisation and Transformation Division
» Online participation in ZOOM
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