Posted by: Chasy | 08/07/2009

New climate strategy: track the world’s wealthiest

Following my last post, I found this article, also on AlertNet just as I was going to bed.

The article discusses a strategy to tackle climate change by tracking and capping the world’s biggest carbon emitters, which, at present, are the world’s wealthiest people, in every country. The excerpt below helps to explain:

Rich people’s lives tend to give off more greenhouse gases because they drive more fossil-fueled vehicles, travel frequently by air and live in big houses that take more fuel to heat and cool.

By focusing on rich people everywhere, rather than rich countries and poor ones, the system of setting carbon-cutting targets based on the number of wealthy individuals in various countries would ease developing countries into any new climate change framework, [Shoibal Chakravarty of the Princeton Environment Institute] said by telephone.

As the developed and developing world are quibbling over who has the most right to pollute the environment at dangerous levels continue carbon emissions as close to normal, this report suggests a far more equitable way of capping emissions.

While it does sound, as the article notes, like a ‘limousine-and-yacht tax on the rich’, it has far more potential than to simply tear down the tall poppies. Climate change is not a fight against the bourgeois, it’s a fight where the rich and poor must stand united together. If the biggest carbon emitters are those who are most wealthy, then they are the ones who must make changes first. It’s a no-brainer.


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