Blame the rich: scientists have named the main cause of global warming

On rich people is the main responsibility for the climate crisis, the study of the British University of Leeds, affecting 86 countries. About it writes BBC.

Всему виной богатые: ученые назвали основную причину глобального потепления

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Scientists have discovered that in all these countries, a tenth of the population with the highest incomes consume about 20 times more energy than a tenth with the lowest income.

This is mainly because the poorest people are less likely to own transport and cannot afford private cars.

The study showed that the richer people are, the more energy they consume, and this dependence exists in all the countries reviewed.

The report’s authors also warned that if the government cannot substantially change a policy, by 2050 energy consumption will double compared with 2011.

Energy and transport

Using the data of the EU and the world Bank, the researchers looked at what groups of people with different income spend money.

It turned out that in the category “transportation” more than half of the energy consumes a tenth of the people with the highest incomes. This corresponds to the results of other earlier studies, which showed that in Britain 70% of all air travel takes 15% of the population.

Super-rich fly the farthest distance, whereas 57% of the British population never flies abroad.

A study published in the journal Nature Energy, have shown that while cooking and space heating, the gap in energy consumption among the groups with different income was not as strong. But even in this category on the richest 10% of consumers account for approximately a third of all energy used. Most likely, this is due to the size of their homes.


“How do we change the situation of uneven distribution of energy for everyone to live with dignity while protecting the climate and ecosystems?” — asks Professor Julie Steinberger, head of studies at the University of Leeds.

According to the authors of the project, governments can reduce the demand for travel by improving public transport, higher taxes on larger cars and tariffs for passengers flying more often than others.

Another way, scientists believe, is to accelerate the transition to electric cars, although previous studies have shown that the demand for them still must be reduced, otherwise you need too many resources to the production and delivery of electricity.

Which countries consume a lot of energy?

The researchers also compared the energy consumption levels in different countries.

It turned out that a fifth of Britons is among the five percent of the world’s population that consumes the most energy. In line with them — 40 percent of Germans, and the entire population of Luxembourg.

Only two percent of people in China and 0.02% of the population of India was included in the five percent of the world’s major energy consumers.

The poorest part of the British consumes about five times more energy than a billion of the poorest people in India.

A normal life?

This study should affect the future climate negotiations in the UN where the issue of social inequality always causes noisy controversy.

In the US politics libertarian views presented climate change as a precursor to global socialism.

Professor Kevin Anderson of Manchester, who was not involved in the study, believes that it should make you think most ordinary people.

“This study tells us relatively healthy people, what we don’t want to hear”, says Anderson.

“When we — politicians, businessmen, workers of science say that high taxes on flights will not be popular, we mean that we do not want less to fly. Same with our cars, our homes. We convinced ourselves that lead an ordinary, normal life, but the numbers show a completely different” — said the scientist.

According to the study, global power consumption is only for transport could increase by a third by 2050, and if the transport will continue to operate on fossil fuels for the climate it will be disastrous, scientists conclude.

To reduce the consumption of different types of energy they offer a variety of measures at the government level. Drivers of large vehicles — to introduce higher taxes, and the house to modify by using energy-saving technologies.


climate change

global warming